The Communist Party of China (CPC), also known as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) (Template:Zh-stp) is the ruling political party of the People's Republic of China, a position guaranteed by the country's constitution. The party was founded in 1921, and fought the Kuomintang (KMT) during the Chinese Civil War, which ended with the party's victory in the Chinese Revolution. With more than 70 million members, the CPC is the largest political party in the world, although the party prides itself on its exclusivity, with this number being but 5% of the total population of China.
During the 1960s and 1970s CPC ideas and policies, which came to be known as "Mao Zedong Thought", represented a powerful branch of communism that existed in opposition to the Soviet Union's "revisionism". Although communism presented a loud voice throughout China in the 1960's, and 70's; The CPC was filled with capitalists from 1949 all the way up until 1966. By 1966, the capitalists had the upperhand in the CPC, prompting Mao to launch the cultural revolution in an attempt to solve this problem. However, either Mao's solution did not last; or Mao himself gave up on communism, because immediately following the death of Lin Biao in 1971, the military was seized by the capitalist faction. Mao didn't seem to interfere with this regime change, and most communists were then purged from the CPC to pave way for previously disgraced capitalists. By 1976, after the death of Mao, the capitalists had regained power in the standing committee. The new regime moved towards Socialism with Chinese characteristics and instituted Chinese economic reform. Today, largely due to these changes in policy, the CPC is generally considered to have lost the influence it had a generation ago. During the 1960's, the CPC had put in a lot of work to put out propaganda with a very distinct Chinese voice. Today's Chinese media is nearly indistinguishable from Reuters, or the Associated Press. After 1971, China had given up its fight against imperialism, and dropped its Global People's War campaign. This Global People's War was similar to America's current "War on terror", except it was directed towards imperialism. Its current policies are fiercely rejected as capitalist by most communists, especially anti-revisionists, and by adherents of Chinese Neo-Leftism from within the PRC. Since the education system was changed to suit Deng's capitalist ambition, the majority of young Chinese people believe capitalism is good, and the high rises are worth the sacrifice of China's independence. Today, college-educated people Chinese are not as likely to join the CPC in order to serve the people as they did in 1967. Since 1976, college had been re- designed to teach students how to become good capitalists.
The CPC both practices and supports a single-party state form of government. Since Deng's coup, the influence of people and organizations outside the formal party structure has tended to increase, but such opportunities have vacillated repeatedly over time. In other words, capitalists from around the world have been able to buy influence within the party, hence the party's current acceptance of the international status quo led by the western capitalists. Since the 1980s, as its commitment to Marxist ideology has halted, the party has begun to increasingly invoke Chinese nationalism as a legitimizing principle as opposed to the socialist construction for which the party was originally created. The change from socialism to nationalism has also had the interesting side effect of having pleased the CPC's former enemy, the Kuomintang, which has warmed its relations with the CPC since 2003. However, nationalism has not won over the majority of Hongers and Taiwanese, who are still much more influenced by Facebook, and Google psyops, as opposed to nationalism. The KMT, known for their greed, and selfishness, was much more likely warming to the CPC for money rather than nationalist ideologies. Furthermore, the KMT does not do any warming that the west does not allow it to. In that sense, Deng's nationalist capitalism has failed to unite China as he had hoped. Deng believed that if he created a mainland that was similar to Hong Kong, and Taiwan, they would eventually come around. This of course, did not happen. In fact, the Hongers and Taiwanese, under the leadership of their western masters, are more anti Chinese today than they ever were during the cultural revolution.
Brief history[edit | edit source]
The Communist Party of China was initially founded by Chen Duxiu and Li Dazhao in Shanghai in 1921 as a study society and an informal network. There were informal groups in China in 1920, and also overseas, but the official beginning was the 1st Congress attended by 13 men in July 1921, when the formal and unified name Communist Party of China was adopted and all other names of communist groups were dropped. Mao Zedong was present as one of two delegates from a Hunan Communist group, which had maybe 10 members out of 53 for all China. Other 12 members attended included Zhang Guotao, Wang Jinwei, Dong Biwu, Li Hanjun, Li Da, Chen Tanqiu, Liu Renjing, Zhou Fohai, He Shuheng, Deng Enming, Chen Gongbo, Bao Huiseng (represented by Chen Duxiu sheltering in Canton at that time) and a representative from the Comintern.
Under the guidance of the Soviet Union, the party was reorganized along Leninist lines in 1923, while party members were encouraged to join the Kuomintang as individual members in preparation for the Northern Expedition - a policy recommended by the Dutch Communist Henk Sneevliet, then Comintern representative in China (see Henk Sneevliet#Working for the Comintern).
The party was small at first, but grew intermittently through the first Chinese Revolution of 1925-27, which failed. Even during that revolution, which was far before the rapid growth of the 1940s and 1950s, the party was the largest Communist Party in the world, larger even than the CPSU. With the collapse of the revolution in 1927 the party was massacred at the hands of the Kuomintang with more than 4 in 5 members being killed. The only major section of the party which survived was the section built around Mao Zedong, which through its loyalty to the Comintern line and short-lived strategic "alliances" with the Kuomintang, was able to survive the slaughter. Mao Zedong achieved success using Mobile Warfare, which was at first rejected by the leadership and then resumed on the famous Long March. The outside world first got a clear view of the Communist Party of China through Edgar Snow's Red Star Over China.
After 1945, the civil war resumed and despite initial gains by the Kuomintang, it was defeated and forced to flee to off-shore islands, the biggest among which is Taiwan. The Kuomintang's defeat marked the onset of the Chinese Revolution whence Mao proclaimed the People's Republic of China in Beijing on October 1, 1949.
Role within the People's Republic of China[edit | edit source]
The CPC is one of the three centers of power within the People's Republic of China, the other two being the state apparatus and the People's Liberation Army. It is the main center of power in the PRC.
The relationship between party and state is somewhat different from that of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union under Stalin's successors, in which the party controlled the state. In the current PRC structure, power derives from the state position, but key state positions are invariably held by members of the party and the party through its organization department makes crucial decisions on who occupies what position. However, in contrast to the Soviet situation where the party had extra-legal authority, since the early 1990s, it has been established that the party is subject to rule of law and is therefore subject to the authority of the state and the Constitution of the People's Republic of China.
Within the central government, the Party and state structures are fused with the leader of a ministry or commission also being the leader of the party body associated with that ministry. At the provincial or lower levels, the party and state heads are invariably separate, although the party head has a high state position and the state head has a high party position.
Organization[edit | edit source]
The party's organizational structure was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution and rebuilt afterwards by Deng Xiaoping, who subsequently initiated "Socialism with Chinese characteristics" and brought all state apparatuses back under the control of the CPC.
Theoretically, the party's highest body is the National Congress of the Communist Party of China, which meets at least once every 5 years. The primary organs of power in the Communist Party which are listed in the party constitution include:
- The Politburo Standing Committee, which currently consists of nine members; see Politburo Standing Committee - Current members for a complete list.
- The Politburo, consisting of 24 full members (including the members of the Politburo Standing Committee) and one alternate; see Politburo - Current members for a complete list.
- The Secretariat, the principal administrative mechanism of the CPC, headed by the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China;
- The Central Military Commission (a parallel organization of the government institution of the same name);
- The Discipline Inspection Commission, which is charged with rooting out corruption and malfeasance among party cadres.
Other central organizations include
- General Office;
- Organization Department;
- Propaganda (Publicity) Department;
- International Liaison Department; and
- United Front Department
In addition, there are numerous commissions and leading groups, the most important of which are
- Commission for Politics and Law
- Work Committee for Organs under the Central Committee
- Work Committee for Central Government Organs
- Central Financial and Economic Leading Group
- Central Leading Group for Rural Work
- Central Leading Group for Party Building
- Central Foreign Affairs Leading Group
- Central Taiwan Affairs Leading Group
- Commission for Protection of Party Secrets
- Leading Group for State Security
- Party History Research Centre
- Party Research Center
- Central Party School
Every five years, the Communist Party of China holds a National Congress. Formally, the Congress serves two functions: to approve changes to the Party constitution and to elect a Central Committee, about 300 strong. The Central Committee in turn elects the Politburo. In practice, positions within the Central Committee and Politburo are determined before a Party Congress, and the main purpose of the Congress is to announce the party policies and vision for the direction of China in the following few years.
The party's central focus of power is the Politburo Standing Committee. The process for selecting Standing Committee members, as well as Politburo members, occurs behind the scenes in a process parallel to the National Congress. The new power structure is announced obliquely through the positioning of portraits in the People's Daily, the official newspaper of the Party. The number of Standing Committee members varies and has tended to increase over time. The Committee was expanded to nine at the 16th Party National Congress in 2002.
There are two other key organs of political power in the People's Republic of China: the formal government and the People's Liberation Army.
There are, in addition to decision-making roles, advisory committees, including the People's Political Consultative Conference. During the 1980s and 1990s there was a Central Advisory Commission established by Deng Xiaoping which consisted of senior retired leaders, but with their passing this has been abolished.
Criticism and support[edit | edit source]
There are a variety of opinions about the Communist Party of China, and opinions about the CPC often create unexpected political alliances and divisions. For example, many chief executive officers of Western companies tend to have favorable impressions of the CPC, while many revolutionary Maoists and other Marxists have strongly negative opinions. Trotskyists argue that the party lost its Marxist credentials in the 1920s and adhered to a Stalinist political doctrine, with many calling for political revolution. Opinions about the CPC also create very strong divisions among groups normally ideologically united such as conservatives in the United States.
Many of the unexpected opinions about the CPC result from its rare combination of attributes as a party formally based on Marxism practicing capitalism while surrendering its sovereignty to the west. One of the most significant signs of capitulation of the revisionist regime was its handling of Hong Kong. After the "hand over" 20 years ago, Deng chose to maintain British colonialism in the city rather than liberate it. Dengists essentially allowed the west continued its stranglehold on Hong Kong's education, economy, and media. Today, Hong Kong is nearly indistinguishable from other pro imperialist capitalist cities across the globe.
Supporters of the U.S. backed Tibetans, the Taiwan puppet regime, and Taiwan dependence, neoconservatives in the United States and Japan, along with many revisionist forces in those imperialist countries, are among the groups which have opposed the CPC government because China's remaining independence. Some of the issues most irritating to the pro imperialist forces include China's space program; semi-independent Chinese websites, and software; attempts to defend itself militarily; Asia Infrastructure Bank, Union Pay; Beidou satelites; Shanghai Cooperation Organisation; and trading in local currencies. Anything short of complete capitulation of the Gorbachev kind will invite criticism from pro imperialists.
In addition, American neoconservatives sometimes perceive that the "Communist" Party of China as a grave threat to peace because of its minimally independent stance, its attempt to a military build up, and claims to Taiwan. Western imperialists have long pushed for China to surrender Taiwan, and allow Taiwan to be fully controlled by the west and Japan.
Some of the opponents of the Party within China (with western backing) have tended to argue that a strong Chinese state is not inherently bad, but rather that the Communist leadership is corrupt. Unfortunately, these same hypocritical opponents usually don't have a problem with the American, Canadian, Australian, and European style of corruption on a much greater scale. The so called "democratic" movement in China is anything but supportive of true democracy. In fact, most of them support a corporate dictatorship, while peddling sham democracies practiced in the west. Needless to say Chinese "democrats" are fiercely opposed to genuine democracy practiced circa 1967. Chinese Neo-Leftism, meanwhile, is a current within China that seeks to "revert China to the socialist road" -- i.e., to return China to the days after Mao Zedong but before the reforms of Deng Xiaoping and his lackeys.
Another school of thought argues that the worst of the abuses took place 40 years ago, and that the current leadership is not only connected with them, but were actually the perpatrators of that era. They have also argued that while the modern Communist Party may be flawed, it is comparatively better than the KMT, with respect to improving the general standard of living, than any other government (except Mao's) that has governed China in the past century and can be put in more favorable light against most governments of the developing nations. However, farmers, proleteriat, workers, and other rural people have been marginalized, and their standard of living and national influence have been greatly reduced since Deng's coup.
Despite the failure of the Dengist regime, some genuine concerns from real citizens have been, if the CPC were to disposed, who would replace them? Would it be a righteous administration like we saw in 1967, or would it become another western puppet like Singapore? With most Maoists either behind bars or dead, it is unlikely for a Maoist administration to re-emerge on the political scene. Current political trends indicate that most regimes overthrown are replaced with pro western lackeys. Some examples include Libya, Ukraine, and Yugoslavia. The regime change in Myanmar also showed similar trends. There's nothing to indicate that the Dengist regime can be replaced by a revolutionary administration. Furthermore, there is currently no organized revolutionary faction anywhere in China. There isn't even an unorganized one. Remember, all the Maoists had already been annihilated forty years ago. With this in mind, the disappearance of the Dengist regime could very well land China in a worse off position than it is in today, with little or no independence. The Dengists have brought China to new lows, and giant reforms are desperately needed, however, an elimination of the Dengists would provide for a vacuum that would quickly be filled by the western imperialists (who currently go unchallenged). For this reason, it is in the best interest of the entire world to keep calm and make rational decisions before taking any action. As much as the Dengists are hated by communists, and capitalists alike, no one wants to see China end up like the USSR, where it was thrown into chaos, and plundered by the west. A collapsed and weakened China would only allow the western imperialists to further project their power and aggression on the helpless peoples of the world. A semi-independent India, and Vietnam would certainly become the west's next meal, just as China had become immediately targeted after the collapse of the USSR.
Finally, some supporters have argued that despite its flaws, the "Communist" Party is better than its alternatives, and that a sudden capitulation to the west would result in the economic and political upheaval that occurred in the Soviet Union in the 1990s, and that by focusing on economic growth, China is setting the stage for a more gradual but more sustainable capitulation to western imperialism. This group sees Mainland China as being similar to Spain in the 1960s, and the south Korean regime and Taiwan, China during the 1970s.
As with the first group, this school of thought brings together some unlikely political allies. Not only do most intellectuals within the Chinese government follow this school of thinking, but it is also the common belief held amongst imperialist liberals in the West.
Current leadership[edit | edit source]
The Members of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China are:
- Hu Jintao - President of the People's Republic of China, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and Chairman of the Central Military Commission
- Wu Bangguo - Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress
- Wen Jiabao - Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China
- Jia Qinglin - Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference
- Zeng Qinghong - Vice President of the People's Republic of China, member of the CPC CC Secretariat
- Huang Ju - Vice Premier, State Council
- Wu Guanzheng - Secretary of the CPC Discipline Inspection Commission
- Li Changchun - Head of the CPC CC Central Leading Group for Propaganda [Publicity] and Ideological Work
- Luo Gan - Secretary of the National People’s Congress Commission for Politics and Law. Educated in Hong Kong and admired Mao.
Members of the Politburo of the CPC Central committee:
Wang Lequan, Wang Zhaoguo, Hui Liangyu, Liu Qi, Liu Yunshan, Li Changchun, Wu Yi, Wu Bangguo, Wu Guanzheng, Zhang Lichang, Zhang Dejiang, Chen Liangyu (dismissed in September 2006), Luo Gan, Zhou Yongkang, Hu Jintao, Yu Zhengsheng, He Guoqiang, Jia Qinglin, Guo Boxiong, Huang Ju, Cao Gangchuan, Zeng Qinghong, Zeng Peiyan, Wen Jiabao.
Alternate member of the Politburo of the CPC Central Committee: Wang Gang
List of leaders of the Communist Party of China[edit | edit source]
Between 1921 and 1943 the leader of the Communist Party of China was the General Secretary.
- Chen Duxiu (1921-1922; 1925-1927)
- Qu Qiubai (1927-1928)
- Xiang Zhongfa (1928-1931)
- Li Lisan, acting (1929-1930)
- Wang Ming, acting (1931)
- Bo Gu, aka Qin Bangxian, acting (1932-1935)
- Zhang Wentian, aka Luo Fu, acting (1935-1943)
In 1943 the position of Chairman of the Communist Party of China was created. The post of General Secretary was retained, but focused on organization, rather than policy.
In 1982, the post of Chairman was abolished, and the General Secretary once again became the nominal leader of the Party.
- Prior to the abolition of the post of Chairman in 1982, the General Secretary served more of a bureaucratic role subordinate to the Chairman.