Are CCP Claims of Growing Membership Real?
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) recently announced its total membership has grown to 70.8 million, 1.7 percent higher than last year. Local Party organizations also reported an increase compared with last year. What does this data suggest? Radio Free Asia reporter An Pei invited Mr. Liao Shuanyuan, an independent analyst from Guizhou Province, and Mr. Chen Yangchao, a Chinese politics researcher in Denmark and the author of the book On Privilege, for a discussion.
Reporter: The CCP’s official media, Xinhua News Agency, reported that its members have increased to more than 70 million, owing to its campaign “Maintaining the Advancement of the Party.” The Party has thus reinforced its cohesive force and combat effectiveness. First, let me ask you, Mr. Liao, what do you think of this number?
Liao Shuangyuan: It is absolutely a false report. In the grand tide of resignation from the CCP, it was reduced by 11 million. I feel the CCP is rushing to recruit many new members, but the number is not as many as they say.
Reporter: What you mean is that the total number of CCP members is less than 70 million, right?
Liao: I estimate around 50 million so far. There have been so many people quitting the CCP, Communist Youth League (CYL) and the Communist Young Pioneers (CYP) in the last two years. In the country, there have also been many corrupted officials whose member ships were revoked by the Chinese communist regime, rather than making their own withdrawals. The CCP has purged one or two million corrupt officials from its own organs,
Reporter: Mr. Chen Yangchao, what’s your opinion?
Chen Yangchao: I think it’s not the numbers, but what the numbers are telling you. Mr. Liao lives in the country and knows the situation better. He just mentioned the social impact and influence of the “Quitting the CCP” movement. Some may have quit the CCP through the Quitting the CCP Service Centers, but they didn’t do it openly for fear of losing their jobs in China. Such cases may exist.
“There are too many corrupt officials, but the CCP tries to protect and keep many of them.”
Facing the huge wave of resignations from the CCP, the CCP has been thrown into confusion and is rushing to recruit new members. It acts as the Kuomintang did before its collapse, trying to get people to join the party in large numbers. The CCP wants to conceal the threat of the tide of the Party resignations by making up these numbers.
Reporter: According to the report of the Chinese official news agency, there were 3,520,000 local organizations of the CCP at the end of 2005. Such basic-level Party organizations have extended to new layers of society, including cities, streets, villages and townships. In addition, 98 percent of non-state owned enterprises have established Party organizations. Mr. Liao, what do you think of this?
Liao: The Party was established on July 1, 1927. At this time every year, it organizes similar activities. It reports a few party members’ remarkable stories on television every day for propaganda purposes. CCTV reports these few people in prime time. It just tries to deify the leadership of the CCP and maintain its ruling power forever.
There are too many corrupt officials, but the CCP tries to protect and keep many of them. Every local organization has certain connections with the higher organization. They won’t reveal small incidents. But in the big cases, when people discover and want to impeach them as in the Taishi village incident, they would purge some to clean house a bit and later replenish some. This case alone indicates that corrupt Party members are very common in the local Party organizations. Their reasons for joining the Party are clear: if they have a chance to earn profits, they will not let it pass.
Reporter: According to Xinhua News Agency, Party organizations have been established in 98 percent of the private enterprises with more than 50 employees. What’s your opinion on this, Mr. Chen Yingchao?
Chen: The Communist Party is a tyrannical Party that has control of the entire national machine. Therefore it can simply establish a Party Committee at any place it desires. The entire national apparatus is in its hands and there is no resisting power to monitor and restrain it. It can set up as many Party organizations as it wants. That’s not a big deal.
“Many veteran Communist Party members have been sick of the Communist Party’s behavior for a long time. Some say, ‘It’s the biggest mistake of my life to have joined the CCP.'”
In addition, although it sounds possible that the Party has established its organizations in many private enterprises for better control and manipulation, the problem is that the CCP’s entire grassroots organizations are essentially in a disabled state. Regardless of how many Party organizations it has established, they wouldn’t have any effect because people don’t listen to its old stuff anymore. In the past, people believed the Party’s idealology, and believed that they were working hard to realizing communist ideals. But now the truth has been brought into daylight and Chinese people have realized that the CCP are liars and bandits. Who would listen to them anymore?
Reporter: Both of you have mentioned the huge wave of withdrawal from the CCP. Everyone knows that the Party withdrawal movement refers to registering at the Tuidang (Quit the CCP) website of the overseas Chinese-language media The Epoch Times – including resignation from the CCP, the CYL and the CYP. Many people overseas have published the three withdrawals. Mr.Liao Shuangyuan, is this three-withdrawals movement really so influential in China, and does it pose any threat to the CCP?
Liao: Spreading the news does play an important role. I heard that some old people would get up and do exercises very early in the morning everyday, and they would bring a radio with them and listen to overseas radio stations including Voice of America to get the most updated news like these.
As far as I know, many old people who are veteran Communist Party members have been sick of the Communist Party’s behavior for a long time. Speaking of the numbers of the people withdrawing from the CCP, some old people say, “It’s the biggest mistake of my life to have joined the CCP.” For instance, in the area of Guiyang City, Guizhou Province, I have over 100 relatively close friends who dislike the social system and the current society, and they say the biggest stain in their lives was to join the CCP.
“Some young people believe that only by joining the Party can they get promotions and have a promising future. When these kinds of people join the Party, instead of supplementing it with fresh elements, they actually speed up its corruption and collapse.”
Most of them have withdrawn from the Party and have stopped taking part in any Party activities for more than 20 years. This is mainly because they detest the new young Party secretaries who have been harvesting a great deal of benefits and self-interest. They are irreconcilable with the corrupt officials.
Reporter: Mr. Chen Yingchao, do you have anything to add? According to the data published by Xinhua news agency, among the newly joined Party members, more than 700,000 were students. This indicates the overall structure of the CCP has changed. Students now account for almost 30 percent, while soldiers and armed police account for less than 10 percent and army officials for less than 10 percent. Do you think this phenomenon is worthy of remark?
Chen: I have a point to make. First of all, I agree with Mr. Liao’s statement that the CCP has become divided, meaning there are idealistic Party members who have become completely different people, abhorring the bribery and corruption that’s currently rampant in the country, and therefore their minds aren’t with the Party anymore.
What I want to add is that now there are the people who have joined the Party because the Party lures people with benefits. In today’s Chinese society, you won’t get promoted if you don’t join the Party! Some young and ignorant people believe that only by joining the Party can they get promotions and have a promising future. When these kinds of people join the Party, instead of supplementing it with fresh elements, they actually speed up its corruption and collapse. In young students’ case, as soon as the situation changes, with an instinctive reaction to new things, these young people will regret and repent immediately. Therefore for the Chinese Communist Party, it is drawing close to the end of its days and cannot be saved!
(Compiled from Radio Free Asia)