Chinese Communist Party Seeks to Extend Its Reach

June 2, 2015 Updated: June 2, 2015

Chinese leader Xi Jinping is looking to extend the Communist Party’s control over both state and non-Party organizations in China via a new regulation.

In a Politburo meeting on May 29, so-called “Party Groups” are required to be set up in “state organs, economic, cultural as well as social organizations, and other non-Party units,” according to regime mouthpiece Xinhua.

These Party Groups are to be “important channels to guarantee the implementation of the line and policies of the Party and the system must be strengthened and improved,” Xinhua said.

The new regulation, Xinhua adds, aims to “standardize the work of leading Party members’ groups, strengthen CPC’s leadership and improve CPC’s capability of governance.”

Party Groups (dangzu) and other Party organs, including Party Committees, have long been part of state-run companies and government agencies, but the new regulation appears aimed at extending their reach and power.

Political analyst feel that the recent mandate was an attempt to heighten Party discipline across all organizations, state institutions, and places of employment.

Hu Xingdou, an economist at Beijing University of Technology, told Hong Kong English language newspaper South China Morning Post that Party groups are being implemented to address rampant corruption and to reassert the Party’s authority.

But Hu is skeptical that the new regulation will bring a “breakthrough” in the current situation where cadres do things “according to their own will,” according to the Post.

Xi Jinping has been steadily stamping the Party’s authority over policymaking since assuming the mantle of China’s leader in 2012, reversing a more hands-off approach that started in the 1980s under premier Deng Xiaoping.

This trend “creates difficulties for businesses and investors attempting to predict the direction of policy and formulate strategies for the China market,” writes Trey McArver, a London-based consultant on China in his blog, China Politics Weekly.