The Communist Party of China, which has over 89.48 million members, aims to be the world’s strongest political party, the state-media reported today while identifying corruption as a major challenge facing the party that has ruled the country since 1949. Ahead of the 19th CPC National Congress, where the party will unveil the new leadership that will rule the world’s second largest economy, Xinhua news agency said the global attention has once again shifted to China with the CPC as the centre of that attention. While President Xi Jinping, 64, is sure to get another five-year term as the General Secretary of the CPC at the Congress, China watchers say the meeting, slated for sometime in the fall, is an opportunity for him to install loyalists at key positions and shore up his legacy.
Over the years, the CPC has established an efficient organisational structure and strict party discipline, which helped it survive wars and revolutions and to continue to thrive after almost a century, Xinhua commented. The CPC’s leadership has repeatedly warned that the biggest threat to the party is corruption and the CPC must better serve the people and lead the second largest economy in the world, it noted. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, an anti-corruption campaign has swept across the country, putting at least 240 senior officials under investigation, it said referring to Xi’s anti-graft drive.
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“The campaign has reinforced people’s confidence in the Party,” it claimed while underlining that the CPC also has its own mission: to be the strongest party in the world. The CPC had a total of 89.447 million members at the end of 2016, the Organisation Department of the CPC Central Committee said in July ahead of the 96th anniversary of the Party’s founding on July 1. The CPC membership increased by 688,000 from 2015, up 0.8 per cent. In 2016, the CPC recruited 1.911 million new members, 54,000 less than 2015. “Under the CPC’s leadership and endeavours of the generations of party members, China’s progress in social development has made the party an example to all and the world looks forward to its contribution to global governance,” the Xinhua report said.
“To meet the people’s desire for a happy life is our mission,” Xi had said after being elected as the General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee in 2012. More than 700 million people have been lifted out of poverty in China since 1978. In the past more than four years alone, China has seen over 55 million reach a reasonable standard of living, the report said. “Throughout its history, the CPC has debunked and defanged so many prejudices and stereotypes. Now, as China finds itself at a critical point of its revival, the world is waiting to see how the CPC continues to impress,” it added.