People’s Daily, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s mouthpiece, published an editorial on June 30th to mark the 91st anniversary of the founding of the CCP. Usually, the CCP takes such an occasion to give important instructions to its members and the Chinese people.
In spite of the CCP’s growth into a huge party with over 80 million members, and in spite of its economic successes and technological achievements in recent manned space rendezvous and over 7,000-meter deep-sea dive, the editorial warns against the following four perils:
1. Sluggish mindset. What? Have you seen any sluggish CCP members? Quite a few CCP members are seen or reported in media to be working hard to become rich, even by corrupt means such as graft, taking bribes, embezzlement, etc. In this respect, they are certainly not sluggish.
Corrupt CCP members, though large in number, after all constitute a small percentage. Lots of CCP members are loyal to the Party and honest. See, how active, vigorous and aggressive they are in persecuting dissidents to protect the CCP. In their enthusiasm to protect the Party, they substitute their rules for China’s national law. As some Shandong officials proudly said, they had their local rules and are justified to ignore national law.
However, do not think that they are creative, able to formulate their rules to replace national ones. Their ways of persecution are not invention. They are simply copies of Chinese feudal rulers’ traditional ways. This leads to the second peril.
2. Lack of ability. This certainly does not refer to some elite Party members such as the heads of the various factions in the Party. Even losers in power struggle who have fallen into disgrace, are not incompetent. For example, Bo Xilai, he is so competent to have achieved successes in his posts as Liaoning party boss, Minister of Commerce and Chongqing party boss that he was for a time regarded as a rising star.
However, we cannot deny that due to poverty and backwardness, lots of the 80 million party members have not received much education. That certainly has caused their lack of ability, but I doubt that such lack of ability constitutes a peril to the the party’s survival.
Why then the editorial gives first and second priority to the two perils. We have to see the meaning between the words. The sluggishness and lack of ability refer specially to their sluggishness and lack of ability in carrying out the party central authority’s policies
The sluggishness and lack of ability in fact means they are unwilling to carry out the policies and even invent excuses to refuse to carry out the policies.
3. Being divorced from the masses of people. That is a very serious problem but you cannot see it on the surface of the wording. It does not mean that party members are divorced from the masses of people, but means that they become the masse of people’s enemy.
Every year, thousands of mass protests broke out because of official infringement on people’s rights and interests. The most notorious is the land grabs. If the party fails to put an end to its members’ such malpractices, it survival may really be threatened.
4. The fourth. We are used to saying “the last but not the least”, but this last is the most serious peril, namely official corruption and passive attitude towards corruption.
It was a major cause for the collapse of dynasties in Chinese history. It is interesting that when I was young, the party taught us in schools that corruption was the major cause that Chiang Kai-shek’s KMT Party was defeated by the communists in spite of substantial US support. Now, the communists may fall just like Chiang if it fails to overcome corruption.
However, as long as its central authority is aware of that and keeps on its efforts to deal with it, the party will not collapse. If China has become even stronger so that the later generation of party leadership becomes arrogant and neglected the issue, then collapse will be unavoidable.
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