Party attractive to patriotic young 90 years later

The statistics released by the Organization Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) showed that around 3.07 million people joined the Party last year. 

About 40.2 percent new members, totalling 1.23 million, are university students. Approximately 2.52 million were younger than 35 years old, taking up 81.8 percent of the total. 

A recent survey conducted by the Ministry of Education also indicated that an amazing 80 percent of the polled 25,000 students from 140 universities were willing to join the Party. 

The data implies that becoming a Party member is an important move for young people today. I believe the choice to join the ruling party is similar to that made by young people 70 years ago, when the Party was a renegade group fighting a partisan war. 

Then patriotic youths hiked for hundreds of miles through the wind and rain to join the Party. No fewer than 2,288 young people traveled to the Communist stronghold of Yan’an, Shaanxi Province from May to August in 1938. The number hit 40,000 between 1937 and 1938. 

“The gate of Yan’an was open day and night. Numerous youths from all corners, carrying luggage on their back, passed through the gate with their great eagerness to join the Party.” That was how He Qifang, a celebrated poet during the early period of the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-45), depicted young people’s enthusiasm for the Party.

Many Chinese students studying in the US and Europe returned China in 1949, when the PRC had just been founded. 

Nearly 400 Chinese students in the US and 200 in Britain out of the total 300 went back in 1949. A total number of 1,536 overseas students returned by the end of 1955 to build new China and extend their career. It was patriotism that drew them back rather than the lure of luxury cars, connections to officials, or the chance to make power for money deals.

The life of a person is limited. Only by integrating our individuality to the group can we overstep our own narrow boundaries. As Lei Feng, long upheld as a model for young people in China, has put it “only in an ocean can a drop of water remain.” Similarly, only those who strive for others’ interests can really sense the value of life. 
No blood needs to be shed and no choice must be made between life and death now. 

It is undeniable that a small group of young people today, enticed by materialism and consumerism, are joining the Party because of the lure of power or profits. However, the Party, the heart of China’s political life, thanks to 90 years of effort and experimentation, is the captain that steers the giant ship on which 1.3 billion people are embarked. Such an authoritative position is irrefutable and irreplaceable. 

To join the Party is a choice that is in agreement with the target of serving the nation and the people, even for young people who are living in a peaceful time today.  

The average age of 13 members who attended the first plenary meeting of the CPC in 1921 was 28. The Party has been a youthful one since its establishment. The spirit of young people enthusiastic about socialist and nationalist ideals still drives the country forward. 

The author is a commentator on current events.

Source: Global Times

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