The continuing evolution of the ruling body

One truth, has been upheld by the CPC as its primary principle of governance — though the West is habitually selectively ignorant to it — that is the Mass Line, which means that everything the CPC does is for the people, depends on the people, and that the CPC comes from the people and serves the people.

No matter how much effort the CPC has made to build a new society since 1949, the continuity with its existence prior to 1949 is still there.

How the CPC has ruled the most populous country for more than six decades originates from its early struggle for power.

Propelled by China’s peasants’ strong desire for land ownership and the middle class’ insatiable longing for national independence, the CPC defeated the Nationalist Party of China in the civil war from 1946 to 1949, because of its overwhelming grassroots support. 

Today the CPC still benefits tremendously from the legacy of revolutionary times. Party committees at various levels run throughout the social strata, from the very top in Beijing to remote villages and shabby city slums.

The 78 million CPC members are no longer labeled as the pioneers of the proletarian struggle. They play multiple roles in daily lives as workers, peasants, teachers, engineers, etc. A complete harmonious coexistence of Party members and average citizens ensures the stability and adaptability of the CPC’s ruling system, which is necessary for developing countries.

Cementing together the giant governance structure, the Party system and affiliated administration units are extremely responsive to natural and social crises. It is the reason the Chinese government displays such marvelous efficiency in dealing with daunting tasks, such as relief efforts after earthquakes and floods, as well as its impressive executive capacity in mobilizing national resources in organizing grand events, such as, the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Alert to suffering and demands, the wide-spread Party branches, like nerve ends, quickly transfer spasms of discontent from the bottom up and pass the mandates from the brain downward just as swiftly.  Thanks to the growth of the Internet use in China, timely interactions between civil society and the central authorities have been incorporated and are greatly encouraged within this evolving governance system.

The decision-makers at various levels of Party committees and governments have no choice but act promptly to address the people’s concerns. And the CPC is apt to solve dynamic problems arising during the process of development with development itself, because it is a consensus of all Chinese people that this country cannot afford to waste time in marching forward any more.

After more than a century of setbacks since the First Opium War in 1840, when China was forced to respond to challenges from the West, progressing with timely pragmatic adjustments to changing circumstances has proved to be the only reasonable path for China to follow.

The CPC is now at a crucial point in the country’s development as it explores, with the people, the best way to build a better country for the people. There is no one model that can be followed, because national conditions vary from country to country, and globalization makes any “model” untenable. 

The CPC secured its political power during the civil war because of their better understanding of and responding to the people.

The CPC is anything but static and stagnant, millions of people, mainly college graduates and young workers from all kinds of backgrounds, apply to join the Party each year. Its representative and legitimacy are beyond doubt, as source the intra-Party democracy is continually boosted with the influx of new blood and the constantly enlarging Party membership. 

All enduring ruling Parties of good governance around the world know how to adapt their governances and themselves to changing circumstances without changing their political principles.

Abraham Lincoln devoted his life to build a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Almost 100 years later, Mao Zedong, one of the founding fathers of the CPC, developed almost the same concept for his comrades in 1929 with the Mass Line, but he further defined it by making it a bedrock principle of the CPC.

By Li Yang, PhD who is with China Daily




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