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China’s First Batch of Graduates with Masters Degree in United Front Studies

The Central Institute of Socialism (CIS), the Chinese Communist Party’s training and education facility for its officials, recently saw its very first batch of graduate students receiving Master’s degrees with a major in united front studies. The program is a joint effort between CIS and Shandong University and was launched in 2015.

The united front is an alliance of groups against {communism’s} common enemies. They employ a tactic that socialism and communism have carried out in their revolutionary political and/or military campaigns. The Comintern, an international communist organization that former Soviet communists created in the wake of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution first developed the theory.

According to the thesis of the 1922 4th World Congress of the Comintern:

“The united front tactic is simply an initiative whereby the Communists propose to join with all workers belonging to other parties and groups and all unaligned workers in a common struggle to defend the immediate, basic interests of the working class against the bourgeoisie.”

Chinese Communists extensively adopted this tactic during communism’s earlier years, before 1949, when carrying out propaganda and military campaigns against Nationalists. In later years, it also used the united front in its international politics, such as the recent attempts to ally with the European nations and to strike back at the tariffs that the U.S. imposed. According to the Jamestown Foundation, “The United Front Work Department (中共中央统一战线工作部) is the department of the CCP charged with consolidating support for Party policies among non-CCP members, including among individuals of Chinese descent overseas. It is has long been a key, albeit well concealed, element of the CCP’s foreign policy.”

The majority of studies on the united front at CIS include four fields of research: the theory and policy of the united front, China’s system of political parties, the theories of ethnic groups and religions in the united front, China’s traditional political thought, and the culture of the united front. In Shandong University, the program is housed in the School of Political Science and Public Administration, a subsidiary program under Political Science. Since its launch in 2015, the program has recruited 38 doctoral and 50 masters degree students.

Li Jinhe, a professor at CIS, said, “The united front is the study of the laws regarding the governance of the Chinese Communist Party. This is very important.”


1. Central Institute of Socialism, July 4, 2018
2. Jamestown Foundation, June 19, 2018.