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Chinese Communist Party Committees in Private-Owned Enterprises

According to China’s annual statistics, during the past 20 to 30 years, private companies or non-government-owned economic entities have been growing in number and represent a larger portion in the country’s economy. The word “private enterprise” usually means a private-owned enterprise like the ones in modern western countries. However, things in China are different from the rest of the world. That difference is justified by using the explanation, “Chinese characteristics.” For “private enterprises,” “Chinese characteristics” means that the Communist Party organization is established within the company.

The following translations are excerpts from several reports or documents from inside China. The development of CCP Committees in China’s private sector is not just an individual phenomenon, but applies to many companies. As one of the articles below [1] states, “After the 16th Session of the National People’s Congress (NPC), the important ‘Three Represents’ (Editor’s Comment: the “Three Represents, first propounded by Jiang Zemin on February 25, 2002, suggests that the Party represents China’s production capacity, China’s advanced culture, and the broad majority, thus legitimizing the inclusion of members of the business class, i.e. capitalists, into the party.) was written into the party constitution. More and more private entrepreneurs have initiated demands to set up party committees within their companies and accept leadership from the higher ranking party committee.” Thus the CCP’s control of enterprises does not distinguish between the private and the public sectors.

 “Some Private Enterprise Owners Violate the Rule by ‘Being an Official and Owning a Business at the Same Time’” [2]

The “Chinese Private Sector Yearbook (June 2006 – June 2008),” edited by the All China Federation of Industry and Commerce and the China Private Sector Economics Research Committee, showed that, at present, private enterprise’s enthusiasm for participation in politics is very high. However, the government prohibits officials from running a private business. Nevertheless, an investigation found out that some enterprise owners are province-level party committee members.

The All China Federation of Industry and Commerce indicated that this investigation focused on private enterprise owners’ participation in politics, and, in particular, on four party positions: being a government official, and membership in the National People’s Congress, in the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, and in the CCP Committee. The results showed that being a member of the National People’s Congress or the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference is the main way to participate the politics. A total of 2,101 persons held these two memberships, which was 51.5% of the total enterprise owners interviewed. Of the 1,372 CCP members interviewed who were enterprise owners, 28.3% were party representatives at different levels, 15 persons were province-level party representatives and 7 were state-level.

205 CCP member enterprise owners held different levels in party leadership agencies, or 14.9% of the total CCP member enterprise owners. Among them, 4 were province-level party committee members and 61 were county and township deputy party leaders.

Xinhua Net, June 1, 2004, “A China Private Enterprise Establishes Highest ‘Rank’ Party Committee” [1]

With 620 million of property, entrepreneur Wang Junyao is not a CCP member.  Nevertheless, he decided to establish a CCP Party Committee as an experiment at his company. On June 1, 2004, the Chinese Communist Party Junyao Group Limited Corporation Committee was established in China. This is the highest “rank” in the CCP party committee in the Chinese private sector.

There are 290,000 private companies in Shanghai. This was the first private enterprise with its Communist Party Committee reporting directly to the Shanghai Party Committee for Social Work.

At the inauguration ceremony, the Junyao Group Limited Chairman, 37-year-old Wang Junyao, bestowed a golden rudder on the company party committee. He said, “This symbolizes that Chinese private enterprises’ development is following the route that the party sets."

It was reported that after the CCP Junyao Committee was established, on the one hand, it had to report regularly to the Shanghai Party Committee for Social Work, actively enroll more people into the party and organize regular party activities; on the other hand it had to guide and supervise the enterprise to ensure that it did business according to the law, and did well on "participation as an executive."

After the 16th Session of the National People’s Congress (NPC), the important "Three Represents" was written into the party constitution. More and more private entrepreneurs have initiated demands to set up party committees within their companies and accept leadership from the higher ranking party committee.

Living abroad in the US, Xue Xingfa, the chairman of the well-known private company in Harbin, the Xuanyuan Group Limited, recently established a party committee in the company. Xue Xingfa thought that the quality of the CCP members was higher and could play a role at critical times. He hopes "all of his employees can be raised to become party members."

In the Nanjing SVT Group Limited, 7% of its employees are CCP members, but 40% of those with a higher rank are CCP members. Chairman Yan Xiaoqun observed, “This indicates that CCP members are the nucleus that the company’s development must rely on.”

Wang Anshun, the Deputy Chairman of the Shanghai Party Committee said at the inauguration ceremony of the CCP Junyao Committee, “Actively building party committees in the private sector complies with the CCP Party’s Constitution and will constantly consolidate the party’s ruling foundation.”

The Speech of Tian Zhijian, member of the Shannxi Province Long County Party Committee, and the County’s Organization Minister, on Inauguration of the Long County Private Enterprise Association Party Committee [3]

 (We) must continue to pay special attention to party committee building in the private-owned enterprises. After the Private Enterprise Association Party Committee is founded, (we) must further find out the private enterprises’ actual situations in the county and the town regions. Considering their real situations, (we) divide them into different categories and do well on establishing party committees. Whenever one (private company) matures, one (party committee) will be set up; after it is set up, it will be consolidated. As soon as possible, (we) must achieve that private economic organizations with more than 50 employees have party members, the ones with more than100 employees have a party organization, and the ones with more than three party members establish party branches. (We) must adopt different kinds of establishment methods, such as independent establishment, assistant establishment, joint establishment, regional establishment and key assignment establishment etc., to build the party organization throughout the private enterprise and to eliminate "dead corners" or "blank spots." Thus, all the private enterprises that meet the requirement, and should establish party organizations, will build up their party organizations. It practically solves the problems of the enterprises that have no party member, or that have party members but no party activities. The private enterprises without party organizations could appoint liaison officers or political instructors to strengthen guidance on setting up party organizations. Regarding the newly established private enterprises, (we should ask them) to consider setting up a party organization simultaneously.

The job of enrolling new party members must be done well. The association party committee should make a plan to generate new party members, and increase the dynamics on developing activists. The technical experts and the young outstanding people in the front lines are the key candidates for party membership. Through organizations like the Communist Youth Leagues, the unions and the Women’s Federation, the activist troop could be expanded and special candidates could be chosen. The mature and outstanding people could be enrolled promptly in the party member troop following the "16 characters" policy (Editor’s Note: it refers to the new Party member recruitment policy: stick to the standards, ensure quality, improve structure [the age, education level, work positions, etc. of the Party members], and cautiously recruit), and unceasingly pour fresh blood into the private economy party organizations.

First, (we) must strengthen leadership and carry out responsibilities. Each related party organization must include work for establishing the party organization in  private enterprises on its agenda. The investigation and study should be carried out carefully, the plan should be laid out, and the responsibilities should be clear and to be carried into different layers. The party building connection system for private enterprises must be established and meetings for the party building work on private enterprises must be held regularly. The lessons learned can be summarized as the work goes forward. The county Industry and Commerce Bureau party organization must fulfill the substitute management responsibility and assign a special person to be responsible for this work. It must grasp the party building work in private enterprises in hand, especially the work on the Private Enterprise Association Party Committee, and keep up the work constantly.

Third, the troops must be constructed well and keep up the work constantly. For private enterprises, the leaders of the party organizations, the party members and the people who actively want to join the party must be categorized and trained; they should be included into the integrated training plan for all the county party member cadres. The association party committee must increase the selection dynamics on the party branch secretaries in the basic units and select the outstanding party members with good political quality, strong organizing skills, understanding of management and operation and who are good at doing the staff’s ideology work, and then promptly appoint them to the party organization’s leadership posts in the private enterprises. The outstanding cadres should be chosen and transferred to strengthen the party building operating mechanism in the private enterprises. At the same time, retired party cadres are encouraged to accept party affairs work in the private enterprises. In brief, (we) must construct a troop that meets the requirement for private enterprise party building and with sufficient party affairs cadres to create the condition to do the private enterprise party building work well.

[1] Xinhua Net, June1, 2004
 [2] The Beijing News, March 27, 2009
 [3] Shannxi Province Long County Organization Department