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Establishing and Building up Party Organizations within State-Owned and Private Enterprises

On November 16, 2009, reported “to implement the requirement of the party’s Fourth Plenary Session of the Seventeenth Central Committee to build party organizations in non-publicly-owned economic organizations, the Organization Department of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCCCP) and the CCCCP’s Steering Team Office of In-depth Study and Practice of the Concept of Scientific Development recently issued a joint notice, calling for further promotion of the establishment of party subsidiary organizations in non-publicly-owned economic organizations, while conducting in-depth study and practice of the Concept of Scientific Development." [1] Regarding publicly owned enterprises as well, “To ensure that the enterprises are always under their party’s leadership, we must create an organizational establishment, and strongly push for the model that ‘every subsidiary and division of an enterprise has a corresponding party branch’ … wherever a business identity develops, the party organization and organizational work will also go.”

"The notice called for a full understanding of the importance of further promotion of the establishment of party subsidiary organizations in non-publicly-owned economic organizations. The non-publicly-owned economic organizations are a crucial component of the party’s grass-roots organizational work. In recent years, the work of party buildup in non-publicly-owned economic organizations has been vigorously advanced, but generally speaking there is still weakness, such as limited coverage of the party organizations and widely existent ‘difficulties in launching activities and playing effective roles.’” [1]

"(The noticed required that) in non-publicly-owned economic organizations with three or more party members, a grass roots party organization is to established; those with less than three party members can either partner with organizations in the same region or industry to set up a joint party organization or rely on industry and business federations, self-employment associations, private enterprise associations, trade associations, and industrial leaders to institute a party branch. Those that qualify for the conditions to have party organizations should do it actively and timely. For those non-publicly-owned economic organizations that for the time being do not meet the conditions to establish a party branch on their own, a higher level party organization can dispatch a political instructor to create the conditions for the establishment of a party branch in the future." [1]

"Additionally, the notice stressed to pick the right person to be in charge of the party organization in non-publicly-owned economic organizations, especially the secretaries. It emphasized to appoint to the leading positions those who have a strong party character, understand business operations, are capable of management, and are good at working with people. For the economic organizations that do not have a suitable candidate, after consultation with the company, the higher party branches may recommend or appoint someone for the job. … A timely adjustment is needed where those persons in charge of party branches are not competent to hold their position." [1]

"The notice also called for playing effective roles in the grass roots party organizations in non-publicly-owned economic organizations. … (It required) improving the education, management, supervision, and services for the party members in the non-publicly-owned economic organizations. (The notice asked to) do a good job in actively and steadily recruiting party members in non-publicly-owned economic organizations, to pay close attention to enrolling party members among people who work on the frontline of production as well as among the outstanding youth, to discover, train, and recommend talented people, and to strengthen the education and training of those who are active in joining the party to ensure the quality of new party members. … (It expected to) further improve the leadership and guidance of the party organizations in non-publicly-owned economic organizations, and effectively resolve issues such as the lack of operating funds and lack of activity venues." [1]

Prior to this, on July 2, 2009, published another article by Zhong Youping, a member of the party branch of the State Administration of Industry & Commerce (SAIC). Zhong Youping “asked the party branches at all levels below SAIC as well as party branches of all the associations of private firms, to adapt to local conditions and times, and actively advance the party buildup in private firms." "Zhong Youping requested that the party branches of all the industrial and commercial authorities and private firm associations focus especially on larger enterprises, and take effective approaches to expand the coverage of party organizations. The enterprises that do not yet meet the conditions to establish a party branch on their own may adopt formats such as ‘joint formation with other enterprises,’ ‘joint formation with local communities,’ and ‘relying on trade associations, under the guidance of the organization department." "Zhong Youping emphasized that the party branches of the industrial and commercial authorities should establish party organizations, conditional on consent from the organization department of the local party committees and relying on private enterprise associations at each level. They should timely enroll the mobile party members from private enterprises in grass roots party organizations, so as to reduce the ‘blind spots’ and ‘blank spots’ of party coverage.” [2]

Last year, there were special instructions from the higher authorities at the CCCCP, calling for strengthening the ideological and political work of people from the non-publicly-owned enterprises. Owners of some private enterprises seemed to show positive responses to “political trainings to enhance ideological and political enlightenment” by saying “This makes the corporate direction more clear; we will just follow the party.” [3] Some said that this policy can “develop and strengthen a team in private enterprises that will firmly support the party’s leadership and unswervingly take the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics.” [3]. On November 8, 2009, Global Times under People’s Daily reported that, driven by Weng Jieming, Chongqing City’s Municipal CCP Committee member and chief of Chongqing’s United Front Department, the Chairman of Chongqing’s Creative Business Association, Zhou Jin, on behalf of Chongqing’s Association of Industry and Commerce, signed the ‘Cooperative Agreement for an Advanced Training Course for Representatives of Non-Public Enterprises in Chongqing, with the Central Party School, sending a group of 59 representatives from private firms to the Central Party School for a week long training.” “In the organizer’s view, this ‘Advanced Training Course for Representatives of Private Enterprises’ was to be very significant for the enterprises to be in sync with the government on ideology.” The report quoted the class leader of the training, the chairman of Chongqing Construction Materials Business Association, and CEO of the Ao’yun Group, Sun Renyuan, who said, “This was not only a power charge, but an opportunity for us to upgrade our political consciousness and accurately steer the direction of private enterprise development.” The report said at the end, “In fact, as early as 2001, there was a ‘fever’ for owners of private enterprises across the country to go and study at the Central Party School. The ‘External Training Center’ under the Central Party School, responsible for giving short trainings and ad hoc classes, was also established that year. According to their data, since then, nearly ten thousand private enterprises owners have attended these training courses." [3]

Compared to building party organizations in the private enterprises, the CCP’s policy in state-owned enterprises is to ensure that these businesses are always under the party’s leadership. [4] As for how to maintain the core position of the party in the state-owned enterprises, on August 27, 2009, People’s Daily published a commentator’s article, stressing “firmly establishing the party branch as the political core in the governing structure of state-owned enterprises is a valuable experience learned from 30 years of reform and practice, as well as an important principle that must be strictly followed while strengthening and improving party development work in state-owned enterprises. It reflects the distinctive character and requirements of the modern Chinese state-owned enterprise system." [5]

"The basic channel for the party branches to play a core political role is to actively participate in the decision making process on the enterprises’ major issues. Party branches in enterprises should focus on major issues, the big picture, and a clear direction. For major decisions and important personnel appointments and removals that matter for the overall reform and development of the enterprise, as well as critical issues that involve personal interests of the employees, the party branches should give serious study and discussion, and put forward opinions and suggestions. In order to participate in the decision-making process on major issues, it is necessary to strengthen the buildup of the system, make the issues transparent, standardize the procedures, and improve the mechanisms. On one hand, this will assure the board’s unified decision making power on major issues. On the other hand, the opinions of the party branches are respected and reflected in the decisions, (representing) a real combination of the party organization’s participation with the board’s decision making on major issues." [5]

"The key for the party branches to play a core political role is to perform a leading role in the selection and appointment of personnel. The leading role is reflected in the party branches’ determination of standards of hiring, and also in recommending candidates, improving the evaluation system, strengthening supervision and management, training reserve personnel, and so on. Adhere to the principles of the party’s managing cadres, combined with the board’s selection of managerial talent and managers deploying personnel; also adhere to the principles of the party recommending hires, combined with market oriented hiring of managerial personnel. Vigorously advance the reform of the human resource system to make enterprise personnel selection and appointments institutionalized and standardized with proper procedures, so as to both adapt to the requirement of the corporate governance structure and ensure the party’s leading role in the selection and appointment of hires inside the enterprise.” [5]

“The fundamental requirement for the party branches to play a core political role is to assure and supervise the implementation of the nation’s principles and policies inside the enterprise. The party organizations in the enterprises should not only pay attention to supervision of human resources, finance, and materials, and of key personnel in the enterprises, but also strengthen the supervision of how well the enterprises are carrying out the Concept of Scientific Development and national policies. The party should push the enterprises to play their leading role in national economic growth and carry out their political and social responsibilities.” [5]

"Truly carrying out the party branches’ core political role in the corporate structure of state-owned enterprises cannot be done without the support of necessary policies and mechanisms. … It is necessary to build an operational mechanism to ensure that the party organizations will give full play to their central political role. … The party has superiority on political ideology, leadership, and experience working with people. Only if adjustment is first made on the operation mechanism, can these advantages of the party (enhance) the core competitiveness of the state-owned enterprises. In turn, the party branches’ core political position will be consolidated, the party’s development work will become a crucial part of the values of the enterprise, and the party branches will truly become an integral part of the modern state-owned enterprise system with Chinese characteristics." [5]

The published an article on October 12, 2009, detailing the measures to maintain the core political position of the party branches. “To ensure that the enterprises are always under their party’s leadership, we must create an organizational establishment, and strongly push for the model that ‘every subsidiary and division of an enterprise has a corresponding party branch.’ Within administrative agencies, institutes, state-owned enterprises, non-publicly-owned enterprises, China-Hong Kong joint ventures, and other ownership entities, we can establish stand-alone, joint, or affiliate party branches. This is to guarantee that wherever a business identity develops, the party organization and organizational work will also go. … Have middle-level leaders and cadres wearing party, administration, and business hats to cover all divisions and subsidiaries of the enterprise, making sure that the party’s leadership is everywhere. … At the same time, pay great attention to choosing good party branch secretaries with strong party character and who are good at ideological and political work, so that the party cadres take care of all of the internal divisions and subsidiaries who will be focusing on party buildup.” “Insist on advancing corporate cultural development through party buildup, and community cultural development through corporate cultural development. Actively deploy media outlets that carry the party buildup, including party journals, party newspapers, propaganda bulletin boards, and websites. Establish party member service centers, party member responsibility zones, party member pioneer posts, and conduct the activities of ‘showing your party nature.’” [4]

[1] Xinhua, November 16, 2009
[2] Xinhua, July 2, 2009
[3] Global Times, November 18, 2009
[4] Study Times, October 12, 2009
[5] Chinese Academy of Social Science, August 27, 2009