The Fourth Plenary Session of the Seventeenth CCP Central Committee focused on a number of important issues, including strengthening and improving the Party under the new situation. It scientifically analyzed the characteristics of the current era; by understanding the fundamental patterns, it studied the key issues, solved the difficulties, and pointed out some ideas on how to further promote the Party’s expansion in foreign-owned enterprises (FOEs). The work of developing the Party in foreign-owned enterprises is a new area that started with the reform and opening-up (policy). Since 1991, the Party Committee of the Beijing Investment Promotion Bureau has adhered to the spirit of reform and innovation. It started with establishing Party organizations in FOEs, and has been actively exploring the pattern of Party development in FOEs. As of today, it has formed one grassroots Party committee, five general Party branches, 97 independent Party branches, and five joint Party branches. As the work deepens, we are constantly faced with the serious challenge of improving ourselves, the challenge of how we can showcase the vitality and charm of the Party’s development, and the challenge of how to systematically consolidate the achievements the Party has made in its development in FOEs.
FOEs are new economic organizations that emerged along with China’s reform and opening up. They bring us advanced technologies, products, management, and concepts. At the same time however, the Party members in FOEs come from diverse backgrounds; they have different levels of income, and investors from other countries have different cultural backgrounds, etc. Thus, Party members are faced with more complicated ideological situations, feelings, and recognition of (correct) values, which makes it more difficult to unify their thinking. Therefore, how to further consolidate, strengthen, and expand the Party’s governing base is a new issue that we must seriously address and resolve.
In recent years, areas that we have been actively exploring include voting directly for Party branch committee secretaries and members, forming Party branches for new employees, grouping Party members according to the year when they were first employed, and having Party members propose and vote on Party activities. Party members working in FOEs have found these methods attractive, which thus strengthened the Party’s cohesive power. The general Party branch in Siemens, China, which initially had one Party branch with 50 Party members, has grown to nine branches with nearly 300 members. The Party’s influence in FOEs has steadily expanded.
In accordance with the spirit of the Fourth Plenary Session of the Seventeenth CCP Central Committee, we need to take into consideration the reality in the FOEs, and carefully study and come up with a democratic mechanism for Party members to express their interests and unify their thoughts and ideas. We should effectively promote the innovations in the Party’s expansion in FOEs. This will enhance the Party’s attractiveness to the employees and its cohesion to the Party members, while maintaining combat effectiveness of Party organizations inside the FOEs. Nevertheless, there are difficulties, including the fact that Party members in FOEs are highly mobile and thus hard to manage, and that young Party members are increasingly influenced by modern information technology. We are using modern information technology to carry out grassroots Party management and have effectively improved the quality and efficiency of the work at the grassroots level. We are also promoting a more humanistic and individualized management.
With the Internet, we are taking advantage of the new technology and integrating it with the Party’s expansion. We have also enhanced the guidance of online public opinion to develop the Party’s online combat front. We have experimented with “online voting” in a number of Party branches in FOEs that allow the members to vote online about Party affairs. We are also using an open platform online to release Party news, Party members’ study and training materials, online public opinion surveys, and online testing and evaluations. Since accessing this information on the Internet does not involve any barriers, it allows all Party members to participate and thus it gives them a sense of belonging and identity.
With these new forms of Party buildup, Party members at the grassroots level now have more frequent and closer interaction. This has effectively enhanced their right to know, their right to express themselves, and their right to participate. In order to implement the spirit of the Party’s Fourth Session of the Seventeenth CCP Central Committee, we should carefully study these new working methods for Party buildup, keep up with the times and with current conditions, pay attention to how the ideas of modern media influence Party members, and explore how the Party’s activities can change from being secretive to being more transparent.
Author: The Party Secretary of the CCP Committee of the Beijing Investment Promotion Bureau
 Qianxian magazine, November 11, 2009. Qianxian is an official publication of Beijing’s CCP Committee.