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Party more attractive to Chinese youth

China Daily, 5 June 2001

A decade after the ruling Communist party lost power in the former Soviet Union and in many Eastern European countries, more and more young Chinese are joining the Communist Party of China (CPC).

By the end of last year, the number of CPC members had reached 64.52 million, or 5.2 per cent of the country's population, with 46 per cent of CPC members 45 years old or younger, according to the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee.

Meanwhile, 13.95 million people have applied for membership in the CPC, with 70 per cent of the applicants 35 or younger.

At present, CPC members account for 3.83 per cent of university students, compared with 0.81 per cent a decade ago, and 28.23 per cent of postgraduate students, compared with 22.4 per cent a decade ago. Almost one-third of in-school university students have applied for CPC membership.

Lu Hao, the 35-year-old director of the Administration Committee of Zhongguancun, Beijing, dubbed China's Silicon Valley, said the younger generation of Chinese Communists have been attracted to Communism by the scientific nature of the Deng Xiaoping Theory.

Lu joined the CPC when he was an 18-year-old high school student. He became the first directly-elected chairman of the Students' Union of Peking University, the well-known cradle of science and democracy in China, at the age of 20. At 27, he was already the general manager of a large State-owned company.

The more I mingle with society, the greater correctness I find in this theory, he said.

In China, most universities have opened courses on Deng Xiaoping Theory. At Peking University, the cradle of the May 4 Movement of 1919, Deng Xiaoping Theory is one of the subjects most welcomed by students.

Currently, my task is to study hard and gain knowledge to prepare for my future devotion to the economic drive of the motherland, said Wang Xiuli, a fourth-grader in the university's International Relations Department, who was awarded the title of Excellent CPC Member by the university last year and is known for her good grades, active participation in campus activities and enthusiasm for helping her schoolmates.

Wang, like most of her CPC comrades in the school, is quick-minded, morally upright, good at her studies and prominent in social activities. Many of the CPC-member students have applied to work in remote and difficult areas, even though these graduates are also heatedly sought after by different institutions and high-income foreign-funded companies.

Professor Wang Zongguang, secretary of the CPC committee at Shanghai-based Jiaotong (Communications) University, said, currently, many students want to join the CPC. He attributed this to the instructions on Party building, especially, the well-known Three Represents remarks, by CPC General-Secretary Jiang Zemin.

Jiang said the CPC will remain successful and enjoy the heartfelt support of the Chinese people so long as it always earnestly represents the development trend of China's advanced social productive forces, the orientation of China's culture, and the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the Chinese people.

Luo Wei, a student at the university's Shipbuilding Marine Engineering department, said that the progressive nature of the CPC has won even broader and deeper recognition among the Chinese people. Clever people become even more clever when they grow up, he said, I fell it is a realistic goal for me to join the Party.

As an official from the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee put it, political and social stability, rapid economic growth and the steady improvement of the Chinese people's standard of living are the fundamental factors that have created greater confidence in the Party among young Chinese. (xinhua)