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Special> CPC Celebrates 90th Anniversary 1921-2011> Background
UPDATED: November 28, 2007 NO.47 NOVEMBER 22, 2007
China's Political Party System
Information Office of the State Council of the People's Republic of China
November 2007, Beijing


A Brief Introduction to China's Democratic Parties and Personages Without Party Affiliation

- Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang (RCCK)

In November 1947, the sect of democrats in the Chinese Kuomintang (Nationalist Party) held its first joint meeting with patriotic democratic personages in Hong Kong. On January 1, 1948, the meeting declared that the RCCK had been officially founded.

RCCK recruits members mostly from people who have relations with the former Chinese Kuomintang, those who have historical or social relations with the RCCK and those who have ties with Taiwan. The RCCK also recruits members from other sources, especially those of the middle and upper social strata, and senior and leading intellectuals.

The successive chairpersons of the RCCK in the past were Li Jishen, He Xiangning, Zhu Yunshan, Wang Kunlun, Qu Wu, Zhu Xuefan and Li Peiyao. The present chairwoman is He Luli.

The RCCK currently has branches in 30 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government. Party membership numbers 81,000.

- China Democratic League (CDL)

The China Democratic League was secretly established on March 19, 1941 in Chongqing, and was then named China Democratic Political League. On November 16, Zhang Lan officially declared the founding of the China Democratic Political League in Chongqing. In September 1944, the China Democratic Political League held a national congress in Chongqing and decided to rename itself the China Democratic League.

The CDL is mainly made up of senior and leading intellectuals in the fields of culture, education, and science and technology.

The successive chairpersons in the past were Huang Yanpei, Zhang Lan, Shen Junru, Yang Mingxuan, Shi Liang, Chu Tu'nan, Fei Xiaotong and Ding Shisun. The present chairman is Jiang Shusheng.

The CDL now has branches in 30 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government. Party membership numbers more than 181,000.

- China National Democratic Construction Association (CNDCA)

The China National Democratic Construction Association was founded by a number of patriotic industrialists and business people, as well as some intellectuals in Chongqing on December 16, 1945.

The members of the association are mainly business people.

The successive leaders and chairpersons in the past were Huang Yanpei, Hu Juewen and Sun Qimeng. The present chairman is Cheng Siwei.

The CNDCA has branches in 30 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government, and more than 108,000 members.

- China Association for Promoting Democracy (CAPD)

Founded in Shanghai on December 30, 1945, the original members of the China Association for Promoting Democracy were mainly intellectuals in the fields of culture, education and publishing, together with a group of patriotic personages in the fields of industry and business.

Its present members are mainly senior and leading intellectuals in the fields of culture, education and publishing.

The successive chairpersons of the past were Ma Xulun, Zhou Jianren, Ye Shengtao and Lei Jieqiong. Its present chairman is Xu Jialu.

Currently, the CAPD has branches in 29 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government, with a membership of over 103,000.

- Chinese Peasants and Workers Democratic Party (CPWDP)

Deng Yanda, a leader of the left wing of the Kuomintang, held the first national cadres' conference of the Kuomintang in Shanghai on August 9, 1930, and at the conference the Provisional Action Committee of the Kuomintang of China was founded. On November 10, 1935, it was renamed the Chinese Action Committee for National Liberation. On February 3, 1947, it was renamed the Chinese Peasants and Workers Democratic Party.

Its members are mainly senior and leading intellectuals in the medical field.

The successive leaders and chairpersons of the party were Deng Yanda, Huang Qixiang, Zhang Bojun, Ji Fang, Zhou Gucheng and Lu Jiaxi. Its present chairman is Jiang Zhenghua.

The CPWDP now has branches in 30 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government, with more than 99,000 members.

- China Zhi Gong Dang (CZGD)

The China Zhi Gong Dang was founded in October 1925 in San Francisco, USA, under the sponsorship of some overseas Chinese societies. In May 1947, the party held its third congress in Hong Kong, and reorganized itself into a new democratic party.

Its members are mainly from the middle and upper social strata of returned overseas Chinese and their relatives.

The successive chairpersons of the party were Chen Qiyou, Huang Dingchen and Dong Yinchu. Its present chairman is Luo Haocai.

The CZGD now has branches in 19 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government, with more than 28,000 members.

- Jiu San Society

At the end of 1944, a number of progressive scholars organized the Forum on Democracy and Science to strive for victory in the Anti-Japanese War and political democracy, and to develop the anti-imperialist and patriotic spirit of the May 4 Movement of 1919. In commemoration of victory in the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and in the world anti-Fascist war, on September 3, 1945, it adopted the name Jiu San Society (Jiu San means September 3 in Chinese). On May 4, 1946, the Jiu San Society was formally founded in Chongqing.

Its members are mainly senior and leading intellectuals in the fields of science and technology.

The successive chairpersons of the past were Xu Deheng, Zhou Peiyuan and Wu Jieping. Its present chairman is Han Qide.

The Jiu San Society currently has branches in 30 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government, with more than 105,000 members.

- Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League (TSL)

The TSL was founded in Hong Kong on November 12, 1947 by a number of Taiwan personages engaged in patriotic campaigns after the February 28 Uprising of the Taiwan people that year.

The TSL is composed of people from Taiwan.

The successive chairpersons of the past were Xie Xuehong, Cai Xiao, Su Ziheng, Cai Zimin and Zhang Kehui. The present chairwoman is Lin Wenyi. From 1987 to 1992, the Fourth Central Committee of the TSL adopted the presidium system. The executive chairmen were Lin Shengzhong (1987-88) and Cai Zimin (1988-92).

The TSL now has branches in 13 provinces and municipalities directly under the Central Government, with a membership of over 2,100.

Personages Without Party Affiliation

During the New Democratic Revolution (1919-49), the famous personages without party affiliation were generally called prominent public figures. Since the CPPCC was founded in 1949, the category of "democratic personages without party affiliation" has been set up. Currently, those who do not belong to any party but have made positive contributions to and have a positive influence on society are categorized as personages without party affiliation. They are mostly intellectuals.

The representatives of this group include Guo Moruo, Ma Yinchu, Ba Jin, Miao Yuntai and Cheng Siyuan.

The 10 Principles: Congress Conceives Guidelines for Growth

Fifty-eight years ago the Communist Party of China (CPC) came to power, and nearly 30 years ago China implemented the policies of economic reform and opening up. In October 2007 the 17th National Congress of the CPC convened and closed in Beijing under the watchful eyes of the world. Although the nation has realized rapid economic expansion and rising overall strength in governing during this ongoing phase of economic development and systematic transformation, the CPC faces serious challenges. What is ahead for China, a nation more globally engaged than ever before?

To great extent, that oft-asked all-encompassing question now has an official answer. The CPC Congress of 2007 deliberated extensively and established a cohesive array of major strategic initiatives that will significantly shape the policies of the state and benefit the lives of the people. To enable the world to better understand the global disposition of China, and how the nation will develop in the future, here we summarize those 10 major points of governmental focus and public interest.

1. Scientific Outlook on Development

This term was first proposed at a discussion on a special subject of how to "establish and apply a scientific outlook on development" by a group of provincial governmental officials in the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, February 2004. It was soon disseminated throughout the country as a new conception for the governance of the CPC.

This conception targets such problems as unilaterally going after the pace of economic growth while ignoring the conservation of resources and the protection of environment, the worsening of the imbalanced social and economic development in urban-rural areas and among regions, the growing of income disparity, and rising frequency of accidents concerning safety production --- mainly coal mine accidents --- that occurred beginning with China's rapid economic growth over the last 10 more years.

The idea of the Scientific Outlook on Development lays focus on putting people first to realize a comprehensive, balanced and sustainable social and economic development. It attaches greater importance to raising quality and efficiency to achieve sound and rapid economic development. It emphasizes more on resource conservation and environmental protection and stresses that "development is for the people, by the people and with the people sharing in its fruits."

Over the past few years during its practices of scientific development, China has initiated building a resource-conserving and environment-friendly society. The Central Government has issued privilege policies to quicken the pace of development in central and western China. The focus has been on developing rural economy and building new countryside.

The Scientific Outlook on Development has been added to the amended Constitution of the Communist Party of China at the 17th Congress, making it a temporary core governance conception of the Party, which will produce a deep, far-reaching influence on various sectors in China's social and economic development.

2. Putting People First

Not long ago, the Municipal Government of Huangshi, Hubei Province, issued the Comments on the Solutions of the Problems Concerning Rural Migrant Workers in Cities, stipulating that rural migrant workers will enjoy equal public services with urban citizens, particularly in terms of household registration, wages, their children's schooling, and social security.

This event is a manifestation of the governance conception of "putting people first" carried out by the Party. "Putting people first" means that the very basis for all development lies in the realization of the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the people. To promote a balanced social and economic development in China, it has become a focus for the Party and governments to "solve the most specific problems of the utmost and immediate concern to the people."

To protect the people's legitimate rights and interests, the Chinese Government has over the last four years rescinded the agricultural tax, which had been in place for more than 2,000 years, exempted the tuition fee of 148 million primary and middle school students in rural areas, and helped over 22.04 million laid-off workers find jobs.

Today in China, the expression of "index of happiness" and other similar terms are very popular; and that evidences the Chinese people's pursuit of a finer quality of life. This was the first time for a National Congress of the CPC to set forth the concept of "paying attention to compassionate care and psychological counseling and correctly handling interpersonal relations," aiming at creating a social atmosphere for mutual respect, mutual trust, and mutual assistance and showcasing the overall concern for people, materially and mentally.

3. Innovative Country

It was 10 years ago that Geely, a privately owned manufacturer of automobiles, began business and faced multiple obstructions. Banks didn't trust; the industry ignored; and auto parts suppliers were reluctant to cooperate. Today, however, hundreds of thousands of Geely cars are sold throughout the country as well as in other parts of the world. The majority of its parts are researched, developed, and produced by the company, and 100 percent of its core parts are made in China.

Enterprises are the main body of technical innovation. For a long period of time, however, Chinese enterprises have been lacking in independent innovation. They have suffered from this disadvantage, as a saying goes, "the sales of a computer equals the cost of a bunch of large green Chinese onion, and the sales of 1 billion shirts equals the price of a Boeing aircraft."

The harsh reality presents a common sense among the Chinese Government, enterprises and institutions of scientific research that there is no other option but to turn "made-in-China" into "innovated-by-China."

In 2005, China invested 245 billion yuan in R&D, 1.34 percent of China's total GDP. According to the government's plans, such investment will be around 530 billion yuan by 2010. At the same time, local governments have enacted policies and measures to encourage business development, respect creation, and spur innovation. Zhongguancun in Beijing is acclaimed as the "silicon valley in China"--a gathering place for quite many talented people with extensive experiences overseas.

It is a strategy for the nation's future development to "enhance China's capacity for independent innovation and make China an innovative country."

4. Capital Market

On April 3, 2007, the bell rang signaling the opening of the U.S. NASDAQ Stock Market in Beijing. Robert Greifeld, President and CEO of NASDAQ remarked that it is a way to convey the company's gratitude toward China's remarkable contributions to the world economy and commemorate that 40 Chinese companies have been listed in NASDAQ.

China is changing the idea that "shareholding system is the product of capitalist system" and now believes the system to be an important component of the socialist market economy. In the fall of 1990 two stock exchanges were established in Shanghai and Shenzhen. Today, there are more than 1,500 listed companies. By the end of September 2007, the total listed value exceeded 24.53 trillion yuan.

Over the last four years, the Chinese stock market, as a whole, has risen and family income has increased, attracting more people on China's mainland to invest in shares and manage their money in the way of funds. Not long ago, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange announced that residents from the mainland are allowed on trial to invest directly in the Hong Kong stock market, thus delivering private investment into international stock market.

Over the past 30 years, the non-public enterprises, mainly comprised of individual, private, and foreign ventures, accounted for 95.7 percent of the total of China's mainland. Last year, China drew $63 billion from foreign investment. Among the Global 500, 480 have invested in China; and 71 foreign banks have their branches in China. Today, 75 countries recognize the status of China with complete market economy.

5. Social Development

Traditionally, Chinese people hold that "it provides for one's old age to raise children." Mencius (372-289 B.C.), a Chinese philosopher and one of the greatest Confucian scholars, put forth the idea of "caring for other's elderly as good as if they were yours," an ideal society far from being reached. Nevertheless, the Chinese Government spares no efforts in perfecting its old-age insurance system through providing elderly with insurance and more pensions. It is an important part of CPC governance to attach greater importance to social development on the basis of economic development.

Focusing on improving people's livelihood is comprised of another important part of accelerating social development set by the 17th Congress. This indicates that the Party will put in place the governance concept of thoroughly improving people's lives through establishing a sound system for social management and services, including education, income distribution, medical care, employment, and old-age care, which are closely related to the people's well-being.

Since 2002, the government has made policies for financially supporting employment for urban and rural residents, thus minimizing the unemployment rate below 4.3 percent and providing subsistence allowances for more than 45 million impoverished population. In January 2006, the state readjusted personal income tax, raising the rate for payers with higher income and lowering that for those with medium and lower income. In 2007, the Chinese Government provided a financial aid of 15.4 billion yuan for impoverished students; and the sum will be doubled in 2008, benefiting approximately 20 million college and middle school students.

It is a new goal for the Party to expand public services, improve social management and promote social equity and justice.

6. Democracy

Chen Guohua won out of others with two thirds of the votes for the position of Party Secretary of the Longxing Town Committee of the CPC, Yubei District, Chongqing (one of the four municipalities under the direct jurisdiction of the Central Government), because he promised the villagers he would redouble the local GDP after he won the campaign.

Since the implementation three years ago, the "recommendation in an open manner and direct election," a politically systematic reform at primary level for electing Party secretary, has been carried out in more than 200 townships and villages across Chongqing and the provinces of Sichuan and Hubei. Today, more than 90 percent of the administrative villages throughout the country select members of village committees through "direct election."

The CPC is quickening its pace in political restructuring.

The idea of "deepening political restructuring" was proposed at the 17th Congress on the basis of "going on steadily and surely with political restructuring" set at the 16th National Congress of the CPC convened in 2002.

The rate of the multi-candidate elections for deputies to the 17th National Congress surpassed 15 percent, 5 percent higher than that of the 16th, and that for deputies to provincial-level Party congresses was much higher than the previous congresses.

A couple of months ago, Wan Gang, a specialist in automobiles, and Chen Zhu, an expert in medical science, both non-Party members, were respectively appointed Minister of Science and Technology and Minister of Public Health.

The Chinese characters of "democracy" appeared over 60 times in the Report of the 17th Congress by Hu Jintao, who stressed to "expand the citizens' orderly participation in political affairs at each level and in every field, and mobilize and organize the people as extensively as possible to manage state and social affairs."

"The CPC is building up a mechanism full of vigor and vitality through its reform of political restructuring," commented David Shambaugh, senior researcher from the U.S. Brookings Institutions.

7. Punishing and Preventing Corruption

Governmental corruption has remained a major topic in China. Recent polls evidence that corruption remains a problem, and citizens expect the government to tackle the issue as soon as possible.

Corruption has yet to be prevented once and for all although the Party has increasingly stepped up its efforts in fighting against it, particularly in the last four years, during which time it investigated and dealt with 29 provincial-level senior officials, including Chen Liangyu, former member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and secretary of the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee. New social problems will occur and more issues will come to the fore as China deepens its reform and readjusts its economic, social and beneficial structures.

The Party firms its stand and draws on the experience of foreign countries to enhance the relating systems and improve the mechanism of restraint and oversight so as to ensure that "power must be exercised in the sunshine." In October 2005, China joined in the UN Anti-Corruption Convention; and on May 31, 2007, the government established the China National Bureau of Corruption Prevention.

Many people believe that the establishment of a system for combating corruption is a wise decision for the Party. The description of "expanding our efforts to curb corruption at the source" in the Report of the 17th Congress makes clear to the world that the country will thoroughly prevent and cure corruption through a comprehensive means of legislation, judicature, and administration.

8. Conservation Culture

Water birds, fish, shrimps, lotus roots, and water caltrops are among the happy childhood memories for Zhang Shengyuan, who resides along the lakeside of Honghu. Beginning in the mid-1980s, however, almost all natural aquatic products were on the verge of distinction due to excessive artificial cultivation.

The tragedy of Honghu Lake is not rare in China.

The Party therefore urges the promotion of harmony between man and nature and pulls all out to balance the economic development with population control, resource conservation, and environmental protection. From 2003 through 2006, more than 5 million hectares of farmland were resumed to forests, and nearly 30 million hectares of pastures to grassland. In 2006, China saved 30 million tons of standard coal; and the rate of treating both sewage and daily garbage surpassed 50 percent. In the first half of 2007, the state shut down a great number of small power generators of high pollution and high energy consumption, in addition to small coal mines of high energy consumption and with high frequency of accidents.

It was also during this period that Honghu Lake was harnessed effectively. Today, the water quality is better and more than 95 percent of the lake is covered with aquatic plants, making it an ideal home for more than 50,000 water birds. Zhang Shengyuan, now a guard to protect the lake area, is happy to see the recovery of the beautiful scenery he enjoyed as a child.

"Conservation culture" was, for the first time, set forth as one of the strategic objectives of the governing Party at the 17th Congress. Some specialists hold that this conception is the result of the reasonable confession on China's civilization of traditional industry and has ample evidence on the great importance of coexistence between conservation culture and the progress of the Chinese nation.

9. Peace Agreement

The CPC has put forward the idea of "constructing a framework for peaceful development of cross-Straits relations" and made a solemn appeal for negotiations and signing a "peace agreement," a term which had never appeared in the report of any CPC national congress before.

The compatriots on both sides of the Straits derive from the same origin and are related by blood, with the same ancestors, sharing the same culture, and having the same passion for their homeland. These facts will never change.

Lee Kuanxin, President of the Kunshan Association for Enterprises Invested by the Compatriots from Taiwan, was deeply impressed by the statement "the 1.3 billion people on the mainland and the 23 million people in Taiwan are of the same blood and share a common destiny" in the Report. "This congress has offered businessmen from Taiwan a favorable environment and platform for investment; and we are moved by the great concern and support from the mainland," Lee said.

Since the communication between the two sides of the Straits in 1987 and by the end of July 2007, cross-Straits trade volumes had reached $669.9 billion. The trade surplus of Taiwan to the mainland was $438.6 billion. By then, businessmen from Taiwan invested in nearly 74,000 projects on the mainland. Today, the number of businessmen and their families who permanently reside on the mainland exceeds 1 million. It is thus clear that the trade between the two sides of the Straits is bustling; and it is a common wish for both sides to conduct cooperation at higher level and to make win-win benefits.

As a fundamental principle for the solution of Taiwan issues, "one and the same China" has been reaffirmed by the 17th Congress, which makes clear CPC's policies for dealing with Taiwan issues: With the greatest sincerity, China lays hopes on peace; while never yielding on resisting the concept of "Taiwan independence."

10. Harmonious World

October 2007 saw the dispatching of China's first peace-keeping troops to Darfur, Sudan. It is one of the great endeavors that China has made in the promotion of solving the problems of Darfur.

China takes its own share of responsibility in the promotion of peaceful development, as well as facing down the challenges of mankind in common. Pascal Lamy, Director-General of the WTO, remarked that an opening China is undoubtedly a truly powerful country with responsibility.

November 2006 witnessed the opening of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, which made a declaration on establishing a new type of strategic partnership. The eight policies and measures raised by the Chinese Government for the development between China and Africa were widely acclaimed. As evidenced by recent report issued by the World Bank, Chinese investment is playing an active part in the economic growth in Africa. In light of the world's continuous widening of the North-South gap, China is contributing in its own way to eliminating the difference between the rich and the poor and to assisting the weak.

Harmony is the quintessence of traditional Chinese culture. As believed by Confucius (551-479 B.C.), philosopher, educator and founder of Confucianism in the late Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 B.C.), the world should be "harmonious yet different." It is true that the world is full of differences and contradictions, but a virtuous man is able to maintain balance among contradictions and conflicts and to realize harmony. As a matter of fact, it has always been an extension for its own peaceful development when China focuses on world peace while accelerating the country's economic development.

Consequently, the 17th National Congress of the CPC emphasized that "China will unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development" and "strive to build a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity."

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