Slower CPC membership growth reflects stricter recruitment

Updated: 2014-07-01 07:38

By Xinhua (China Daily)

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The Communist Party of China, the world's largest political party, saw a slower membership growth rate last year as the Party began to enlist new members in a more "prudent" and "balanced" manner.

The CPC had 86.69 million members at the end of 2013, up 1.8 percent year on year, according to figures from the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee.

The growth rate was 1.3 percentage points down from the previous year, a department statement said on Monday, one day before the 93rd anniversary of the founding of the CPC.

Last year, 2.41 million people joined the Party, 825,000 fewer than in 2012. The net increase was 1.56 million.

It represented the first annual drop in newly enlisted members in the past decade.

The CPC enlisted 2.42 million new members in 2004, and new members continued to swell in the following years to 3.23 million in 2012.

"The drop in new members results from the CPC's initiative to adjust its size and structure, with the aim of improving quality and optimizing structure," said Xin Ming of the Party School of the CPC Central Committee.

The CPC published detailed rules for recruitment in late May, requiring all local Party bodies and organizations to enlist new members in a "prudent" and "balanced" manner.

The rules stipulate that efforts should be made to keep the Party's overall size in check and to improve its structure and quality, following requirements raised at a meeting of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau in January 2013.

"It is absolutely not the case for a political party that the more people the better," Xin said.

"The CPC is a vanguard organization, so it must be strict in its recruitment to select the best and to secure the exemplary and vanguard role of Party members."

At its birth in 1921, the Party had only about 50 members. This grew to nearly 4.5 million when the People's Republic of China was founded in 1949.

The number of the Party's grassroots organizations grew last year with their presence in private companies, and with the expansion of social organizations, according to Monday's statement.

The CPC had more than 4.3 million grassroots Party organs across the country by the end of 2013, up 2.4 percent from a year earlier.

Party organs have been set up in nearly 1.63 million private companies, accounting for 58.4 percent of the national total, up 4.1 percentage points from the previous year.

About 110,500, or 42 percent, of the country's social organizations established Party organs by the end of 2013, up 6.8 percentage points year-on-year.

In addition, more front-line workers, women and people from ethnic groups, as well as younger and more higher-educated individuals, joined the Party, according to the statement.

Of the total membership, 24.3 percent are women, up 0.5 percentage points, and 5.95 million, or 6.9 percent, are from ethnic groups, up 0.1 percentage points.

The CPC has 22.38 million members who are 35 years old or younger - up 0.2 percentage points - and 36.07 million have obtained degrees at higher education institutions - up 1.6 percentage points - according to the statement.