‘Communism has failed in China. But the Communist Party won. ‘ Said the late Li Kuan Yew, the Prime Minister of Singapore. July 1 is the birthday of that Communist Party. It is a century in which the party has transformed itself and reformed the country by overcoming time, famine and strife.
In July 1921, 12 people from different parts of China gathered at a girls’ church in Shanghai. One of them is Mao Zedong. Two representatives of the Communist International, formed by Lenin, arrived for the global propagation of communist ideas. The Chinese Communist Party was born at that meeting, which was later transferred to a boat on Lake Nanhu on suspicion of espionage. Since 1941, July 1 has been the birthday of the CCP. It was discovered that the party was formed on July 23, 1921, but the birthday did not change.
After the period of the failed Great Depression (1950s) and the troubled Cultural Revolution (1966-76), the party and the country leapfrogged the democrats in Tiananmen Square (1989). When the Soviet Union disintegrated in 1991, those who thought China was next were mistaken. Even US President Joe Biden (June 13, G7 summit) has grown to the point where he doubts whether any democracy can compete with China. The most successful totalitarian regime in the world. The party has ruled China for 72 years.
A time of change
The party was born and grew between 1839 and 1949, later described as the ‘century of humiliation’. Eventually, Chiang Kai-shek’s nationalists and Japanese occupiers were ousted and China came to power in 1949.
But Mao’s ‘Great Leap’ and ‘Cultural Revolution’ caused human suffering in China. Farmers were driven out of the fields to become industrial powers. Agricultural production declined. Three and a half million people died of starvation. The ‘Cultural Revolution’ to establish the dominance of the party and to remove the ‘unclean’ in the society also became a stain on history. About 15 lakh lives were lost in that revolution.
When Mao left in 1976, China’s per capita GDP was $ 165.41. Today it is the second largest economy in the world. It is based on the pragmatism of Deng Xiaoping, who succeeded Mao. Chinese communism awoke to what Marxism aimed to wipe out. The party embraced the for-profit private sector. Government-owned factories and houses were privatized. Millions lost their jobs. But China began to grow.
Xi Jinping put everything in hand
The party changed again in 2012 when Xi Jinping became general secretary. Ideologically more rigid. Even the slightest hint of opposition was suppressed. The two-term term of the president was lifted by the party in 2018 to keep Xi in power for life. ‘Shi’s Thought’ became the ideology of the party members.
China has shown more complacency and an expansionist mindset. Attempts were made to infiltrate India and Bhutan. Dominated Taiwan, Hong Kong and Tibet. It seeks to establish dominance in the South and East China Sea. It is looking to expand around the world through the Belt and Road Initiative, an infrastructure development project. Became one of the leaders in electronic products, artificial intelligence and other technologies of the future. It sent a rover to Mars and set up its own station in space and proved its strength there as well. Despite this leap, the persecution of the minority Uyghur Muslims continues under Shi’s supervision. Political opponents are left in the lurch in the name of eradicating corruption. Blame it on the corona virus.
While liking comparisons with Mao, Xi’s journey follows the pragmatic policies of his successors. That is why the 20th century documentary did not cover the issues of the 20th century. He urges party members to ‘spread more good stories about China’. The Chinese Communist Party has 9.2 million members. The party has a ‘center’ called Shi, a 25-member politburo and a seven-member standing committee.
Two years from now, Lenin and his successors will have replaced the Soviet Union with a Communist regime in China. The 74th year of communist rule is reminiscent of the disintegrating Soviet Union. Shi observes that Western ideologies, corruption, sectarianism and infidelity are detrimental, including the use of social media by young people to ‘lead’ the party. Ruthlessly suppresses democratic movements. All of this worries Xi about China’s leap forward to overtake the United States, the number one economic power, before 2030.