China’s ruling celebration grooms brand-new members for its next century

JINGGANGSHAN, China (AP)– Backs straight, heads high, 3 dozen Communist Celebration members in red neckties who expect leadership posts belt out a poem by advanced leader Mao Zedong at a historical mountainside field of honor in main China.

“We remain upright even as we’re surrounded by numerous opponent forces!” declare the males and ladies, who are on a two-week course at the China Executive Management Academy. “Together, we will defeat the enemy!”

As the party celebrates the 100th anniversary of its 1921 founding, training centers such as the one in Jinggangshan play an essential role in efforts by President Xi Jinping’s federal government to extend its control over an altering society.

Drawn from among its 95 million members, ambitious individuals at state companies and government workplaces are schooled in an idealized variation of the party’s early revolutionary eagerness before Mao’s guerrillas combated their method to national power in 1949.

Zhou Xiaojing, who works at a political training center for the Chinese reserve bank in the main city of Zhengzhou, described Jinggangshan as “a spiritual shock and a type of baptism.”

“When I came here, I felt that my belief as a member of the Communist Celebration has actually become firmer,” said Zhou, 49 and a celebration member considering that 2009. “Their education of party spirit, theory and capability are thirst-quenching.”

Trainees state they wish to serve the general public, but individuals who are chosen for higher party posts also receive advantages consisting of more influence and quicker promotions at state companies, universities and government ministries.

Party schools are indicated to “promote the faithful” and guarantee they “ask no questions about the leading management” and celebration ideology, stated Willy Lam, a politics specialist at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Xi, who took power as the Communist Party’s general secretary in 2012, launched a project in February to increase mentor of party history.

That official history skips over a 1959-61 famine caused by Mao’s policies that killed as numerous as 50 million people, the millions killed in the ultra-radical violence of the 1966-76 Cultural Transformation introduced by Mao and the fatal 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations under then-supreme leader Deng Xiaoping.

It is silent on power has a hard time amongst party leaders and complaints of widespread corruption and other abuses.

Xi hopes “the celebration can protect the myth that it has constantly been right and fantastic in promoting China’s position in the world,” Lam stated.

The school in Jinggangshan, an early site where Mao’s army established, is among 3 nationwide for the Management Academy, which deals with high-ranking professionals and party authorities. The China Daily newspaper stated in 2016 that the party has an overall of 2,900 training centers nationwide at various levels of federal government, ranging from county to provincial.

The 44-acre (18-hectare) campus in the mountains of Jiangxi province has dormitories and an auditorium, library and cafeteria.

Individuals in the two-week “Jinggangshan Spirit” course spend 6¬†1/2 hours a day in class beginning at 8:30 a.m., with periodic evening events.

Students took a field trip to Huangyangjie, where Mao’s guerrillas combated enemy forces on Aug. 30, 1928. According to party history, the Communists were outnumbered but warded off the attack.

Mao found out about the success on his way to Jinggangshan and celebrated by writing the poem recited by the trainees.

“This spirit of sacrifice and commitment for the party and the people is really exceptional and extensive,” said another student, Wei Yanju, deputy chairwoman of the Women’s Federation in the eastern province of Shandong.

“I hope everybody can pertain to comprehend China and see how superior and fantastic China is,” she said.

Celebration members are required to take a minimum of 32 sessions of training per year. Some leadership posts require 56 sessions.

“Party authorities know that being sent out to particular choose classes at a party school might indicate a brilliant future for them in the celebration,” stated Charlotte Lee, author of the book “Training the Celebration: Celebration Adaptation and Elite Training in Reform-era China.”

“They need to demonstrate loyalty and particular abilities in return,” said Lee, who teaches at Berkeley City College.

Yao Yuzhen, a trainer at the school whose grandpa was a Red Army soldier, yielded that while promotions are not ensured, trainees will make “better development” after the course.

“That’s for sure,” she stated with a chuckle.

Foreign reporters were welcomed on a tour of the Jinggangshan school ahead of the party’s anniversary celebrations this week.

Images of Xi were shown at the front of a lecture hall as a trainer introduced Xi’s speeches and highlighted the value of party spirit and history.

“General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out clearly in his speech that the 100 years of our party is the 100 years when we were devoted to fulfilling the initial objective,” stated Prof. Chen Shenghua, head of the academy’s party history education research center.

Studying celebration history is the “commitment of every celebration member, cadre, mass and youth,” he stated.

The “primary political task” for party members is to “study and implement Xi Jinping’s thoughts on socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new age,” according to the training plan for celebration members.

A plan for higher-level members requires that Xi Jinping Thought be the main focus of teachings, and that theoretical and celebration spirit account for a minimum of 70% of class hours.

The Jinggangshan curriculum focuses on the party’s early days in 1927-35 and Mao’s battles with the Nationalist government.

Lectures jump over the following decades to contemporary successes in battling hardship and the coronavirus.

“Under the leadership of the Party Central Committee with Pal Xi Jinping as the core, we mobilized the whole nation,” said the instructor, Liu Qiufu, “and we won the war against the epidemic.”