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

JINGGANGSHAN, China( AP)– Backs straight, heads high, 3 dozen Communist Party members in red neckties who expect leadership …

JINGGANGSHAN, China (AP)– Backs straight, heads high, three dozen Communist Party members in red neckties who expect management posts belt out a poem by advanced leader Mao Zedong at a historic mountainside field of honor in central China.

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

As the party commemorates the 100th anniversary of its 1921 founding, training centers such as the one in Jinggangshan play a crucial 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 business and federal government workplaces are schooled in an idealized version of the celebration’s early innovative eagerness before Mao’s guerrillas fought their way to national power in 1949.

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

“When I came here, I felt that my belief as a member of the Communist Party has actually ended up being firmer,” stated Zhou, 49 and a celebration member considering that 2009. “Their education of celebration spirit, theory and ability are thirst-quenching.”

Trainees state they want to serve the general public, but individuals who are picked for higher celebration posts likewise get advantages including more impact and quicker promotions at state companies, universities and federal government ministries.

Party schools are implied to “promote the faithful” and ensure they “ask no concerns about the top management” and celebration ideology, said Willy Lam, a politics expert at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Xi, who took power as the Communist Celebration’s general secretary in 2012, released a campaign in February to increase mentor of celebration history.

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

It is quiet on power struggles amongst celebration leaders and problems of widespread corruption and other abuses.

Xi hopes “the party can protect the misconception that it has actually constantly been correct and dazzling in promoting China’s position worldwide,” Lam stated.

The school in Jinggangshan, an early site where Mao’s army developed, is among 3 across the country for the Leadership Academy, which deals with high-ranking specialists and celebration officials. The China Daily paper said in 2016 that the party has a total of 2,900 training centers nationwide at different levels of federal government, varying from county to provincial.

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

Participants in the two-week “Jinggangshan Spirit” course invest 6 1/2 hours a day in class starting at 8:30 a.m., with occasional night events.

Trainees took a school trip to Huangyangjie, where Mao’s guerrillas eradicated enemy forces on Aug. 30, 1928. According to celebration history, the Communists were outnumbered but pushed back the attack.

Mao heard about the triumph on his way to Jinggangshan and celebrated by composing the poem recited by the students.

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

“I hope everyone can concern understand China and see how remarkable and fantastic China is,” she said.

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

“Party officials know that being sent to specific choose classes at a celebration school may suggest a brilliant future for them in the party,” 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 certain skills in return,” stated Lee, who teaches at Berkeley City College.

Yao Yuzhen, an instructor at the school whose grandpa was a Red Army soldier, yielded that while promos are not ensured, students will make “much better progress” after the course.

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

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

Images of Xi were revealed at the front of a lecture hall as an instructor presented Xi’s speeches and highlighted the value of celebration spirit and history.

“General Secretary Xi Jinping mentioned clearly in his speech that the 100 years of our celebration is the 100 years when we were committed to satisfying the initial mission,” said Prof. Chen Shenghua, head of the academy’s party history education proving ground.

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

The “main political task” for party members is to “study and carry out Xi Jinping’s ideas on socialism with Chinese attributes in the new era,” according to the training plan for celebration members.

A plan for higher-level members requires that Xi Jinping Thought be the primary focus of teachings, which theoretical and party spirit represent at least 70% of class hours.

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

Lectures leap over the following decades to modern-day successes in fighting hardship and the coronavirus.

“Under the management of the Celebration Central Committee with Associate Xi Jinping as the core, we set in motion the whole country,” stated the trainer, Liu Qiufu, “and we won the war against the epidemic.”

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