It is not yet the centenary, yet Beijing prepares to celebrate Friday with an unprecedented splendor 90 years of Chinese Communist Party. An organization founded in Shanghai in 1921 by a handful of men chased by police from the French Concession, now controls the second bar of the global economy. Most symbolically, the district of Xintiandi, which hosted the secret birth, is now a concentration of bars and restaurants.
The entire propaganda machine was set in motion. As the 60th anniversary of the People’s Republic in 2009, a spectacular film with a nice roster of famous actors came out on all screens. Since mid-June, the beginning of the great revival would have recorded more than 218 million in box office.
The focus on this anniversary speaks about the need for the Chinese government to consolidate its legitimacy. Of course, as explained Wu Jianmin, former president of China Foreign Affairs University, “no ruling party in the world loses power when it offers a double-digit growth.” But President Hu Jintao himself warned against the risk of losing credibility of the party, brought about by corruption and the widening social inequalities. At the same time, all the attempts of political reform, beginning with the democratization within the party were blocked. And the authorities have stiffened against all dissenting voices.
The Party has announced it has exceeded its 80 million members, roughly the population of Germany. A quarter of them are over 60 years, the CCP wants to rejuvenate and increase the level of his recruits. Of 21 million claims last year, it would have accepted that about 3 million. “As in all single-party regimes, says a lawyer, membership is most often seen as an engine of upward mobility in order to access privileges or positions.”