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China’s Communist Party turns 100
July 1, 2021 - The Communist Party of China will mark 100 years since its foundation in Shanghai in July 1921. The party, which has ruled China since 1949, now has almost 92 million members, making it one of the biggest in the world.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has had a monopoly on power in China since the Mao Zedong–led party defeated nationalist rivals and founded the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949.
While significant in numeric terms, the CCP’s 91.9 million members represent just 6.6 per cent of China’s population (2019), allowing complete domination of politics, economics, academia and society.
While the Communist Party is synonymous with the state, eight other minor political parties are officially recognised in China.
Founded in Shanghai in July 1921 by a group of thirteen young Chinese men inspired by the Russian Revolution, the CCP has overseen the country’s dizzying economic growth to become the second-largest economy in the world.
However, the societal cost has been tremendous -- with policies that caused the world’s deadliest famine and purges and social experiments that wiped out millions of opponents. Since President Xi Jinping came to power in 2012, the CCP has imposed direct authoritarian rule in Hong Kong and created “reeducation” camps for more than a million Muslims in Xinjiang.
In March 2018, China’s parliament voted to amend the state constitution and roll back term limits for the president, paving the way for Xi to remain officially in power for life, if he so wishes.