May 19, 2024
What You Need to Know About the Chinese Communist Party
The CCP is not a party in the normal sense of the word. Because it’s communist in the normal sense of that word.
The CCP is not a party in the normal sense of the word. Because it’s communist in the normal sense of that word.

In order to “transform the international order to align with CCP interests and ideology,” the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has launched a well-coordinated campaign to achieve dominance in the world. Its measures include military buildup and expansion, bribing politicians from other countries and international agencies, retaliating against foreign countries for criticizing its human rights violations, establishing thousands of Confucius Institutes throughout the world, putting top scientists in the U.S. and other countries on its payroll through its “Thousand Talents Program,” and acquiring strategic ports and routes in the world via its “Belt and Road Initiative,” to name a few.

Now the world, especially the U.S., is beginning to wake up to the threat and to counter the expansion effort of the Chinese Communist Party. Most people in democracies, however, have no first-hand experience dealing with the CCP and are extremely naïve about it. Many think it is a political party like the Democrats and Republicans here. They are dead wrong and will face dire consequences if they treat the CCP as a “party.”

Political parties in democracies compete in elections according to the laws, and all people are free to join and leave — just like a party. In contrast, the CCP is a Leninist party, with exclusive and selective membership. One needs to formally apply, to have recommendations by two party members, and to be under observation and test for a long period before being admitted as preliminary member for a probation period. Once one is admitted and takes the oath to join, it is forever, unless, of course, the party expels him/her, which can lead to jail or execution. Exiting the party on one’s free will has serious consequences. For people in democracies, an efficient way to learn about the CCP is to watch mafia movies — both follow similar rules.

Below are four basic facts that the party never tells you but are vital to understanding it.

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Editor’s Note: Wei Zhang is an investment banker in Hong Kong. He received his bachelor’s degree from Peking University, MPA from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and DPhil from St. Antony’s College at Oxford University. Dr. Zhang was a lecturer of economics and the director of Great China Economy Research Centre at the University of Cambridge before moving to Hong Kong.

Shaomin Li is Eminent Scholar and Professor of International Business at Old Dominion University. His most recent article, “The Emergence of China, Inc.: Behind and Beyond the Trade War”, is published in the International Journal of Emerging Markets.