SCIO briefing on 'China's Political Party System: Cooperation and Consultation' white paper

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Beijing Youth Daily:

I want to know more about non-affiliates. What role does this group play in China's political party system? Thank you.

Zhang Jian:

Thank you for your question. Regarding prominent individuals without affiliation to any political party, which we call "non-affiliates" for short, there may be many people in society who have the same question as you; they know non-affiliates exist but are unclear about the precise definition of those non-affiliates or who they are. Regarding this question, a clear definition was made in the regulations on the united front work of the CPC, promulgated by the CPC Central Committee on Dec. 21 last year and publicly published on Jan. 5 this year. What is the definition of non-affiliates in the regulations? Non-affiliates refer to those who have not participated in any political parties but have the desire and the ability to discuss and participate in the administration of state affairs and have made active contributions to and have a certain influence in society. Their main body is intellectuals. This is the entire definition of non-affiliates.

How to understand this definition? It should be said that non-affiliates are a political concept and a political identity. Why do we say that? Because they are an important part of multiparty cooperation and play an important role. In other words, not all intellectuals without party or affiliation are non-affiliates. Only those who play an important role in multiparty cooperation and assume important functions are considered non-affiliates. Their basic functions shall follow the same three basic functions of the non-CPC political parties, which are: to discuss and participate in the administration of state affairs and to engage in democratic scrutiny and political consultation led by the CPC.

Non-affiliates have played a very important role in our country's political party system. They are not only the co-founders of the multiparty cooperation system but also important participants in this system. Examples of famous non-affiliates in history include Guo Moruo, who made contributions during the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1931-45) with his literary works; Li Dingming, who put forward the idea of "excellent troops and a streamlined administration”; "people's writer" Ba Jin; and the "father of hybrid rice" Yuan Longping, who passed away not long ago. Some of these individuals played an important role in the establishment of China's political party system, while others played an important role in promoting the development of China's political party system. It should be said that, for a long time, especially since the 18th CPC National Congress, our Party has attached great importance to supporting non-affiliates in playing their roles and has adopted a series of measures. For example, in consultations and symposiums convened by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, or those entrusted to relevant departments, non-affiliate delegates would be invited to participate. Thank you.

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