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Party Now Has 70.8 Million Members
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Statistics from the Organization Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee show that China now has 70.8 million Party members.

Those under the age of 35 account for 23 percent of the membership.

While almost 2.5 million people where allowed to join the CPC last year about a quarter of those who applied the number of college students joining the Party increased at more than double the overall rate to reach 734,000.

About 20 percent of Tsinghua University's undergraduates have earned their CPC membership. The percentage for graduate students is 50 percent.

Liu Minhua, a teacher in charge of the Party affairs of the Department of Automation in Tsinghua, said more young people are joining the Party as they see it as an organization that draws the best minds.

Liao Wang, president of the student union of Beijing University, said one of the reasons that students join the Party is to show they are among the best.

"Employers quite often recruit Party members from graduating classes, as they believe Party members are the top students," he added.

For a great many students, being a Party member isn't all about political thought. Party members among the student body also devote themselves to social work, Liu said. They often visit hospitals to care for the elderly, help clean up public places or memorials, or volunteer their time to China's Red Cross Society.

Liu said by participating in social work, the young people, most of whom come from single-child families and may have been a bit spoiled, begin to recognize their social responsibility and come to understand the Party's principle of serving the people.

(China Daily July 1, 2006)

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