Member numbers of the Communist Party of China (CPC) reached 70.8 million by the end of 2005, with most new members being "young and capable", a senior Party personnel official said on Wednesday.
About 17.67 million people applied to join the CPC in 2005, but only 2.47 million were accepted, according to Ouyang Song, deputy head of the Organization Department of CPC Central Committee, at a press conference held by the Information Office of the State Council on Wednesday.
The number of grassroots CPC organizations across China has exceeded 3.52 million, including 170,000 grassroots party committees, Ouyang said.
"Joining the Communist Party has become increasingly popular among China's younger generation," Ouyang said, quoting statistics showing that 80 percent of new members last year were under the age of 35.
He said that overall, the numbers of new Party members, members under the age of 35, and people submitting the applications all increased in 2005.
"The possibility cannot be ruled out that some applicants think more about their personal interests in relation to membership, but most of the young people join the Party with correct motives," he said.
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(Xinhua News Agency March 2, 2006)