Founded in July 1921, the Communist Party of China (CPC) today has 70.8 million members.
From 1921 to 1949, the CPC led the Chinese people in their arduous struggle that finally brought about the overthrow of the rule of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism and the establishment of the People's Republic of China. After the founding of the PRC, the CPC led the Chinese people of all ethnic groups in defending China's independence and security, successfully completing the transition from new democracy to socialism, and carrying out systematic large-scale socialist construction, achieving economic and cultural progress unparalleled in Chinese history.
In 1956, after the transformation from private to social ownership of the means of production was largely completed, the CPC's lack of experience led to some mistakes in leading the process of constructing socialism. Later, the CPC made the serious, nationwide mistake of launching the "Cultural Revolution" (1966-1976).
The "Cultural Revolution" ended in October 1976, at which turning point China entered a new historic era of development. Following the Third Plenary Session of the 11th Party Central Committee at the end of 1978, the country embarked on the biggest change in the history of New China. From 1979, the CPC began to carry out the reform and opening-up policy initiated by Deng Xiaoping. In the more than two decades since the initiation of the reform and opening-up, China's economic and social development has been crowned with remarkable success and the country has taken on a new look. This has been the best period and most materially beneficial period for the Chinese people since the founding of the PRC.
The central organs of the CPC include the Party national congress, the Central Committee, the Central Political Bureau, the Political Bureau's Standing Committee, the Central Secretariat, the Central Military Commission and the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection. The Party national congress is held once every five years. When the national congress is not in session, the Central Committee is the highest leading organ of the CPC. The current General Secretary is Hu Jintao.