In preparation for a year-and-half education move to maintain the advanced nature of the Party, members of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) in Guang'an, a city in southwest province of Sichuan, attended a recent mobilization meeting.
No party members in the city were absent without reason.
"The meeting marks the beginning of a citywide education campaign aimed at assisting Party members to maintain the advanced nature," said Guo Jianping, an official with Guang'an Party Committee.
In fact, the similar education campaign has been unfolded throughout the country, which is scheduled to last for 18 months from January 2005 to June 2006.
It is the largest education move in the Party since China adopted its opening-up policy more than 20 years ago and the campaign will involve all of its more than 68 million members.
The country's first education class was opened on Jan. 14 in Zhongnanhai compound, where the CPC headquarters and the Chinese cabinet are located. Chinese President Hu Jintao told the whole Party on the occasion that strengthening the construction of CPC's advanced nature is of vital importance for the Party's survival, development and expansion.
A document issued by the CPC Central Committee noted that in the new century, profound changes have taken place in the environment the Party lives in, the task the Party shoulders and the makeup of Party members. The campaign is being conducted in order to adapt the Party itself to these changes.
The education campaign will be an important measure to elevate the Party's governance capability, consolidate its ruling status and complete its governing missions.
According to the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee, organizer of the campaign, maintaining the Party's advanced nature is a matter concerning the prosperity of the Party's cause and the nation's permanent stability.
It defines the goal for the education as solving protruding problems related to thought, organization and work style within the party.
"The CPC has carried out various internal education moves to help solve problems in history. And this time it has paid enough attention to learning helpful experiences from the past," said Zhang Rongchen, a professor with the Party School of the CPC Central Committee.
"During the education, most unqualified Party members are expected to get qualified through education, and those who remain unqualified after repeated education will be dealt with according to Party's rules," said Zhang.
In Tai'an city, where a pilot work for the campaign was carried out in 2003, more than 4,100 unqualified CPC members were ordered to rectify themselves or expelled out of the Party. In China, 52,000 grassroots Party units of 12 provinces and several central departments have experienced this kind of pilot work, involving 1.04 million Party members.
Zhang noted that another feature for the campaign is that the Party will set up an open-end long-term mechanism to invite supervisions and comments from non-Party personages so as to guarantee the effectiveness of the campaign. The mechanism will remain even after the education campaign.
"The campaign is not only to resolve problems of the Party members, but also to address complaints of common people," said Zhang.
Top leaders have expressed their worries that the campaign will go through the formality. The details of the implementation plan were thought-out results, so it will not be just a skin-deep activity, said an official with the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee.
In Guang'an, the leading group for the education campaign has carried out a survey among more than 3,000 Party members, in which nearly half of respondents considered local leading Party cadres have not performed well and can't be example for other Party members.
"This is one of the problems we must resolve and we believe we can do it," said Guo Jianping.
(Xinhua News Agency January 19, 2005)