A recent Ministry of Education survey shows that almost 80 percent of college students are willing to join the Communist Party of China (CPC). This will be a tremendous boost for the CPC, preparing to celebrate its 90th anniversary on July 1.
The survey, which covered 25,000 students in 140 institutions of higher education, was conducted professionally and should reflect the true state of mind on college campuses today.
The study, 20th of its kind and published early this month, reveals very high approval ratings for major national achievements attributable to the CPC and an unusual optimism about what it will deliver. Nothing could have made a better birthday gift for the Party.
With an overwhelming majority of the country's young elites on its side, the world's largest political party can rest assured of its impact on younger members of society.
According to the survey, more than 90 percent of the respondents were "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with the country's response to natural disasters such as the Yushu earthquake, the Zhouqu landslide, as well as the international relief operations in Haiti and Pakistan. International events such as the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai and the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, too, stood out as examples of fine leadership. This inspired 89.6 percent of the respondents to be optimistic about the CPC's potential to come up with a more sophisticated leadership to facilitate the nation's march toward greater prosperity.
As its membership continues to increase - CPC had almost 78 million members by the end of 2009 - the task of regulating its ranks becomes greater than ever. Since the CPC is determined to represent a broader spectrum of interests and open its arms to some previously excluded sectors of society, it has to check personal ambitions around its policy goals, and honor its promise of good governance.
Because the average citizen judges the Party from the conduct of its individual members, there have been stronger calls for fine personal examples. But the negative impact of the bad ones, which seemingly abound in what people see and hear in the media, can hardly be offset by the officially recommended role models.
The teaching of moral values is not enough to ensure each and every one of the nearly 80 million CPC members steers clear of corruption and bad conduct. There are plenty of other ways to manage their actions. The CPC has come up with numerous measures to discipline its members, not all of which have been taken seriously, or have yielded the expected results.
The Party needs tangible improvements in self-discipline for its political aspirations.