Ordinary delegates have rich vein of stories to tell Party congress

THE Communist Party of China is set to hold its 19th National Congress this month. The five-yearly political event is expected to pave the way for the country’s future development.

During the year, 2,287 delegates have been selected to attend this year’s congress to be held in Beijing starting on Wednesday.

Those attending will include high-ranking government officials, Party leaders and military officers as well as grassroots CPC members from “frontline production and manufacturing” such as workers, farmers, technicians, nurses and teachers.

A total of 771 grassroots delegates have been selected from various social sectors, accounting for 33.7 percent of the total, up by 3.2 percentage points from five years ago.

While these delegates all share their belief in Marxism and contribution to the people, each has a story to tell.

For some of China’s college students, Party theory classes may not be a fun part of their campus life. But this is not the case for students at Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Xu Chuan, a 35-year-old associate professor, has made the university’s Party classes popular by blending in vivid anecdotes and a touch of humor.

“Many of our graduates will go on to work in China’s national defense. Therefore Party classes are very important for them to nurture political awareness to better serve our country,” Xu said.

“I understand what interests young students. Instead of throwing rigid theories at them, I use my own experience to give the classes a personal spin,” he said.

In 2016, Xu’s article “Why should I join the CPC?” went viral garnering more than 1 million views after it was forwarded by the official WeChat accounts of CPC authorities.

“When students are asked about why they joined the Party, they tend to come up with very similar answers,” the article states. “They always say their grandfathers were the source of their Communist faith. It seems to me they all have the same grandfather.”

“If a person is not ready to sacrifice for the people and endure hardships, he or she is not qualified to be a CPC member,” the article goes on. Xu’s WeChat account now has nearly 200,000 followers. Xu was selected in June to attend the 19th CPC National Congress.

Another delegate is Deng Jianjun, technical director of Black Peony (Group) Co, a Chinese manufacturer of denim, yarn-dyed fabrics and garments.

Since 1994, Deng’s team has made hundreds of updates to the company’s machinery to increase production capacity saving more than 80 million yuan (US$12.1 million).

As a Party delegate representing workers, Deng has attended the last two congresses. He sees it as his duty to represent the benefits of workers.

“We are currently trying to let machines do more of the work,” Deng said, adding that the aim is to reduce the burden on workers and improve the working environment.

One out of every eight mantou, or steamed buns, in China is made from wheat developed by Ru Zhengang.

Ru, a professor at Henan Institute of Science and Technology, is China’s leading agricultural scientist renowned for his expertise in breeding new species of wheat.

Back in the 1980s, when Ru had just graduated from university, China’s wheat crops were mostly species imported from Italy.

Ru took it upon himself to make China independent in terms of wheat. After years of work, he developed the “Bainong-62” and “Aikang-58” species.

The Aikang-58 species has helped to increase China’s wheat output by 12.1 billion kilograms.

After being selected as a delegate to this year’s CPC National Congress, Ru feels the weight of his new responsibility.

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