Ask Shao Dongke what it means to be a member of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and he tells a story, not of famous revolutionaries, but of Liu Fang, his late grandmother.
Indifferent to fame or fortune, Liu cared for those in need, Shao recalled. The former primary school teacher devoted half her life to special education. “She was just an ordinary Party member, but she was a role model to me,” he says, “One day I want to be like her.”
Shao, 30, joined the CPC in 2013 while he was at Tsinghua University. He is one of the newer members of the 88.8-million-strong party. The world’s largest political party is accepting more and more young members. About 15.5 percent of members are 30 years old or younger.
After graduation last year, the doctoral graduate of Public Administration decided to follow in his grandma’s footsteps: To work for the needy. He left Beijing and took up a position as deputy county mayor of Ninghua, an impoverished county in east China’s Fujian Province. Ninghua is one of the four starting points of the “Long March,” the 10,000-km historic trek of Chinese communists between 1934 and 1935. The historic setting has not only given Shao insight into the hardships endured by the Chinese Red Army, but also the current state of the underdeveloped local economy.
Li Jia joined the Party out of admiration of people in her daily life. “When I joined the Party in my junior year, I did not think too much about it. I saw many excellent schoolmates become Party members. I want to be like them,” she recalls.
However, when she got a job with the Shanghai branch of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), she found that her Party membership was not common in her social circle. She said that despite this, there was no contradiction between her job and her political status.
Party branches at foreign companies are growing, and most are composed of “star employees” recognized by company management.
“During our daily Party activities, we study Party’s policies and important documents in addition to items about China’s economic and social development,” Li says, “We are busy at work so we don’t have much time for more Party activities, but we combine our theoretical study with our work and daily life, so it works better with us.”
Being a communist in a foreign capitalist company, in Li’s eyes, means always taking the lead in the daily life. “Party members in my company care about our other colleagues and protect the rights and interest of employees. We all do our best to make our company more competitive.”
“Many Party members in our companies set good examples to us. Their excellence is seen in their seriousness at work and kindness to others,” she says.
(Shanghai Daily condensed the article from Xinhua News Agency.)