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<-Back to WTN Archives China readies for Party birthday with survival vow
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World Tibet Network News

Published by the Canada Tibet Committee

Sunday, July 1, 2001

4. China readies for Party birthday with survival vow

June 30, 2001

BEIJING - China prepared on Saturday for the 80th birthday of its
Communist Party with a vow that the party would survive -- and maintain
its tight grip on power.

In an editorial, the official China Daily newspaper said the Chinese
Communist Party would avoid the fate of its brethren in the former
Soviet Union and Eastern Europe after the collapse
of communism there more than a decade ago.

"Even the most cynical radicals and the most obstinate anti-Communist
crusaders must admit that the Party remains and will continue to be the
leading force in China," it said. "To imagine a China without the
Communist Party is nightmarish."

State media was filled with glowing accounts of the party's achievements
in improving people's lives on Saturday, the eve of the 80th anniversary
of the party's founding on July 1, but most
made little mention of darker episodes in its history.

In a rare admission, the China Daily editorial said the party had made
mistakes, including the "Great Leap Forward" in the 1950s when millions
starved to death and the tumultuous 10-year Cultural Revolution from
1966 to 1976.

"There were trials and errors, such as the 'Great Leap Forward' in the
late 1950s and the 'Cultural Revolution' which resulted in substantial
damage," it said. "But the Party learned from these blunders and
corrected itself."

The editorial said the party's ability to advance with the times was the
key to its survival.

"Party leaders are aware of the lessons to be learned from the failure
of Communist parties in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe," it
said. "With its readiness to improve, the Communist Party of China
relieved itself of the fates that befell Eastern Europe."

Analysts say the party and the government have in effect made a pact
with the people, offering economic development and higher incomes while
keeping a firm grip on political power.


Chinese President Jiang Zemin, who is also general secretary of the
party, said on Friday that people who engage in separatist activities,
like supporting independence for Tibet, would be
punished, state media reported.

"To uphold and improve the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party is
an essential guarantee for an even better tomorrow for Tibet," he said.

China has accused the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader
who fled to India in 1959, of advocating independence.

For the future, the party's biggest challenges were to transform China
into a developed country with market reforms and root out corruption
within its ranks, the editorial said.

"Party-sponsored reforms, from political structure changes to efforts to
root out corruption, help broadcast the key message that the Party won't
tolerate any impediments towards healthy
modernisation," it said.

China has disciplined 473,000 party members since 1989 for corruption,
the editorial said. But critics say corruption probes have left top
leaders untouched.

Last year, Beijing executed Cheng Kejie, former vice chairman of the
Standing Committee of the National People's Congress -- China's
parliament -- the highest level official executed for
corruption since the Communists came to power in 1949.

China had around 64.52 million Communist Party members at the end of
2000 out of the total population of 1.3 billion, official figures show.
Party members hold nearly 40 percent of
government posts and positions in state-owned firms and institutions.

Articles in this Issue:
  1. Should Beijing get the games?
  2. Interview with Dalai Lama in Trentino
  3. China conundrum really about dollars.
  4. China readies for Party birthday with survival vow
  5. Work begins on disputed Tibetan rail link
  6. More than a game
  7. Underdog Tibetan soccer team claims victory before the game begins
  8. Major Projects for Tibet Development Planned

Other articles this month - WTN Index - Mail the WTN-Editors

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