Here’s a bit of unspectacular but interesting news: Members of the Chinese Communist Party are all over the places in the Middle Kingdom, as revealed by, surprise, the China Daily, the mouthpiece of the CCP.
The CCP has more than 89 million members at the end of 2016. The number was 85 million in 2012, according to a communiqué just released by the Organisation Department of the CCP’s Central Committee.
“Party organisations”, which basically means party members, are in 99 per cent of 97,911 neighbourhood committees in cities, 31,819 townships and 550, 636 villages – and 232,000 government bodies.
The grip of the party is just as dominant in the Chinese “corporate” world. Some 91 per cent of 189,000 state-owned enterprises are party people. The penetration level is 94 per cent in 515,000 public institutions. Even the 1.86 million private enterprises in the country have strong party links – 67.9 per cent.
The bulk of party members – 73.24 per cent – are aged 31 to 70 years. Females make up 25.7 per cent, while at least 46 per cent (both sexes) have college education.
But if you think the CCP has gone urban and more millennial, you are wrong. About 43 per cent are farmers, herdsmen and fishermen (25.96 per cent) and retirees (16.93 per cent). The party is still conservative and traditional.
The next biggest group by profession would be technicians in businesses, public institutions and non-profit organisations.
For a party that is usually touted as representing workers and the proletariat, the number of workers who are members is relatively small – only 7.09 per cent.