Role of Party branches in pri­vate en­ter­prises hailed

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - China - By XU XIAODAN and ZHAO RUIXUE in Wen­zhou, Zhe­jiang

When Cao Guangxia looks back at the his­tory of his com­pany, one piv­otal mo­ment stands out: the set­ting up of its Party branch 31 years ago.

“Re­form and open­ing-up gave birth to my com­pany. But it’s the Party branch that has en­sured that my com­pany re­mained healthy and stayed on the right track,” he said.

In 1983, five years into the startup wave that fol­lowed the launch of China’s re­form and open­ing-up, Cao and six part­ners raised 10,000 yuan (about $5,000 at the time) to es­tab­lish Zhe­jiang Zhen­zhong Con­struc­tion Ma­chin­ery Co in Wen­zhou, Zhe­jiang prov­ince.

The com­pany’s plant in Wen­zhou’s Ruian city pro­duces heavy ma­chin­ery, such as vi­bra­tory ham­mers, a type of pile driver used in con­struc­tion.

As the busi­ness grew, Cao be­gan to sense that some­thing was wrong. “I be­gan to feel that our work­ers cared more about im­me­di­ate ben­e­fits than the com­pany’s sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment,” he said.

To ad­dress this, Cao, a mem­ber of the Com­mu­nist Party of China, de­cided to set up a Party branch at his com­pany.

“CPC mem­bers are more self-dis­ci­plined and will­ing to un­der­take chal­lenges,” he said. “We can un­der­stand the poli­cies made by all sec­tions of gov­ern­ment timely and cor­rectly through meet­ings and dis­cus­sions.”

De­spite ob­jec­tions from his part­ners, Cao in­sisted. And in 1987, Zhen­zhong Con­struc­tion be­came the first pri­vate com­pany in China with a Party branch.

“What hap­pened next proved my de­ci­sion was right,” he said, not­ing that the com­pany went on to se­cure sev­eral big deals. “Moral in­tegrity and com­pe­tence come first, and our work­ers are bet­ter mo­ti­vated. Po­ten­tial clients be­lieve, thanks to our high spir­its and pro­fes­sional eth­nics, that we can de­liver goods on time and at high qual­ity.”

In 1992, the year Chi­nese leader Deng Xiaop­ing in­jected fresh en­thu­si­asm into re­form and open­ing-up with a rous­ing speech in Shen­zhen, Guang­dong prov­ince, Cao and his fel­low Party mem­bers be­gan work­ing to im­prove Zhen­zhong Con­struc­tion’s man­age­ment reg­u­la­tions to en­sure they fit with both do­mes­tic and over­seas mar­kets. Three years later, the com­pany signed its first over­seas con­tract, mak­ing a deal with a Ja­panese firm.

“To­day we have 25 Party mem­bers,” Cao said. “They’re a ma­jor force in tack­ling the dif­fi­cul­ties we en­counter.”

Wen­zhou was a pi­o­neer in the pro­mo­tion of Party branches in the pri­vate sec­tor. The city now has 5,019 Party branches at pri­vately run com­pa­nies, with a to­tal of 42,280 mem­bers.

“Party branches have played an im­por­tant role in help­ing com­pa­nies pros­per by ex­plain­ing to work­ers the poli­cies made in all sec­tions of gov­ern­ment, as well as putting for­ward timely de­vel­op­ment pro­pos­als,” said Zhou Dongxue, deputy Party sec­re­tary of the Ruian CPC work­ing com­mit­tee on non­pub­lic en­ter­prises and so­cial or­ga­ni­za­tions.

Last year, Party branches at pri­vate en­ter­prises in Wen­zhou for­warded 28,650 pro­pos­als to com­pany man­agers, and 72 per­cent were adopted, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial fig­ures.

To pro­mote healthy growth, branches also or­ga­nize so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity ac­tiv­i­ties and me­di­ate dis­putes be­tween work­ers. To date, 528 vil­lage poverty re­lief projects have been car­ried out by pri­vate en­ter­prises, and more than 6,720 dis­putes have been re­solved an­nu­ally in the past three years.

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