Role of Party branches in private enterprises hailed
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.