Can West understand China without understanding CPC?
“It’s Official: China’s E-Commerce King Is a Communist,” claimed The Wall Street Journal Tuesday, as if it unveiled a startling discovery. Earlier the same day, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) published a list of 100 individuals who made outstanding contributions to China’s reform and openingup. Yet the identity of Jack Ma Yun, co-founder and executive chairman of the Alibaba Group, as a Communist Party member, caught more attention than the commendation.
The truth is Ma’s CPC membership was known long ago. Zhejiang (S) Entrepreneurs Association was founded on October 24, 2015, and Ma was elected first president. His introduction on the association website showed he was a CPC member. That means he was a member for years.
Why did such credentials pique foreign media interest? Can’t private entrepreneurs be Communist Party members?
There was a time in China when private entrepreneurs were considered the exploiting class. They became a new social stratum after reform and opening-up. Before the 16th National Congress of the CPC in 2002, they could not join the Party. With their increasing contribution to China’s economic development, the Party adjusted the definition of the group. In an amendment to the Party Constitution made during the 16th National Congress, they were defined as an advanced element of other social strata.
Whether to become a Party member is a free choice for private entrepreneurs. Nowadays successful private entrepreneurs are superstars of Chinese society. There is no conflict at all between being a Party member and doing business.
Ma thanked the reform and opening-up policy for providing a great opportunity for private companies to thrive. Members of the CPC like Ma have helped promote the development of private Chinese enterprises and even the entire nation.
Alibaba issues a social responsibility report every year, which touches upon the company’s responsibility in the market, charity, public interests, environment and supervision responsibility for public opinion guidance of the internet. Ma said he wanted to “improve this society,” which fully showcases his sense of responsibility, which is no different from entrepreneurs of other countries.
The operation of their companies is no different from Western corporations and this has already been proved by their development on the global arena. Meanwhile, these individuals represent China’s advanced productive forces. Thanks to them, China’s reform and opening-up could be efficiently carried out, major high-tech programs could be implemented, the competitiveness of Chinese enterprises could be boosted and people’s living standards could be raised.
It has been 40 years of reform and opening-up. It is quite surprising to see the West so astonished over Ma being a Party member. The Western media should at least learn some history before judging the country’s development.