《漫话十九大》Episode5: What are the other political parties in China?
The CPC is the biggest player in Chinese politics, but it is far from the only party. In fact, eight other parties also contribute to shaping the country’s direction.
Each of these eight parties has different priorities, and each has many thousands of members.
So do the other parties have a high profile?
The Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang (RCCK) is probably the best known of the other eight parties. It was set up by a group of people who broke away from the Kuomintang in 1947 when it started a civil war against the CPC.
The RCCK’s main goal is China’s modernization and reunification with Taiwan, but with 102,000 members, it is one of the smaller parties.
Which is the largest?
The largest party besides the CPC is the China Democratic League, founded in 1941. Its more than 282,000 members come mainly from the culture, education, science and technology fields. It seeks to promote scientific research and harmonious social development.
Next biggest is the 170,000-member China National Democratic Construction Association, which was founded by industrialists and business people in 1945 and advises on economic and social development as well as financial and tax reform.
What are the other parties’ priorities?
The Jiusan Society, with 164,000 members, promotes a knowledge economy and high-tech; the China Association for Promoting Democracy, whose 145,000 members include some of the country’s top scholars, focuses on developing the cultural sector; the Chinese Peasants and Workers Democratic Party’s 144,000 members from the medical and ecological fields aim to improve the health and livelihood of the people.
The second oldest party after the CPC, the China Zhi Gong Party, was founded in San Francisco in the US and has around 30,000 members, mostly returned overseas Chinese and their families.
Last – and least in terms of numbers – the 3,000 members of the Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League campaign for more cross-Strait exchanges, with the goal of a united China.
And besides the CPC and the eight parties, prominent public figures and intellectuals who do not belong to any party but have made positive contributions to society are also often consulted on various issues. They are known as “Personages Without Party Affiliation.”