A Brief History of the world's second-largest political party

Politics Jul 17, 2021

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With over 85 million members, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is one the biggest political parties across the globe. Established in 1949, the party ever since has been the sole ruling authority in China. It is responsible for the policy-making and overlooks the functioning of the central, provisional and local governing bodies.

The CCP was not only founded as a political party but also as a revolutionary movement in 1921, by revolutionaries Li Dazhao and Chen Duxiu. These two individuals and a few others had come out of the famous May Fourth Movement of 1919 and had now switched to Marxism after witnessing the victory of Bolshevik in the 1917 Russian Revolution. China was in a turmoil during the 1920s and it was at this time that members of CCP such as Liu Shaoqi, Mao Zedong and Li Lisan started assembling a labour union in the towns.

In 1924, the party formed an alliance with the Nationlist party, and this alliance proved very successful at beginning however, around the year 1927 the Nationalists under the influence of Chiang Kai-shek turned brutally against the communists. The CCP party was driven underground as the communists were forced out of Shanghai.

Following this many members of CCP abandoned the revolutionary activities, the prominent one being Mao and started getting settled along the countryside where they were successful in gaining the trust of peasants to the level that they formed Chinese Soviet Republic in the year 1931 in southern China. However, records show that this organization was demolished by the Nationalists' military campaign. Yet Mao and his few members were able to escape and went to the Yan’an in northern China. This incident took place in 1934-35. Following this in the March, Mao attained the leadership of CCP and was in the position until his death.

The military oppression against the CCP continued until 1936 where Chiang Kai-shek was forced to stop the military actions against CCP and the two joined forces against the increasing Japanese military in China. During this fight, the Nationlaist forces went to war with Japanese military in Chongqing, wheeras, the CCP fought against the Japanese invaders. Due to this by the end of the war in 1945 CCP had tremendous support majorly from peasants, workers, middle class and small capitalists. On one hand the supporters of CCP kept on increasing however due to their demoralization and ineptitude the Nationalists kept losing their supporters.

This became evident when CCP won in 1949 against the Nationalists, and they formed the People’s Republic of China with the help of their allies. Now, the party faced several disagreements about the development of the country. Initially the party adopted the Russian Soviet’s model of development but as the years progressed, CCP and the Commusnist Party of the Soviet Union were at odds and by the year 1950 boh countries severed all their ties.

After this the CCP witnessed various disagreements and separation within the party regarding  the economic and social development policies of China. This disagreement resulted into the formation of the “Cultural Revolution” which came to an end in 1976 and the “Four Modernization” program was adopted. This policy focused on the development of industry, agriculture, science/ technology and defense, and also resulted in relaxation of restrictions on arts and education and several other areas.

Despite all the struggles in the beginning, the CCP has been successfully running the country for a very long time. China is today one of the most powerful countries across the globe and holds 2nd rank in terms of GDP.

This article has been written by Ritika Pandey for The Paradigm.

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