China’s state-run Global Times on Friday bristled against a potential U.S. travel ban on members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP/CPC), insisting the Party and its officials are utterly indistinguishable from the Chinese people.
The Global Times went on to compare Party membership to the population of Germany. A century ago, Germany offered the primary example of a totalitarian political party that insisted it was inseparably linked with the national and racial identity of its people.
The CCP’s newspaper went on to make some arguments about the vast size and reach of the Party that sounded very different from decades of assurances that independent Chinese corporations are privately owned, free of Communist political influence, and completely trustworthy for their Western business partners.
The Global Times described the party and its role in Chinese society at length:
Let’s take a look at who these CPC members are. The CPC has been the ruling party for a long time. Most officials in local authorities across the country are Party members. But senior and middle-to-high level officials are only a tiny part of the CPC. Most CPC members live and work among ordinary Chinese people. They themselves are ordinary Chinese people. They are usually active forces in all walks of life. If the CPC is a big tree, these people are the roots which deeply penetrate the soil of Chinese society.
The CPC is not a political party that has emerged under a Western political ecology. It is substantially different to Western-style parties in scale, goals, operating mechanism, and the role it plays in society. The CPC is not a typical “party” in the English vocabulary. No English word can really describe it.
The CPC can be described from different perspectives. For instance, the CPC is the skeleton of China’s vast society, the backbone of the mobilization and operation systems of the whole country. The CPC creates the selection and training mechanisms for advanced figures in Chinese society.
The Global Times also offered the latest variation on the CCP’s argument that Westerners do not understand how Chinese culture views authoritarianism as a virtue:
The CPC is the product of Marxism applied to China’s distinct national conditions. Relying solely on the historical, social, and political experiences of the West, one cannot truly understand the CPC which has, together with the people, brought China to its status of the world’s second-largest economy.
Most CPC members join the Party when they are young, with dreams, enthusiasm, collective spirits, higher working competence and other qualities praised by others. They often volunteer for more difficult work and devote themselves more than others because that is an obligation of Party members.
The Global Times claimed that Communist Party members are a courageous “vanguard” that rushes forward to lead and defend the Chinese people in times of trouble. In truth, one of the worst political crises of the coronavirus era came when Chinese people noticed their Communist leaders, including dictator Xi Jinping, were nowhere to be found when disease was ravaging their population.
The Party rushed to create a new narrative of the pandemic that claimed Xi was secretly directing a flawless response to the coronavirus from a hidden bunker. The CCP scrambled to recast doctors it had threatened into silence or jailed as Party heroes, in some cases posthumously. Chinese officials made it very clear that belief in this revised history was mandatory and doubts would be punished severely if expressed in public.
As for Xi’s underlings, one of the most remarkable early tales from the coronavirus outbreak involved the chief epidemiologist of Shanghai, Zhang Wenhong, threatening cowardly Communist Party officials and forcing them to replace doctors on the front lines so they would share the risk.
Xi and his most powerful henchmen are constantly purging political enemies by accusing them of corruption.
“Advocating for the separation of the CPC from the Chinese people for so-called targeted attacks is the fantasy and delusion of a few U.S. elites. It is as hypocritical and arrogant as attacking a man’s heart and nervous system yet claiming to be beneficial to his whole body. Opposing all CPC members is undoubtedly opposing all Chinese people,” the Global Times argued in its conclusion.
“It is an attempt to hit the weight-bearing part of Chinese society’s development and progress. Political parties under the Western system are political tools seeking interests for certain groups. The CPC’s responsibility, however, is to seek interests for all Chinese people. That is also a strong source of the CPC’s strength,” the Party paper wrote.