Enterprise at party conference

PUBLISHED : Monday, 20 May, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 20 May, 2002, 12:00am

Twelve Communist Party members in Guangdong province will make history today when they become the first private businessmen and employees of foreign companies to take part as representatives in a party conference in Guangzhou.

The dozen include eight private businessmen, three employees of Sino-foreign joint ventures in Guangdong and one migrant worker from another province, the semi-official China News Service reported yesterday.

According to the report, 880 Communist Party members will take part in the five-day meeting which begins today. The delegates were elected by more than three million party members in the province.

President Jiang Zemin, who is General-Secretary of the Communist Party, announced in July that the party would admit private businessmen, breaking a decades-old ban.

Also joining the meeting today are seven Communist Party members from shareholding companies in the province. Guangdong was among the first few provinces to experiment with the shareholding system borrowed from Western countries in the 1980s, and it was considered a breakthrough in the country's reforms. However, it will not be the first time that Communist Party members from shareholding companies attend a party meeting.

The report said a key task for the delegates was to elect members to represent Guangdong in the 16th Communist Party Congress to be held in Beijing this year.

The congress will be responsible for the election of a new Chinese leadership. Guangdong Party Secretary Li Changchun is tipped to be promoted to the top leadership by the body.