Xinhua News Agency

Cadres spread word to private firms

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 January, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 January, 2007, 12:00am

'Missionaries' have been a success, party declares

More than 300,000 Communist Party members have been sent out to take up full-time positions as ideological missionaries in private businesses in an attempt to tighten party control over the booming world of commerce.

Quoting the Organisation Department of the Communist Party Central Committee, Xinhua reported that the drive to send party cadres to non-state enterprises had been a success during the past two decades and had helped the businesses set up grass-roots party units and increase party members.

The tutors were selected from local party organisations and government departments, residential committees, university graduates and retired military and business personnel, Xinhua reported.

Wang Yukai, a public administration professor at the National School of Administration, said the move was consistent with the party's resolve to expand its influence in the expanding private sector.

'The output and number of employees in the private sector makes it a force that cannot be ignored. More and more people are working for the sector as China trims its bureaucracy and streamlines state-owned enterprises,' Professor Wang said.

'It's becoming more important to educate employees in party theory, motivate them with party ideas and encourage their participation in party events.'

In 2005, the private sector contributed 65 per cent of the nation's gross domestic product and employed more than 75 per cent of people in urban areas. Private enterprise also contributes 70 to 80 per cent of tax revenue for local governments, according to the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce.

Professor Wang compared the efforts in the private sector with mainland initiatives to force multinationals to set up unions, saying the two had the same purpose.

In October, All-China Federation of Trade Unions vice-chairman Xu Deming said he expected more than 60 per cent of foreign-invested firms to have trade unions before the end of the year.

More than 25 million people worked for more than 570,000 foreign enterprises across the country, as of the end of 2005.

Despite the sector's contribution to the mainland economy, mass labour disputes caused by insufficient protection of workers had been on the rise in recent years, the federation said.

Federation officials said the organisation would continue to exert pressure on big foreign companies, especially those considered to be anti-union, until unions were established in those enterprises.