The Communist Party is a modern, well-structured organisation that will prosper well into the next century, the Chinese President will tell its 75th birthday celebrations. Party sources said yesterday that a team close to President Jiang Zemin was drafting the keynote speech he would deliver on July 1. They said Mr Jiang would play up the fact the party had democratic, well-established institutions which had transcended the 'rule of personality' of the days of Mao Zedong . The sources added that in line with recent nationalism campaigns, Mr Jiang would highlight the victories scored by the party over the Japanese and other 'neo-imperialists', a reference to the United States and the former Soviet Union. Some of the celebrations could be held in Shanghai, one of the party's key birthplaces, sources said. Mr Jiang, a former chief of the Shanghai party, is said to be keen to mark the occasion in the city, which is his power base. Official media this week started running scores of articles on the 'great tradition' of the party, which now has 57 million members. Xinhua (the New China News Agency) heaped praise yesterday on the communists' long tradition of 'democratic centralism', which had enabled cadres and members to enjoy 'a correct and regulated political life within the party'. Examples of 'modernised' institutions included regular congresses of party representatives, elections for senior officials and appointments on merit. Xinhua also revealed that of the 2.19 million new members last year, 1.56 million were aged under 35, and 1.55 million had college-level education. One retired party member pointed out, however, that 'democratic centralism' was a euphemism invented by Chairman Mao to mask his authoritarian rule. He said this goal was largely shelved by liberal party chiefs, including Deng Xiaoping , Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang . Mr Jiang has put more emphasis on centralism than on democratic ideals such as 'letting a hundred flowers bloom'. Senior officials have been touring China to help preparations for the July 1 festivities. In Shanghai earlier this week, Vice-Premier Zhu Rongji spoke of the need in the years ahead to build a spiritual civilisation while further developing the fast-growing economy. Analysts said moderates like Mr Zhu needed to develop the image of being semi-Maoist conservatives to widen their support at the approaching 15th Party Congress.