|China's communist party members near 76 mln, 80% of recruits under 35(06/30/09)|
BEIJING, June 30 (Xinhua) -- The Communist Party of China (CPC) has increased to nearly 76 million members over the past 60 years, according to official figures Tuesday.
As of the end of last year, the number of China's ruling CPC members stood at 75.931 million, 17 times the 1949 figure when the People's Republic of China was founded, the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee announced.
Last year more than 2.8 million new members were recruited, up 25,000 from the previous year, it said.
Of the new members, 2.268 million, or 80.8 percent, are under 35 years old, it added.
"Recruits from students saw the biggest surge in 2008, up 71,000 from the previous year," it said.
When asked at a separate press conference how to handle the problem of some college students joining the CPC to facilitate their job hunting, Li Zhongjie, an official studying the party's history, said most applicants' motivation was to play their roles in building the nation and the society.
"We have more than 10 million applicants every year, 19.5 million in 2007 for example," said Li, deputy director of the Party History Research Center of the CPC Central Committee. "With so many people, it's inevitable and understandable that some of them will have their own reasons for joining, including finding jobs."
"Overall, they're joining the party to serve the nation and people," he said, noting that the party will respect the members' reasonable private interests, and the members should also observe laws and party disciplines when using the power derived from being ruling party members.
Li said over the past decades, the CPC has learned lessons and accumulated experience and now its governing capacity has won world recognition.
"I believe our party will have a long life cycle," he said.