China’s ruling Communist Party will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its founding on July 1. In the build-up to it, President Xi Jinping and the party have exhorted its members and the nation to remember the early days of struggle in the hills of the inland city of Yan’an, where former president of the People’s Republic of China Mao Zedong established himself as party leader in the 1930s.
Celebrations have already begun across the country ahead of the official anniversary on Thursday, including an enormous gala performance on Monday, an exhibition of historical material and an awards ceremony for outstanding party members. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which came to power in China nearly 72 years ago, was founded in 1921. The party’s first Congress held in Shanghai, with the help of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, during a tough period after the nation had a decade earlier cast off 2,000 years of dynastic rule. At the initial Congress, Mao Zedong was the representative for Hunan province. He rose to become the commander of the Red Army in 1935 and became the founding leader of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.
The CCP’s ranks have risen roughly in line with China’s population, totalling 95.2 million members as of this month or 6.7 per cent of the Chinese population.