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The unification of our country, the unity of our people and the unity of our various nationalities - these are the basic guarantees of the sure triumph of our cause.
~ Mao Zedong

The Communist Party of China (CPC), is the single ruling party of the People's Republic of China. It was founded in 1921. And by 1949, it managed to overthrow and drive out Chiang Kai-shek and his Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) after the Chinese Civil War. Since taking power, the party has ruled China with an iron fist and been near successful in crushing dissent and opposition.

History

The CPC has its origins in the May Fourth Movement of 1919, during which radical Western ideologies like Marxism and anarchism gained traction among Chinese intellectuals. Other influences stemming from the Bolshevik revolution and Marxist theory inspired the Communist Party of China.

The communists dominated the left wing of the KMT, a party organized on Leninist lines, struggling for power with the party's right wing. When KMT leader Sun Yat-sen died in March 1925, he was succeeded by a rightist, Chiang Kai-shek, who initiated moves to marginalize the position of the communists. Fresh from the success of the Northern Expedition to overthrow the warlords, Chiang Kai-shek turned on the communists, who by now numbered in the tens of thousands across China.

On 1 October 1949, Chairman Mao Zedong announced the 21 September 1949 establishment of the PRC before a massive crowd at Beijing Square. By the end of the year, the CPC became the major ruling party in China. From this time through the 1980s, top leaders of the CPC (like Mao Zedong, Lin Biao, Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping) were largely the same military leaders prior to the PRC's founding. As a result, informal personal ties between political and military leaders dominated civil-military relations.

During the 1960s and 1970s, the CPC experienced a significant ideological separation from the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. By that time, Mao had begun saying that the "continued revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat" stipulated that class enemies continued to exist even though the socialist revolution seemed to be complete, leading to the Cultural Revolution in which millions were persecuted and killed.

During the Cold War, the CPC provided financial and military support to Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, and also supported Hồ Chí Minh (and his successor Lê Duẩn) and the Việt Cộng during the Vietnam War.

Following Mao's death in 1976, a power struggle between CPC Chairman Hua Guofeng and Vice-chairman Deng Xiaoping erupted. Deng won the struggle, and became the "paramount leader" in 1978. Deng, alongside Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang, spearheaded the Reform and opening policy, and introduced the ideological concept of socialism with Chinese characteristics, opening China to the world's markets. In reversing some of Mao's "leftist" policies, Deng argued that a socialist state could use the market economy without itself being capitalist.

While asserting the political power of the Party, the change in policy generated significant economic growth. The new ideology, however, was contested on both sides of the spectrum, by Maoists as well as by those supporting political liberalization. With other social factors, the conflicts culminated in the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. The protests having been crushed, Deng's vision on economics prevailed, and by the early 1990s the concept of a socialist market economy had been introduced. In 1997, Deng's beliefs (Deng Xiaoping Theory), were embedded in the CPC constitution.

Ideology

The CPC is officially organised on the basis of democratic centralism, a principle conceived by Russian Marxist theoretician Vladimir Lenin which entails democratic and open discussion on policy on the condition of unity in upholding the agreed upon policies.

The highest body of the CPC is the National Congress, convened every fifth year. When the National Congress is not in session, the Central Committee is the highest body, but since the body meets normally only once a year most duties and responsibilities are vested in the Politburo and its Standing Committee. The party's leader holds the offices of General Secretary (responsible for civilian party duties), Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) (responsible for military affairs) and State President (a largely ceremonial position). Through these posts, the party leader is the country's paramount leader. The current paramount leader is Xi Jinping, elected at the 18th National Congress held in October 2012.

The CPC is committed to communism and continues to participate in the International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties each year. According to the party constitution, the CPC adheres to Marxism–Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, socialism with Chinese characteristics, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Three Represents, the Scientific Outlook on Development and Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese characteristics for a New Era.

The official explanation for China's economic reforms is that the country is in the primary stage of socialism, a developmental stage similar to the capitalist mode of production. The command economy established under Mao Zedong was replaced by the socialist market economy, the current economic system, on the basis that "Practice is the Sole Criterion for the Truth".

Since the collapse of Eastern European communist governments in 1989–1990 and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the CPC has emphasised its party-to-party relations with the ruling parties of the remaining socialist states. While the CPC still maintains party-to-party relations with non-ruling communist parties around the world, since the 1980s it has established relations with several non-communist parties, most notably with ruling parties of one-party states (whatever their ideology), dominant parties in democracies (whatever their ideology) and social democratic parties.

The CPC has retained close relations with the remaining socialist states still espousing communism: Cuba, Laos, and Vietnam and their respective ruling parties as well as North Korea and its ruling party, the Workers' Party of Korea, which officially abandoned communism in 2009. It spends a fair amount of time analyzing the situation in the remaining socialist states, trying to reach conclusions as to why these states survived when so many did not, following the collapse of the Eastern European socialist states in 1989 and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. In general, the analyses of the remaining socialist states and their chances of survival have been positive, and the CPC believes that the socialist movement will be revitalized sometime in the future.

Xinjiang re-education camps

Since 2017, the CPC has been interring Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang autonomous region in concentration camps for the purpose of indoctrinating Uyghurs as part of a "people's war on terrorism."

These camps are reportedly operated outside the legal system; many Uyghurs have reportedly been interned without trial and no charges have been levied against them. Local authorities are reportedly holding hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs in these camps as well as other ethnic minority groups, for the stated purpose of countering extremism and terrorism and promoting sinicization.

As of 2018, it was estimated that the Chinese authorities may have detained hundreds of thousands, perhaps a million, Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and other ethnic Turkic Muslims, Christians as well as some foreign citizens such as Kazakhstanis, who are being held in these secretive concentration camps which are located throughout the region.

These policies have been widely decried by many in the international community as a violation of human rights as well as a crime against humanity, with some calling it ethnic cleansing. The Center for World Indigenous Studies has labeled these policies "cultural genocide". Others have voiced their support for China's actions, including Syria, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, and Iraq. Chinese government denied the accusations, claiming the accusations are lies while controlling the topic domestically

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