CPC Strengthens Training through Review and International Exchange
2011/06/29

By Xinhua writers Ni Yuanjin, Xu Xiaoqing and Li Yunlu

BEIJING, June 29 (Xinhua) -- At six in the morning, under a billowing flag hoisted at the Communist Party of China (CPC)'s Jinggangshan training school, hundreds of CPC officials wake to the sound of a bugle call, the same call that was experienced by the Red Army during the country's revolutionary period more than 80 years ago.

Jinggangshan, located in east China's Jiangxi Province, is the cradle of the Chinese revolution, where there are many sites featuring the history of the Chinese Workers' and Peasants' Red Army (1928-1937).

Jiang Shihai, an official from the CPC Bengbu Municipal Committee of east China's Anhui Province and a trainee at the Jinggangshan Cadre College, recently spent two hours walking up a steep mountain road near the school, carrying a shoulder pole loaded with heavy buckets of grain.

More than 80 years ago, Mao Zedong and Zhu De, two of the CPC's greatest leaders, walked the same steep road to transport grain and food for the Red Army.

Jiang said that during the revolutionary period, officials and soldiers alike had to carry large quantities of grain over dozens of kilometers on foot to support the military's efforts.

About 800 km away from Jinggangshan, a museum built at the site of the first National Congress of the CPC is opening in Shanghai, with a group of provincial and ministerial officials from the Shanghai-based China Pudong Cadre College paying a visit.

Ni Xingxiang, the head of the museum, greets the visitors with tales of the CPC's 90 years of history and the life experiences of the CPC's 13 founding members.

STRENGTHENING REVOLUTIONARY REVIEW

The training of officials has always been an important tradition for the CPC. The training, aimed at improving the quality and capability of leading officials, can be traced back to the Red Army's Long March period (October 1934 to October 1936).

In the 1930s, Edgar Snow (1905-1972), an American correspondent living and working in China, became the first foreign journalist to enter the CPC's "revolutionary region" in northwest China. He recorded his experiences in his well-known book "Red Star Over China."

Snow's book noted that the Red Army's military officers and political commissars studied in caves in Yan'an, a rural area in northwest China that served as the center of the Communist revolution between 1936 and 1948. According to Snow, the students received training on political economics, Marxist and Leninist theory and international relations.

The CPC's forward-thinking, pro-education mindset has been preserved in modern China. This mindset has proven to be indispensable in helping the Party to improve its leadership and governance and realize the implementation of its blueprint for the nation's development.

The CPC's goal of building a "moderately prosperous society" by 2020, prior to the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC, will require future officials to undergo further training in order to strengthen the Party's ability to govern.

Li Yuanchao, head of the CPC Central Committee's Organization Department, said that the nation's core competence depends on its capacity to learn, and that the enhancement of the CPC's ability to govern depends on the training it gives to its officials.

Reforms in the CPC's training of officials began after the 16th CPC National Congress, which was held in 2002. The government decided at that time to establish three high-profile CPC training colleges: one in Jinggangshan, one in Yan'an and one in Shanghai. All three schools officially opened in the spring of 2005.

"Passion education" is commonplace at the CPC's training colleges. It involves singing songs written during China's revolutionary period, reading articles by Mao Zedong and listening to stories narrated by the descendants of people who lived during the revolution. "Passion education" is compulsory for CPC officials.

Trainees at the CPC's colleges are also required to wear Red Army uniforms, stand in line and carry flags during outdoor group activities.

"Selected Works of Mao Zedong" and the "Second Volume of the History of the Communist Party of China (1949-1978)" are on the school's bookshelves, available for officials to consult and study at any time.

The Jinggangshan Cadre College has trained 27,000 CPC officials, executives and military officers since its opening.

INTRODUCING INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE

In addition to "passion education," trainees at the CPC's colleges are exposed to courses that help them to improve their knowledge of economics and social management, according to Zhang Younan, the Jinggangshan Cadre College's deputy chief.

The Jinggangshan Cadre College conducts international training exchanges, giving its trainees a chance to absorb experience and knowledge from foreign government officials. The college has established cooperative training programs with the Communist parties of Cuba and Vietnam and engaged in exchanges with Switzerland, the United States and Singapore.

Leading officials also have access to advanced international experience both in and out of class at the China Pudong Cadre College.

Dai Yanjun, deputy director of the Party Building Department under the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, said the ability of the CPC and its officials to adapt to domestic and international changes is crucial.

"Adaptability includes solving social contradictions, integrating resources and guiding social development," said Dai.

Zhang Lixin, the deputy chief of Beijing's Chaoyang district, recently attended a month-long training course at the China Pudong Cadre College. More than 30 officials from the fields of urban construction, education and labor joined the training course, titled "Leaders of Modern Cities."

According to Zhang, half of the course was finished outside China. Trainees were required to do research on Singapore's grassroots communities and get a better understanding of Singapore's People's Action Party.

"My experience at the college was a real eye-opener for me," said Zhang.

Zhang, a doctoral graduate of Tsinghua University, was not quite 38 years old when she took up the Chaoyang district deputy chief position in 2010, becoming one of Beijing's youngest leading officials.

"Singapore has many things in common with China, we can learn from the country especially in community management and social welfare," said Zhang.

In the CPC's colleges, contrastive research on international affairs is highlighted in training courses. Trainees are given numerous opportunities to speak to foreign politicians and prominent international experts.

Geoff Mulgan, the British Director of Policy under former Prime Minister Tony Blair, visited the China Pudong Cadre College in May, discussing topics ranging from geopolitics to new economic policies with its trainees. Prominent U.S. political analyst Joseph Nye also lectured at the college.

The college's 2011 training schedule includes courses focusing on provention and control of financial risks, management of ethnic affairs, foreign policy and national defense strategy. In the school's library, trainees can read the latest international publications and gain access to a world of news and information via the library's computers. Enditem

(Xinhua correspondents Shen Yang and Cai Min also contributed to this story.)

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