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90-year-old CCYL races to modernize

(Xinhua)

15:25, May 03, 2012

SHANGHAI, May 3 (Xinhua) -- Ten months after the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC), its reserve force, the China Communist Youth League (CCYL), is also marking nine decades since its creation in May.

The celebration comes as the feeder group races to modernize to match the pace of change in Chinese society and to continue attracting members. Youngsters now face multiple competing choices for their beliefs in a modern nation under communist rule that welcomes them to adhere to diverse religions, Confucius and other more contemporary pop-culture idols.

COMPETING BELIEFS

Official statistics show the CPC had more than 80 million members as of the end of 2010, 24.3 percent of them below the age of 35. That year, more than 2.5 million people under the age of 35 joined the Party, most of them from the youth league, which had about 78 million members.

"I joined the youth league aged 12, and applied for the Party aged 19 with no hesitation," says 28-year-old Zhu Lili, a party secretary of a private accounting firm in Shanghai, the country's economic hub and the birthplace of both the CPC and CCYL.

Born into rural poverty, Zhu appreciated Party policies that benefited her family, and was thus motivated to turn to communism herself. She has worked hard to develop the firm's party branch, seeing it expand from 10 members to over 30 in three years.

More than 90 percent of the CCYL Shanghai committee's members have been introduced to the Party, supplying a great deal of fresh blood for the CPC.

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