China Attacks Its Woes With an Old Party Ritual-JIM YARDLEY

From the New York Times (link)

Like a giant company concerned with organizational disarray and a sinking public image, the Chinese Communist Party is trying to remake itself into an efficient, modern machine. But to do so, it has chosen one of its oldest political tools ” a Maoist-style ideological campaign, complete with required study groups.

For 14 months and counting, the party’s 70 million rank-and-file members have been ordered to read speeches by Mao and Deng Xiaoping, as well as the numbing treatise of 17,000-plus words that is the party constitution. Mandatory meetings include sessions where cadres must offer self-criticisms and also criticize everyone else.

“It is an effort to cope with the declining reputation of the party and the distrust of the people toward party officials,” said Wenran Jiang, director of the China Institute at the University of Alberta.

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