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May 9, 2017

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New technologies come handy to Party secretaries

IT is common knowledge that state-owned enterprises in the country have members of the Communist Party of China, who are led by Party secretaries from their respective branches.

Foreign companies in the country are under no obligation to have ties with the Party, but quiet a few of them now have members who promote the Party’s point of view to their colleagues.

As chiefs of the smallest unit of the Party — they use their spare time to carry out the mission of the Party branch leader, earning nothing in terms of salary increase or promotion or better job prospects — except the pride of being a Party member.

Huang Ping is one of such 400-odd Party branch secretaries in Shanghai’s more than 30,000 foreign companies. As the HR director at Ford China, Huang is at the helm of 127 Party members at the US automaker. He was also a candidate representative at the 19th CPC National Congress.

“Many Party members are backbones of our company,” Huang said. “They work hard, always volunteering to undertake the most difficult jobs to practice the Party’s vow of serving the people.”

In his branch, there are directors of marketing and accounting as well as engineers, who are at the forefront of Ford’s smart car strategy on shared vehicles and making cars more like computers on wheel.

Recently, when no one was willing to take the responsibility of organizing the first Family Day event at Ford China — a task that involved making over 1,000 households happy — one Party member named Liu Jiasheng took the challenge.

Liu is energy-supply manager at the company.

The event turned out to be a huge success, giving a boost to Huang and making his group more united and proud.

For a Party secretary, the mandatory task is to gather together branch members to study the Party’s documents and ideologies. Under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, it is in the form of “reviewing Party Constitutions, learning important speeches from the leadership, and striving to be a qualified Party member.”

For the Party branch of Carrier Research and Development Center, however, it is almost a mission impossible to gather the 42-strong branch members under one roof.

“We travel a lot, and are literally always on the road,” said Du Zhanbo, Party branch secretary of Carrier Research and Development Center. “In order to learn the newest spirits of the Party, we use modern communication technologies.”

With WeChat’s group discussion function, Du manages to connect with his comrades travelling around the world and update them of the latest news and information.

“It is hard and time-consuming,” Du said. “But it is my responsibility and I deem it worthwhile. Above all, there is always a heated discussion in the group, and it is enlightening.”

For example, young Party members sometimes complain about heavy work pressure and huge economic burden for making a living in Shanghai. But with communication, they find the branch supportive — at least, there are people willing to hear their voice and offer advice. It results in less complaints and more understanding.

Zhu Peihong, an official at the Shanghai Foreign Service (Group) Co Ltd, said Party branch secretaries in foreign companies play a delicate role to unite Party members and make them a powerful force. Shanghai Foreign Service offers guidance and services for foreign companies.

“Otherwise Party members in foreign companies may go astray with their identity…,” Zhu said.

The Shanghai Foreign Service organizes regular events, from holding Party classes, attending lectures to going to exhibitions, to help branch secretaries and members in foreign companies understand the Party’s work. But a turnover rate as high as 15 percent in foreign companies is an obstacle in uniting members and carrying out the tasks of the Party.

Li Dong, Party Secretary of the Shanghai Foreign Service (Group) Co Ltd, said branch secretaries are the key in addressing this obstacle.

“Party members in foreign companies are like pearls, and Party branch secretaries are the strings connecting Party members into a shining necklace,” Li said. “We should unite Party branch secretaries in the first place to set up a solid foundation.”

By the end of last year, more than 147 out of the 400 Party branch secretaries working in foreign companies have been carrying out the Party’s tasks job for over five years. Among them, 31 have been doing it for more than a decade.


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