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EDITIONS
Thursday, 14 November, 2002, 06:54 GMT
China welcomes business into party
Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin and Mao Zedong on Russian-style Matryoshka dolls
Jiang joins Deng and Mao as a theorist of Chinese Communism
China's Communist Party has officially thrown out its half-century of loathing for businesspeople by changing its charter to let them join.

The change marks the wildfire growth of a market economy in China, and the party wants to make sure the evolution of market forces does not challenge its power base.

The outgoing president, Jiang Zemin, has been keen to make sure that the party keeps the growing influence of entrepreneurs in China in check.

His theory of who the party stands for - known by the rather awkward name "three represents", one of which is representing so-called "advanced production forces" - is now enshrined in party doctrine.

That puts Mr Jiang's ideas officially on a par with those of Mao Zedong, the founder of the People's Republic of China, and Deng Xiaoping, the leader credited with kicking off China's "socialist capitalism".

No opposition

The change to the charter met, as do most resolutions at the Communist Party Congress, with unanimous approval.

The resolution enshrining the new theory said it was a "powerful weapon" to underpin the "socialist market economy".

The Three Represents enabled the party to "keep pace with the times, maintain its progressiveness and exercise state power in the interests of the people", it continued.

The shift towards allowing more private business in China has been eagerly supported by Western governments and businesses keen to find new ways into a massive potential market.

But it also forms part of a two-decade effort to tap the benefits of private business without giving up the party's iron grip on the country's political system.

Entrepreneurs who make sure they cultivate links with officialdom have been welcomed.

Those who have gone off-message, or embarrassed the party in any way, have suffered.


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12 Nov 02 | Business
11 Nov 02 | Business
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