Feng Xiaomin: Grassroots Practice is the Source of Party Building Innovation
Created On : 2017-10-25    Views : 282

Source: Page 008 of Chinese Social Sciences Today on Oct. 19, 2017 

In today's China, cities have become an important spatial carrier of national development. How does urban Party building, especially that at the grassroots level, match the status of a particular city? Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, General Secretary Xi Jinping has repeatedly stressed that we should take initiatives to adapt to the changes of urban social community structure and social organization structure and promote the innovation of grassroots Party building. In accordance with the request of General Secretary Xi Jinping and the requirements of the CPC Central Committee, Shanghai took the lead in exploring approaches. Guided by Party building, and with improving city governance ability, and consolidating the CPC’s ruling foundation in the city as the objective, Shanghai incorporates Party building in all aspects and the whole process of Party building. By constantly enhancing the overall effect of urban grassroots Party building and promoting grassroots Party building innovation and development, Shanghai has embarked on a new road of grassroots Party building that is in line with the regularities and characteristics of the megacity.

First, always make strengthening the grassroots Party building as the red line that runs through social governance and grassroots construction, and focus on enhancing the political and service function of grassroots Party organizations. Shanghai grassroots Party building work is based on thorough thinking and planning. As early as in 2003, the Shanghai Municipal Committee of the CPC worked out a “Three-year Action Plan on Party building”, on the basis of the new trend and conditions of social transformation. It is made clear in the action plan that the most important function of urban grassroots Party building is to “promote social development” and “serve the public”. The purpose of Party building is to improve the relations between the Party and the masses, and provide a better political guarantee for social development of cities and the overall development of the whole country, by serving the masses and increasing social cohesion. In recent years, Shanghai made increasing the cohesion between Party members, the masses, and the whole Chinese society as an important direction in its effort to innovate grassroots Party building. In this way, it has gradually explored a new path for maintaining close ties with the masses and serving the masses accurately and effectively. By emphasizing the role of sub-district Party working committees and with the regional Party organizations at the core, Shanghai shifted management and service resources to the grassroots, to help the masses solve problems via the "group contact service" and the Party building information platform. By interconnecting and mobilizing Party organizations at the district, sub-district and community levels, the city has formed a four-level linkage system, where the municipal Party committee is responsible for ensuring the overall situation is going in the right direction; the district committee is the “front line headquarters”; sub-district Party working committees play a leading role; and the community Party committees work as a "fighting fortress". Practice has proved that the four-level linkage system is effective in promoting urban grassroots Party building. From top down to the bottom on a level-by-level basis, it works very well in maintaining close ties between Party organizations, mobilizing social resources, improving work efficiency and serving the masses.

Second, always adhere to "where there are masses, there is Party work", and make efforts in expanding the organizational and work coverage of the Party in the city. With the economic and social development, population movement, industrial structure transformation, and advance of information technology, how to organize the whole society effectively through Party organizations has become an urgent problem to be solved. In the face of the “three-in-one” new pattern of urban grassroots Party building that involves sub-district communities, work units in communities and emerging areas, Shanghai has gradually explored a new pattern of Party building that happens in office buildings, communities, business circles or via the internet. By establishing and promoting Party service center construction across the city, Shanghai has played a good role in accepting migrant Party members, organizing “two new" resource sharing platforms and incubating “two new” Party organizations. In terms of Party building in social organizations, it has developed a new framework system via “hierarchical management, integration of departments and regions at different levels and Party building at sub-district and town level”. Hence a new pattern of urban grassroots Party building is gradually taking shape that features Party building at sub-district communities, work units in communities, and non-public economic organizations, as well as integration of Party building inthe internet industry and social organizations.

Third, explore an effective path to Party building-led grassroots governance and to find a new trail to megacity social governance innovation by deepening and expanding regional Party building. Over the past decade, Shanghai has achieved a lot in regional Party building, effectively interconnecting sub-district communities and work units in them, and making them complementary to each other. In terms of subway construction, park & green space construction, property management, construction and operation of the World Expo Shanghai, and other economic and social priorities, Shanghai has fully promoted the advantages, organizational functions and strength of grassroots Party organizations by prioritizing the primary need of the public. Regional Party building is like a red line linking the communities and work units together, and superior social resources from the society are mobilized to provide public services. Facts prove that such an organizational framework of regional Party building has its unique advantages.

Firstly, it is easy to form consensus within the Party; secondly, it is effective in integrating urban resources and enhancing work efficiency; thirdly, it is helpful for promoting regional co-governance and consultative democracy. At present, Shanghai guides innovation in social governance with grass-roots Party building and continues to deepen and expand regional Party building in a bid to promote interconnection, complementarity and interaction between work units, industries, and regions. By innovating the pattern of "branch +", grassroots Party organizations have been effectively embedded in the most active areas of economic and social development. Through grid management and informatization, Party building in Shanghai is advancing towards a refined and intelligent direction.


(The author is the Executive Vice President of Shanghai Society for Party Building Studies and former Deputy Director of the Organizational Department of Shanghai Municipal Committee of CPC; the editor is Wang Dan, a researcher of Shanghai Academy)