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How Communist Is China?
Seventy Percent?
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We don’t want even one politically unqualified person sneaking into the Party, fishing for personal gain. Xi Jinping.

A billion Chinese have applied for membership in the Communist Party of China since 2001. 907 million of them were rejected, mostly on moral grounds. It seems that most Chinese adults would take the Party oath, to endure the people’s ordeals first and enjoy their fruits last[1]From Advice to Officials, by 11th century Chancellor Fan Zhongyan.., subject themselves to constant scrutiny, and be held to higher ethical and legal standards than non-members. Adultery is cause for dismissal. Rape is cause for execution. Nonetheless, ninety-four million members are honoring their oath pretty well.

Party People

Founded in 1921, the CPC became the ruling party in 1949 after 300,000 members gave their lives in the war. Membership rose from 4.5 million to 94 million today, or ten percent of the adult population. Membership is prestigious, as I saw while wandering Shenzhen with a French Communist. He had only to produce his Party card to draw an admiring throng, yet members see little financial benefit:

We estimate the returns to membership of the Communist Party of China using unique twin data we collected from China. Our OLS estimate shows a Party premium of 10%, but the within-twin-pair estimate becomes zero. One interpretation is that the OLS premium is due to omitted ability and family background. This interpretation suggests that Party members fare well not because of their political status but because of the superior ability that made them Party members. The estimates are also consistent with another interpretation that Party membership not only has its own effect but also has an external effect on siblings.

Twenty-eight percent of members are farmers, herders, and fishermen, and ethnic minorities are overrepresented but, because membership involves much volunteer work, only twenty-five percent are women. Their average age is thirty years.

The Party’s organizational skills are legendary. When Covid-19 broke out in Wuhan, a million local members were called to duty and forty-eight thousand more–mostly medical specialists–were flown in to contain the virus.

After a Shanghai high-rise fire killed fifty-eight people in 2010, Party volunteers coordinated twenty-five fire stations, a hundred fire trucks, and a thousand firefighters along with police, hospitals, finance, insurance, housing, donations, counseling, criminal investigators, and schools. Forty-eight hours later, insurers compensated families for property losses and wrote $250,000 checks for each death. Ten days later, Shanghai mayor Han Zheng confessed, “Our poor supervision of the construction industry caused the fire”. He fired or demoted thirty officials, and indicted twenty-two, most of whom went to prison–two for sixteen years–and implemented new building codes. The contrast with Grenfell Tower–still under litigation–is stark.

Structurally Communist?

I have appended my comments to Marx and Engels’ ten-point test, from their Communist Manifesto:

  1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes. Land reform was completed in 1953. All land is owned in common. 98% of people own their homes.
  2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax. Individual Income Tax runs from 3% – 45%, rates that will likely remain unchanged until a proposed property tax (currently meeting stiff resistance) becomes law.
  3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance. There is no inheritance tax but, once a property tax is legislated, an inheritance tax might follow. Thanks to universal home ownership, the nation’s wealth Gini coefficient is low.
  4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels. This was accomplished by 1960. Beijing is now the preferred domicile for most billionaires and most foreign investors.
  5. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the State by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly. Mao founded the world’s richest central bank, the People’s Bank of China. China’s Big Four retail banks are the world’s largest and most valuable.
  6. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State. China’s government-owned media are the most trusted on earth.
  7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of wastelands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan. Soil improvement has been ongoing for seventy years and crop yields continue climbing steadily.
  8. Equal liability of all to labour. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture. Used effectively in the early years, this has been phased out in favor of mechanised agriculture.
  9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of the population over the country. The combination of agriculture and manufacturing was successfully implemented during the Cultural Revolution and the dispersion of manufacturing is still prioritized. Urban hukou are issued to those who want them to redistribute the population.
  10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, &c. The OECD says, “China’s PISA test results showed the resilience of pupils to succeed despite tough backgrounds – and the high levels of equity between rich and poor pupils”.

Control of the Means of Production

Control of the means of production is through collective ownership of all banks, insurance companies, media, health providers, and defense industries, ensuring that they act in concert, for the general good. There are now more hungry children, drug addicts, suicides and executions, more homeless, poor, and imprisoned people in America than in China.

Godfree wrote Why China Leads the World: Talent at the Top, Data in the Middle, Democracy at the Bottom, and publishes the newsletter, Here Comes China.


[1] From Advice to Officials, by 11th century Chancellor Fan Zhongyan..

• Category: Culture/Society, Economics, History • Tags: China, Communism 
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  1. China works because it has one big dominant ethnic group, like the US had 50 years ago. The racial diversity of the US is killing it. China runs like a class full of smart kids, while the US runs like a class of smart kids forced to slow down to the level of a couple of mentally handicapped kids with the teacher being forced to take the mentally handicapped kids to the bathroom every 10 minutes.

  2. anon[339] • Disclaimer says:

    China has diverged from both commies and Western bloc capitalists. They’ve joined an international that neither USA nor USSR wanted.

    PRC has put themselves on the ECOSOC treadmill. Communism has no review mechanism. Unlike the US, the PRC didn’t join with fingers crossed, so the recommendations below are likely a good gauge of their priorities.

    • Troll: Mulga Mumblebrain
  3. Rufus Arrr says: • Website

    This is such a great article. It looks at a point that I try to explain to others, but they just don’t understand. China is a real, serious, honest-to-goodness meritocracy. And this is but one of the ways that it works.

    I will tell you honestly, that you Godfree, have NEVER written a bad article, and your output, volumes and content is impressive. This has to be one of your best articles ever written. For what ever it is worth, I am your biggest fan.

    @Joe Paluka
    No. China is NOT one singular dominant Han ethic group. It is, instead, one singular purpose; the betterment of Chinese society. And you must VOLUNTEER to participate. APPLY to join. ENDURE harsher rules. And put the society before your own needs.

    Those two 10,000 hospitals that were built in ten days in Wuhan were all done by volunteers. The materials; donated. Their meals, housing, vehicles and gasoline all donated. They were not all Han Chinese. They were not doing it for the betterment of the Han race. They were all doing it for their families, their way of life and their Chinese society.

    In America, it’s every man for himself; it’s a nation of a million tiny hands on your wallet. America where every man is an island; living in isolation, fighting and scrambling for his “piece of the pie”. Not so in China.

    This would never happen in the USA. Everyone would still be having meetings on how their leadership could turn a profit.

    My article on it:

  4. All you assholes blame everything on race. I am reminded of rich people who blame everything on poor people. Just as stupid.

    China is successful because it is Communist. Before it was communist, it was unsuccessful for a long time. Communism made it successful. They won’t let dumbbell, accent on the dumbbell, rich people run everything. You see, rich people are dumb. If you let them run everything, everything will be dumb.

    Let communists run everything, nobody will be starving to death, and there won’t be no rich people lording it over starving people.

  5. @Rufus Arrr

    I am aware that there are different ethnic groups in China but they have no groups that are pulling their country in different directions like the US. The Han is the overwhelmingly dominant group and nobody denies that fact. If you don’t believe that, you know nothing about China.

  6. @obwandiyag

    If you love communism, why don’t you move to the paradise of North Korea. There everyone is equal in poverty, except the Nomenclatura of course.

    • Replies: @foolisholdman
  7. The Chinese system is the most successful on Earth, a hybrid of Chinese traditional virtues, Marxism, Maoism and scientific vigour. The Chinese system plans to increase the welfare and well-being of its people, while the ‘Free’ West sets society against one another in a ‘bellum omnium contra omnes’ to Divide and Rule, while the elite parasites pocket all gains, and those who fall by the wayside, are treated with contempt and sadistic cruelty. Hence the West’s psychopathic hatred of China, the ‘good example’, and genocidal intent.

    • Replies: @Not Important
  8. Anonymous[263] • Disclaimer says:

    China is run by wise and intelligent people.

    The West is run by The Economist magazine editorial board.

    Therein lies the answer to the riddle.

    • Replies: @RedpilledAF
  9. @obwandiyag

    Ten days later, Shanghai mayor Han Zheng confessed,


  10. Communist China is a mafia run state with 50 Communist Oligarchic elite families living like emperors and constantly fighting each other for power like mafia. A must see about the reality of power in China behind the scenes.

    50 oligarchs control China & now most of the world

  11. “Communist”…. Ummmmm – hard to say. I would say China is moving towards nationalism and socialism. Was it communist before? Yes. To be honest – my relatives and family friends who were not poor villagers did not enjoy the revolution. That’s not to say there weren’t lots of problems during the Qing era and the New Republic after 1911 – when relatives fled China (some as close as Hong Kong under the British and some as far as the Caribbean). But the first few decades after the communist revolution were also very messy. Yes Mao unified the country and yes there were a lot of things like serfdom abolished and people began to become literate… All true. But it is also true there was a lot of incompetence and there was a lot of corruption on the fringes. But China has absolutely changed. During Deng economic prosperity took off. Then China became like the “wild west”… Street crime started to rise – drug use actually began to rise again – and officials were taking bribes all over the place. Since Xi came in he has kept the economic growth while clamping down heavily on the corruption and bribery.
    So how communist is China??? Well if you mean the CPC – then yeah the people at the top… But of the 93 million members??? NO WAY are they all really communists…. Neither are many of the people who apply for membership.
    In 2021 the country is moving like a well oiled machine. Things get done and they tend to get done right (contrast to before when a lot of it was about cutting corners). But I don’t think that has to do with political philosophy and more about the maturity of the nation.

    • Thanks: RedpilledAF
  12. @Joe Paluka

    Your first statement is not really true. A person from Fuzhou and a person from Wuxi and a person from Foshan – are all “Han” people. But if you let them speak their local dialects they literally would not know what the other person was talking about. Mandating Mandarin for the nation was one such step – which was started by the KMT party actually. China is not monolithic like westerners think.

  13. @Rufus Arrr

    Yeah I try to explain to outsiders that “Han” is a collective. Literally in the Han dynasty all the tribes said they were now all “Han” people. That is the exact same as everyone in the EU saying “ok we are all now European”. Until very recently – Han people spoke different languages as Serbs are from French… And they most certainly had different types of behavior based on region – like Serbs and French. I mean even the region my family is from Cantonese and Hakka people fought brutal clan wars not that far back in history… They were both “Han” people. China thrives now because it is unified. As much as I dislike things Mao did – I at least give him credit for unifying the country.

  14. @Mehool Mehta


    Indian criticism of China is almost always derived from resentment and envy with a generous helping of dishonesty and servile mentality to Europeans.

  15. Franz says:

    There are now more hungry children, drug addicts, suicides and executions, more homeless, poor, and imprisoned people in America than in China.

    Take the word “communist” out and just say China is run, successfully, by some very disciplined people.

    No multicultural society can have that sort of discipline. While China is not one enthnos, they can override ethnic conflicts by keeping their mutual goals at the front. In the late 1980s, for instance, they moved heaven and earth — often shipping entire steel mills to China from the US and elsewhere — in order to reach an extraordinary tonnage goal by the early 2000s.

    In the US this cannot happen: Industrial planning is considered communism. And conservatives are the ones who turned small fortunes into big ones by taking advantage of low wage countries. So they switched the subject to abortion and other trifles.

    If that sort of discipline is taken off the list of national priories, what replaces it? Easy to see: More sex change operations, harsher drug laws to feed our only growth industry, prisons, and forcing native born Americans to be polite to their replacements.

    That ain’t discipline. It’s slow torture. Communism would be better.

    • Replies: @showmethereal
  16. @Anonymous

    Surely you mean (((The Economist magazine editorial board)))?

    • Agree: Maowasayali
    • Replies: @Maowasayali
  17. @Franz

    I very much agree… Discipline and competence are the two most important issues in running any country… After a lot of bumps in the road – China has established both… A lot of which it learned from sending cadres to learn Singaporean governance.
    Western society obsession with popular voting doesn’t give discipline nor competence. It “can” – but it is not necessarily a feature.

    • Agree: Franz
  18. @Joe Paluka

    In the early 20th century both the Rockefeller and Carnegie Foundations were donating large sums of money to education and the social sciences. They supported, in particular, the National Education Association. By way of grants, they spent millions of dollars, money which was used to radically bend the traditionalist education system toward a new system that favored standardized testing over critical thinking, toward “scientific management” in schools. This was part of a calculated plan to make the schooling system benefit corporate America, at the expense of the American school child.

    Quoted from Thrive, “Rockefella Domination of Education.”

    The aim seems to have been to dumb down the US population to make them easier to control and abuse. The Chinese CP have a different aim. The US elite spend a lot of time and effort on causing splits in their population and setting different parts to hate and attack each other. The CPC does not aim to do that, exactly the reverse, in fact. They are, just recently, beginning to notice that they have been deficient in the teaching of critical thinking (though Mao did try.) No doubt, as it is important, they will tackle that problem too, with the thoroughness that they seem to tackle all problems when they notice them. Considering how many problems they inherited when the PRC was founded and how many additional new ones they have faced and solved over the last 70 years, I can only marvel at their achievements.

    • Agree: GomezAdddams
  19. Marcali says:

    In school in a communist country we were taught that if a one party system is coupled with a socialist/communist planned economy, then it is a socialist/communist country. If however a one party politcal system is coupled with a market economy then it is a fascist state.

    So where does China sit?

  20. The number one issue average Americans had with the USSR during the Cold War was that the USSR was aggressively anti-Christian and anti-religion in general. In that sense the PRC is just as “Communist” as the USSR. It is not a country where you are free to profess your Christian (or Islamic) faith. Every PRC citizen is expected to put loyalty to the State and Party above their loyalty to God. That is not a political system that is acceptable to most Americans.

  21. @Marcali

    All stable political systems are one-party states, de facto, because the alternative is not a two-party state but civil war. That is why all governing elites espouse one economic doctrine.

    Calling the CPC, 中共, a ‘party’ is fine but, if we call Republicans and Democrats ‘parties’ too, we’re equivocating: using the word in different senses to infer that China is a one party state and we’re not.

    The US is and has always been a republic and a one-party state that embraces the doctrine of capitalism more fervently than the Chinese espouse socialism.

    The difference is that, while they doesn’t tolerate factions in government, we do, despite the fact that factions almost destroyed America’s in the Civil War. It’s destroying America again today.

    Factionalism was twice China’s undoing before they learned their lesson and forbade factionalism forever.

    Were he alive today, George Washington would approve of the Chinese ban:

    Party serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasional riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another. [Farewell address to the Nation]

    • Agree: Mulga Mumblebrain
    • Replies: @Marcali
  22. @Peter Akuleyev

    The PRC supports thousands of Christian churches, thousands of mosques, and thousands of Buddhist temples.

    But they don’t allow religious belief–which is bullshit–to trump civic order or the laws of the land.

    • Replies: @Peter Akuleyev
  23. @Mehool Mehta

    The top layer of the Chinese Communist goverment are Engineers – Mathmaticians – Scientists who work with 5 year plans and are expected to Deliver the end result—if not —they are replaced . Likewise corruption is always a temptation ( check out DC) but in China —-all corrupt tigers and flies caught are punished and jailed if serious offense. China does not go through this silly farce of 4 year elections so all time spent is on conjuring false narrative about USA being targeted and much time is spent—kicking the can down the road–on important matters BUT Spend Spend Spend Spend and raise that USA debt to 40 trillion from 28 ? However, who is going to repay this debt ?? This 4 year cycle ” Elect a clown –expect a circus!!” is becoming nauseous. Amtrak Joe to shutter Ontario auto jobs and the tag team of Amtrak Joe and Kid Trudeau to gut punch Alberta’s Jason Kenney and have Jason shut down the oil and gas industry —-is the exact recipe to collapse Canada. Does USA need Canada to take in Black USA refugees? Or is this the Thundberg Optimum ???

  24. @GomezAdddams

    Elections? Periodic cavalcades of lies, hate and fear-mongering, bribery, character assassination etc, financed by the rich (overwhelmingly, in the USA, Jews). They divide society into mutually hateful camps, and once in power, the political vermin ignore the proles entirely, and govern for the rich alone.
    These farces are conducted in a propaganda system ENTIRELY controlled by the rich, once again, overwhelmingly, Jews. Once in power the time horizon of the ruling insects is three or four years at most, but in the USA it is two. The ‘winners’ are often a minority of the voting population, as in the UK, where 36% of a two-thirds turnout, ie24% of the voting public, gave Cameron a ‘landslide’ in 2015.And as the latest US election showed, election theft is now blatant and impudent.
    The Chinese are so much better off without this shite that it is almost incalculable. I look at the evil, cretinous, psychopaths who rule Austfailia, and no longer despair-I simply laugh.

    • Replies: @obwandiyag
  25. @Marcali

    Orientalist pig ignorance. China is Marxism, plus ‘Supply and Demand’ utilitarianism, plus Chinese civilization ie a mix of philosophies, from Confucianism, Legalism and Daoism to Buddhism, 3000 years and more in the making.

    • Replies: @Marcali
  26. @Peter Akuleyev

    What is the pledge of allegiance??? And any “good Christian” who read their bible should know they should be a good citizen of any country. You are absolutely allowed to practice religion in China… But it has to be in a government approved facility because they don’t want any foreign subversives infiltrating… nor do they want cults to have power… A contemporary one would be Falun Gong… But if you go back to the 1800’s the deadliest war in Chinese history (30 million dead) was caused by a man who claimed to be the reincarnation of Christ (or his brother alternatively) who was going to lead the righteous against the wicked emperor’s dynasty. Americans don’t know Chinese history nor understand Chinese culture. That’s the problem. Comparing it to the USSR is far from reality.

  27. @GomezAdddams

    Mehool Bhai here
    You are naive childish fool. Watch the video, insider information, do not fall for facade.

    —- Mehool Bhai from India.

  28. Marcali says:
    @Mulga Mumblebrain

    That said, is she communist or fascist?

    • Replies: @Mulga Mumblebrain
  29. Marcali says:
    @Godfree Roberts

    What do you mean by stable political systems?

  30. In Western (Roman, monarchical) systems, factionality creates constant turmoil but, as we see, the system has lasted for 2500 years.

    But when significant portions of societies espouse a non-monarchical (socialist) approach to government and are resisted by those favoring the ancien regime, serious riots, shootings, and coups ensue, as we see in countries like Venezuela.

  31. @Mulga Mumblebrain

    What’s so bad about the rich. I know some rich people personally and they’re alright. I know a dentist who owns three laundries and a lawyer with a big huge McMansion and shiny black BMW. Howzat fer rich?!

  32. @Godfree Roberts

    But they don’t allow religious belief–which is bullshit–to trump civic order or the laws of the land.

    That is not acceptable to any American conservative. The laws of the land should be guided by Christian principles. China is an anti-Christian country.

    • Replies: @showmethereal
  33. China is NOT ‘anti-Christian’. It tolerates Christian belief, but does have a negative approach to traditional Christian practises like kiddy-fiddling, hate-mongering against other religions and individuals, and interference in politics. Christians may concentrate on the religion’s prime purpose-brainwashing its children so that the cult can go on and on, and on.

  34. @Peter Akuleyev

    Many of the laws in China are closer to biblical principles than those in the United States.

  35. @Mulga Mumblebrain

    The key is finding the balance between dog-eat-dog pursuit of capital and having individual lives micromanaged by social engineers.

    I don’t think it’s fair to say we dislike China simply due to some kind of jealousy or because their system works and thus makes our elite ruling class nervous. The collectivist ways of the bugpeople, which is crucial to their economic and social approach, just don’t jibe with western sensibilities. Have we become hopelessly atomised (largely due to (((chosen))) guidance) in our “rugged individualism” and lost vital community and ethnic/national bonds in the process? Absolutely, but overcorrecting by becoming a hive would never work.

    • Replies: @d dan
    , @Mulga Mumblebrain
  36. d dan says:
    @Not Important

    “I don’t think it’s fair to say we dislike China simply due to some kind of jealousy”

    I don’t know about you individually, but I believe it IS jealousy + racism that cause a large number of anti-China trolls in Internet and in this site by ordinary people.

    “or because their system works and thus makes our elite ruling class nervous.”

    Again, may be you are not nervous about China’s success and her system, but a lot of elite ruling class IS nervous. Just listen to the like of by Michael Pillsbury’s “hundred-Year Marathon”, Peter Navarro’s “Death by China”, Kiron Skinner’s “fight with a different civilization” and countless more. China is providing an example of how a non-western system by a non-white race can be successful. It is stirring up a lot of excitement and expectation in developing countries (but seldom reported in MSM), thus causing many concerns in Washington. That is why Biden needs to organize the lame “Democracy Summit” (and many more examples) to counter the narrative.

    “overcorrecting by becoming a hive would never work.”

    This betrays your superficial understanding of Chinese mentality. Chinese people is actually very individualistic and independent. They have a very healthy dose of suspicion against government power for a long time (try ask someone to translate these phrases: 山高皇帝远, 上有政策下有对策, 三十年河东三十年河西, 王侯将相宁有种乎, etc). But they are also very disciplined and believe in delay gratification, which make westerners think they are hive of bees/ants, conformists or lack personality.

  37. @RedpilledAF

    It’s the mouthpiece of the Rothschilds. The COVID-19 “pandemic” was foreshadowed in their 2015 front cover!

    See the Chinaman/policeman with the white face diaper?

    He’s behind President Xi, with white gloves. Behind him are blue splatters that look like the computer-generated images they are now passing off as the “virus” under an electron microscope. LOL

  38. I think the current China is the old, old, ancient imperial system without an emperor. No, Xi doesn’t count no matter what the propaganda feeds you. This system always breed strong figureheads that leads for an extended time. You can even say jiang was one of these figureheads but he was really bad for China. While Xi is consider to be very good so far according to the Chinese public.

    With the help of modern communication systems, transport systems and information gathering systems. This really allows this system to shine. I honestly think this system wouldn’t work without these modern systems.

    And I can tell you that this system is what the US elites are aiming for now but without the key components like upward mobility. USA is heading towards a new version of the feudal system with the billionaires on the top.

    Scary times.

  39. @Rufus Arrr

    One quibble-China’s desire to improve the lot of its people is not its sole motivation. It also wishes to raise up the rest of humanity. The West’s approach has always been to beat down the rest of humanity, while robbing them blind. It has something to do with ‘Judeo-Christian morality’.

  40. @Marcali

    My point was that those are Western terms. Think of something Chinese, from the rich stew of Chinese philosophies and ideologies created over the last twenty-five hundred years or so. And they have roots in even earlier Chinese experience.

  41. @Not Important

    The sort of human scum that calls others ‘bugpeople’ is only deserving of contempt and disdain.

  42. Barabbas says:

    An American-born Chinese man visited China and said that he was shocked how poor building construction was. They didn’t bother to fasten windows into apartment buildings and panes of glass would routinely fall to the street.

    The media here claims China has growing pains like the US during the 19th century–but this makes no sense. China is an ancient society not a new colony.
    The fact that it has such problems is not a good thing.
    I think China is being kept afloat by money siphoned from the West. China, like the West, is under parasite infestation so the healthiest and strongest people are kept out of authority.
    But even without that, China would probably not have the level of social development that Japan has.

    Covid was partly intended to provide a relief for China as it’s small hat sponsors struggle against the natural revolt to their parasitic control. They always need a new scheme. In the 1940s the Ark-tomic Bomb of the Covenant was their scaremongering fable. AIDS was another.

    Climate change, overpopulation, etc.

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