A Letter from China:

I am an entry-level employee at a large state-run corporation. The Chinese Communist Party committee within the corporation has sent out several memos to solicit our applications to the Party, probably for publicity for the Party's upcoming anniversary on July 1. The memos were forwarded to each and every department, but no one submitted an application. The committee then had management at each level solicit applications within their own divisions in person.

One day I overheard an interesting conversation.

A lobby manager said to a clerk, “I heard our boss asked you to submit an application to the Communist Party. Did you?”

“Why did they approach a lowly clerk like me? Is it because no one else wants to join the Party?”

A sales manager joined the conversation. “Why did they choose you? Let me tell you why. They had already talked to us mid-level managers, but no one was interested. That's why they try to solicit applications from entry-level level employees. What good is a Party membership anyway? Unpopular. That's what you get.”

The lobby manager added, “I am close to retirement. I have never applied to the Communist Party. Not interested.”

I joined in, saying, “Quitting the Party is popular these days. It's bad luck if you join. You will regret it.”

The next day a colleague from a sister organization came to visit the lobby manager. He used to be a member of the Communist Party. He asked the lobby manager, “Are you a member of the Party? Quit right away if you are. Everyone is quitting the Party these days.”

A Letter from Beijing

I used to work for a large state-run corporation in Beijing. Mr. Wang, a former colleague of mine, quit the Communist Party and its two student organizations he belonged to a long time ago. Everything has been going well for him ever since. His child does well at school. He is happily married. He does well at work.

However, the corporation has participated in the suppression on Falun Gong. One day Mr. Wang's boss told him to join the Communist Party as a condition for promotion.

He flatly refused.

“No promotion could tempt me to join the Party,” he declared when he told me the story.

Wang did not get the promotion, but he got a salary increase all the same. He was also given a car and a chauffeur. He believes it was his reward for quitting the Party.

Another Letter from Beijing

My daughter goes to a prestigious college in China. When she was about to finish middle school, she came home one day and told me what had happened at school.

“Dad, my schoolteacher asked me again to submit an application to the Communist Party Youth League. She said I was the only student in class that had not joined. I told her I was not interested.”

In fact, she had already quit the Young Pioneers (she had joined back in elementary school) because she did not want to be associated with a group that persecutes its own people.

She said proudly, “As long as I am here, memberships in the Youth League in my class will never be 100%!”