Lectrice, 28, grew up eating KFC, has watched American teen TV drama Gossip Girl since high school, loves wearing Nike Air Jordans and supports the #MeToo movement. She is also a staunch Chinese Communist Party (CCP) member. “People assume party slogans ring hollow because they sound too ‘glorious’. But if you put aside the rebellious spirit youth usually have, these slogans are actually a good guide for self-cultivation,” Lectrice told Reuters by phone from Shanghai.
China’s Communist Party, which celebrates its 100th anniversary on Thursday, is at the peak of its power under President Xi Jinping, analysts say, as China’s post-COVID economy surges and its international stature grows. Some Chinese privately say they find the party’s earnest slogans and focus on collectivism anachronistic in an increasingly individualistic society.
But a growing cohort of young members reconcile those contradictions with an increasingly nationalistic pride in China’s success, and in the opportunities that membership affords, several members and political analysts say.
“I joined the party because I want to have a platform to push for social causes with my peers,” said Lectrice, a doctoral student in philosophy, who said she volunteered a few years ago to counsel women suffering from domestic abuse and wrote articles in support of China’s nascent #MeToo movement.