Chinese Communist Party

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Communist Party, Chinese Political organization founded in July 1921 by Li Dazhao and Chen Duxiu. The party was strengthened by its alliance (1924) with Chiang Kai-shek's nationalist Kuomintang, but virtually shattered when the communists were expelled from the alliance in 1927. Mao Zedong was the guiding force in revitalizing the party in the early 1930s. Under his leadership, solidified during the Long March (1934–35), the party revised the Soviet proletariat-based model to fit the peasant-oriented economy of China and, after another four years of civil war from 1945, the People's Republic was proclaimed in Tiananmen Square (October 1949). The party had achieved complete political and military power. Its structure and hierarchy was nearly destroyed during the Cultural Revolution, but re-established after Mao's death (1976) by Deng Xiaoping. Following pro-democracy demonstrations (May 1989), the party swung away from political reform and hardline conservatives consolidated power. Yet, its flexible approach to economic reform enabled it to survive the collapse of Soviet communism. Jiang Zemin became president in 1993. The National People's Congress is the supreme legislative body, and nominally elects the highest officers of state. Today, there are more than 40 million members.

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Chinese Communist party: see Communist party, in China.