China Seminar | 13 September 2001

Eighty Years of the Chinese Communist Party

Daniel W. Y. Kwok Daniel W. Y. Kwok

President Jiang Zemin announced during the summer celebrations of the eightieth birthday of the Chinese Communist Party that party membership will be now open to capitalists. What does this unprecedented change in the party of the workers mean for China in years to come? While few can predict with certainty Chinese political directions, many can at least find some clues in the eighty years of the Chinese Communist Party as it struggled for revolutionary supremacy, attained success in 1949 and took China through the Cultural Revolution and into the present-stage of opening. Professor Kwok will offer some historical perspectives on the extraordinary passage of this party and its state.

Professor D. W. Y. Kwok, the founding convener of the China Seminar, is professor emeritus of history at the University of Hawaii, where he has taught Chinese history and world civilizations. He has concurrently served in numerous administrative posts, including chair of Asian Studies, chair of the Department of History, and director of the Center for Chinese Studies. He also directs the university’s Asia Fellowships Program for Journalists. Among his publications are: Scientism in Chinese Thought, 1900-1950 (1965); Cosmology, Ontology, and Human Efficacy: Essays in Chinese Thought (with Richard J. Smith, 1993); his translation and editing of Yan Jiaqi and Gao Gao’s Turbulent Decade: A History of the Cultural Revolution (1996); and The Urbane Imagination: Ideas of Civilization in the Chinese Garden (1997).