Beijing | China’s ruling Communist Party today asked its 88.75 million members to address each other as “comrades”, the quintessential greeting used by Communist doctrine prevalent during Mao Zedong era which was discarded for its dubious linkages to gay community.
“All cadres should now greet each other as comrades within the Party,” the written guideline stated.
The greeting which was used by the Communist parties all over the world and widely prevalent during Mao Zedong era was discarded in China for its dubious linkages to gay community.
A written guideline requiring members of the Communist Party China (CPC) to address each other as “comrades” was issued by the Party, Hong Kong based South China Morning Post reported.
In modern times, however, such outdated greetings could lead to confusion, since the term comrade, or “tongzhi” in Chinese, is also used to refer to homosexuals,” the Post report said.
The new directive followed as Chinese President Xi Jingping has been declared “core leader” in the last months’s plenary meeting of the CPC which would make him even powerful leader putting him on par with Mao and reformist leader, Deg Xiaoping and his successor Jiang Zemin.
The directive to address each others as “comrade”, however drew criticism by analysts who termed it as an outdated resurrection of Maoist rhetoric and unworkable in today’s world.
Politically, the revival of the term was just another sign of Xi’s continued push to centralise his authority, Zhang Lifan, a Beijing-based historian and political analyst said.
Xi calls for ‘staunch’ belief in communism to ensure national rejuvenation as China marks 80th anniversary of Long March.
“It’s a retreat to stressing faith in Communism, going back to Chairman Mao’s era of unified thinking and control,” Zhang said.
‘Comrade’ means that Party members have the same faith and interests, so that’s a reinforcement of Communism.
“But we can’t simply go back to that period given the current age of diversity,” he said.
“Only Lenin would use such greetings. Only those from secret societies would address each other that way. No modern political party would do this today”.
An article published on the Party’s website early this month said that reviving the term comrade would “set things right from disorder”, in which cadres address each other by their titles or work relationships, such as “boss” and “build an atmosphere of equality”.