Chinese Communist Party marks 85th year

July 1, 2006 at 9:39 PM
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BEIJING, July 1 (UPI) -- The Communist Party of China celebrated its 85th birthday Saturday.

While President Hu Jintao celebrated Karl Marx in a speech marking the anniversary, television advertisements focused on material achievements, The Independent reported. They included the controversial Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River and the Tibetan railroad, which inaugurated passenger service Saturday.

Hu promised the party will remain committed to China's poor.

"We must grasp the lengthiness, complexity and difficulty of fighting corruption and promoting clean government," he said. "A ruling party cannot maintain flesh-and-blood ties with the people; if it loses the people's support, it will lose its vitality."

The party, which has more than 70 million members, dates its official founding to a conference in 1921 attended by 50 radical intellectuals. One of the delegates was Mao Zedong, who led the party to victory in 1949 and headed the country until his death in 1976.

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