BEIJING, July 1 (UPI) -- China's Communist Party membership totaled 75.93 million people at the end of last year, official figures said.
The number is 17 times the figure in 1949 when the People's Republic of China was founded, the country's official Xinhua news agency reported, quoting the organization department of the party's Central Committee.
Of the new members recruited last year, Xinhua said 80.8 percent are less than 35.
In response to a question whether some college students joined the party as a way to find jobs, Li Zhongjie, an official studying the party's history, said most applicants' motivation was to play their roles in building the nation and the society.
"We have more than 10 million applicants every year, 19.5 million in 2007 for example," said Li. "With so many people, it's inevitable and understandable that some of them will have their own reasons for joining, including finding jobs. Overall, they're joining the party to serve the nation and people."
"I believe our party will have a long life cycle," he added.