China is embarking on reform of the 130 million China Young Pioneers Organization (CYP). This was announced by the National Working Committee of the CYP, the Central Committee of the Communist Youth Union, as well as the Ministry of Education of the PRC. The goal of the reform is to make the pioneer structure more influential, cohesive and attractive to children.
Among the measures planned are the development of new "cultural products" in demand among children, as well as a tougher selection of leaders of pioneer organizations both in the center and in the localities. "The emphasis is on trying to make the organization interesting," Igor Denisov, a senior researcher at the Center for East Asian and SCO Studies at MGIMO, explained to RG. for example, funny videos or even comics on serious political topics."
In addition, reforms in the CYP should promote greater understanding between urban and rural children, as well as create a juvenile system based on the pioneer organization. The pioneer organization appeared in China in 1949, almost immediately after the communists came to power. During the Cultural Revolution of 1966-78, the pioneers became "Little Red Guards", but then they got their old name back. The pioneer organizations of the PRC include children aged 6 to 14 years old, at the age of 14 they are automatically excluded from the CYP. There is a pioneer squad in every school and every village, and its members wear a red tie. At the head of the detachment are Komsomol members or teachers. Each squad is divided into teams of several people. The CYP has its own flag - a red banner with a star and a torch in the middle. The pioneer slogans in the PRC practically do not differ from the Soviet ones: "Be ready to fight for the cause of communism! - Always ready!"
There are almost as many pioneers in China as there are residents in Russia
Back in 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping said at a meeting with pioneers: "Your hands will bring about the great renaissance of the Chinese nation. The most important of a person's aspirations is to serve their country."
Meanwhile, "Young Pioneers of China" has long been viewed as the first step in career development. CYP members can then expect to join the Communist Youth Union of China (something like the Soviet Komsomol), and then join the Communist Party (CCP), whose membership opens the way to leadership positions. As the CCP's Global Times wrote back in 2012, some school teachers even took bribes from parents who wanted their children to join the pioneer organization first. “Recently, the authorities are paying more and more attention to the state of minds of young people - this is evidenced by the increased control over the content of university and school programs,” Denisov believes. “The new generation has grown up in comfortable conditions, actively uses the Internet, and it is difficult to captivate them with revolutionary romance or boring talk about the growing role of the party. In addition, most of the "young pioneers" - the only children in the family, and such exclusive parental attention only reinforces the dependent mood and passivity."
According to the expert, the reform of the pioneer organization is an attempt to work strongly ahead of the curve so as not to get a "lost generation" without a special social position.