China Table of Contents
The Communist Youth League, the other primary communist organization, functioned as an all-purpose school for party members. Except for its top-ranking officials, the league's members, from fifteen to twenty-five years of age, were indoctrinated, trained, and prepared to serve as future party regulars. The league was organized on the party pattern. Its leader (in 1987 Song Defu) was identified as first secretary and member of the party's Central Committee. The Communist Youth League's eleventh congress, held in December 1982, was attended by about 2,000 delegates. The congress elected a central committee of 263 members and 51 alternate members. In 1987 the league included 52 million members attached to 2.3 million branches. They were required to carry out party policies, respect party discipline, and act as a "shock force and as a bridge linking the party with the broad masses of young people." Since 1984 the league's leadership has increased ties with youth organizations worldwide through friendly exchanges and cooperation. The Communist Youth League was responsible also for guiding the activities of the Young Pioneers (for children below the age of fifteen).
Data as of July 1987