About one year ago, Allen Lin, a 23-year-old college senior, fidgeted in a chair before eight members of the Communist Party of China. He stuttered and his voice jumped an octave as he answered questions about his grades, awards, leadership, and community service, which he’d tallied to 167 hours. One party member asked about Chinese president Xi Jinping’s speech at the 2014 Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Beijing. By sheer luck, Lin had watched the speech and recounted all he could remember. He successfully managed the interview, the final step to joining the party.

Some weeks later, on November 28, 2014, at a full meeting of the 60 students in his engineering major’s party branch, Lin was formally voted into the party. He bent his arm into the party salute, faced the party flag, and took the party oath. Lin became a probationary party member. (He’s asked that his name be changed in concern for his future.)

Read the rest of the article on JSTOR

  • Joining the CPC