The CCP was founded in 1921 and expanded its power base quickly in Chinese society. After the defeat of the Kuomintang and the foundation of the People's Republic of China in 1949, the CCP governed as the only ruling party and still governs the country today. Despite this continuity, the party's ideology has been adjusted and amended several times. Moving away from Marxism-Leninism, which is still claimed to be the party's core theory, the most profound change in party ideology has been the gradual integration of economic market principles during the reform and opening up era beginning in 1978. Today, the political system of China is defined by the CCP as "socialism with Chinese characteristics".
China's impressive economic success and political stability over the last three decades has had a positive effect on the lives of a great majority of the Chinese people and is largely responsible for the CCP's wide approval among the Chinese populace. In view of these successes, political concerns over democracy or human rights are of secondary importance in the eyes of a Chinese majority. A large part of the Chinese population agrees that their political system represents its citizens well, and membership in the CCP is still popular among the people with only around one out of eight membership applications accepted by the party.
Against the backdrop of growing U.S.-Chinese tensions, people from mainland China are showing increasing national solidarity, and support for the CCP under its president Xi Jinping is growing. In this context, there is no sign of change towards the democratic system that was so much hoped for by Western political thinkers in the past.