The Chinese Communist Party has asked that members working at EY China, a branch of the London-based accounting firm Ernst & Young, wear party badges to show their loyalty in the workplace.
The move, which came on Feb. 23, marked one of the first known instances of the CCP imposing its hammer-and-sickle badge on employees of a firm with international ties, Financial Times reported.
The badge shows the yellow hammer-and-sickle symbol above the words “serve the people,” FT reported. In a directive to CCP members working at EY China, the badge was ordered to be “placed in the middle of the left chest and cannot be worn on the collar.”
“When worn with other badges, it should be placed above them,” the directive stated, according to FT.
The directive from the CCP’s EY China committee said the order complied with a push from a CCP accountants’ association, which requested party members make themselves visually identifiable at work, FT reported. The directive appeared to be sent only to staff in Beijing.
The badge-wearing request came ahead of the CCP’s top annual conference, known as the Two Sessions, earlier this month. Wearing the badge is typically required for the CCP’s 97 million members, but that rule is followed more consciously during politically sensitive moments such as the Two Sessions, FT reported.
The party’s bylaws state that “wearing the party badge is the obligation of every Communist party member” because it “helps to make visible their identities as party members, ensures they fulfill their party obligations and strengthens their party consciousness,” FT reported.
FT reported the badge is increasingly seen in daily life pinned to the chests of CCP members, like police officers and bank tellers, as Chinese President Xi Jinping consolidates party loyalty and Chinese state-owned companies demand badges be displayed.
During this year’s Two Sessions, the Chinese parliament approved Xi’s unprecedented third term in office.