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Part of the news item provided by Xinhua News Agency on May 24, 2022 says:

...全面记述以邓小平同志为主要代表的中国共产党人、以江泽民同志为主要代表的中国共产党人、以胡锦涛同志为主要代表的中国共产党人,从新的实践和时代特征出发坚持和发展马克思主义,...

But what we often see is 共产党员. So what is the difference?

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共产党员 - the member of the Communist Party.

共产党人 - a person who aligns with the communist idealogy and has devoted to the communist movements with significant contributions in his/her political lifetime. In the broader sense, he/she is not necessarily a member of the party, but highly likely.

Note, 党员 carries a certification (党员證), offered by the party, through regular recruits; 党人 carries the label offered through the mouth of, or assigned by, the upper party leaders

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    So 共产党人 could imply the people under the United Front system as well as the members of the democratic parties sympathizing with CCP ? May 26, 2022 at 1:45
  • Depends on the devotion and contribution to promoting the communist doctrine, also important is to be deemed valuable by the highest circle of leaders
    – r13
    May 26, 2022 at 2:08
  • Does this rule apply to other organizations, like国民党员 and 国民党人? Or is it just a specific rule for Chinese Communist Party? May 27, 2022 at 4:00
  • Yes, it applies equally.
    – r13
    May 27, 2022 at 14:08
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人 means -person.

员 means member.

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    So then what is a 共产党人, simply a "Communist," but not necessarily a "member"? May 25, 2022 at 14:35
  • for example from udn.com/news/story/7331/…. • 第二次是以鄧小平、江澤民、胡錦濤為代表的中國共產黨 • 人 ( -person ) may indicate figure May 25, 2022 at 15:20
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In my understanding:

人: person

员: personel

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