HONG KONG — One hammer and sickle at a time, the Communist Party is making its way deeper into everyday Chinese life — and that includes the foreign companies doing business there.

香港——中国共产党正一锤子一镰刀地步步深入中国人的日常生活——在华经商的外国公司也不例外。

Honda, the Japanese automaker, changed its legal documents to give the party a say in how its Chinese factories are run. A Chinese state oil giant vowed to put the party front and center in its joint ventures with foreign partners.

日本汽车制造商本田(Honda)修改了自己的法律文件,让中共可以参与其在华工厂的运营管理。某中国国有石油巨头也誓言将在自己的外国合资企业中把党放在首要位置。

And Cummins, the engine maker from Indiana, felt the party’s reach, too, when it tried to appoint a new manager for one of its China businesses. The party said no.

印第安纳州的发动机制造商康明斯(Cummins)也感受到了党的影响,当它试图为自己的一项中国业务指派新的经理时,党表示不同意。

“In the past the American general manager did not understand why the party was involved in decision making,” said Hu Hongwei, the party’s representative to Cummins’s China joint venture, according to The People’s Daily, the party’s official newspaper.

“过去,美方总经理对党委参与决策前置程序不太理解,”中共官方报纸《人民日报》援引康明斯中国合资企业的党群经理胡红卫称。

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But Cummins’s Chinese partner then rewrote the business’s articles of association to give the party more power, Ms. Hu said. The American manager “has begun to understand it,” she added.

但她表示,康明斯的中国合伙人随后修改了企业的公司章程,赋予了共产党更大权力。美国经理已经“逐渐认可,”她说。

The Communist Party’s rise in the Chinese offices and factories of foreign companies is yet another challenge for multinationals doing business in the country, which has the world’s second-largest economy, trailing only that of the United States. President Trump’s protectionism has put American companies in particular in the middle of a brewing fight between Beijing and Washington.

在华外国企业的办事处和工厂内共产党地位的提高,成为了这些跨国企业在仅次于美国的世界第二大经济体经营的另一个挑战。特朗普的贸易保护主义尤其使得美国公司身陷北京和华盛顿之间不断发酵的对抗之中。

Foreign companies face growing pressure to share sensitive technology. The Chinese authorities have stepped up efforts to foster a new generation of homegrown competitors meant to someday replace foreign companies.

要求外国公司分享敏感技术的压力日益增大。中国当局更加注意培育新一代本土竞争对手,打算有朝一日取代外国公司。

本田与中国汽车制造商东风公司的合资企业在武汉工厂内生产思域汽车。本田已修改其法律文件,让共产党在其中国工厂的运营中发挥更多影响力。
本田与中国汽车制造商东风公司的合资企业在武汉工厂内生产思域汽车。本田已修改其法律文件,让共产党在其中国工厂的运营中发挥更多影响力。 Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Should a trade dispute between China and the United States worsen, Beijing could be moved to intensify the party’s role in foreign business even further, creating yet another headache for businesses operating in China.

如果中美之间的贸易争端恶化,北京还可以进一步强化党在外国企业中的角色,使在华经营的企业更为头疼。

The party’s expanding presence in business is part of a broader push by Xi Jinping, China’s president and the party’s top leader, to make it stronger. He has reshaped education to include more Communist Party mythology and increased the party’s role in China’s military. Mr. Xi’s take on Communism — called “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” — has been unveiled with great fanfare across the country.

共产党扩大在商业领域的存在,其背后是习近平及其他中共高级领导人为增强国力的广泛推动。习近平已对教育进行了调整,加入更多的共产党神话,也在中国的军队中加强了共产党的作用。习近平对共产主义的理解——所谓的“习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想”——正在全国范围内声势浩大地宣扬。

In the business realm, dozens of Chinese state-controlled companies have changed their articles of incorporation to give the party a greater role, including the publicly traded units of some of the world’s biggest companies, like Sinopec, ICBC and China Railway Group. The insurance giant China Pacific Insurance, for example, recently amended its articles of association to say that in key corporate decisions, “the board of directors shall first seek for the opinion of the leading party group of the company.”

在商业领域,数十家中国的国有企业为使共产党发挥更大作用,都修改了公司章程,其中包括比如中石化、中国工商银行和中铁公司等全球最大企业的上市单位。例如,保险巨头中国太平洋保险就在最近修改了公司章程,表示在做出重大企业决策时,“董事会应先听取公司党组织的意见”。

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“We’ve never seen the party so forcefully articulate its own goals,” said Jude Blanchette, a senior adviser and China head at Crumpton Group. “Companies are now trying to coordinate with the party in a way that doesn’t sacrifice their own shareholder interest.”

“我们从没见过共产党如此强硬地阐明自己的目标,”克伦普顿集团(Crumpton Group)中国主管、资深顾问裘德·布兰切特(Jude Blanchette)说。“公司目前正试图在不牺牲股东利益的情况下与党协调工作。”

The Communist Party has long been part of doing business in China. While party committees are a fixture in many foreign-managed workplaces, they were seen by foreign executives for years as more like social clubs. They would meet to read party announcements, recruit new members, make sure dues were collected and generally keep an eye on operations.

共产党历来都是在中国做生意的一部分。党委在许多外国人管理的工作场所中是固定配置,但外国高管多年来都更像是将其视作社交俱乐部。他们会开会宣读党的公告、招募新成员、确保按时缴纳党费,还会在大体上监督经营活动。

But on at least three occasions in recent months, foreign executives have been approached by their Chinese joint venture partners demanding that they involve internal party committees in strategic decisions, say lawyers and business executives.

但律师和企业高管表示,近几个月来,合资企业的中国合伙人找到外国高管,要求战略决策有内部党委介入的事件至少出现了三起。

“Infiltration by party operatives into the executive circle of foreign-invested enterprises is not extensively apparent at this time but things are certainly going in that direction,” said James Zimmerman, a lawyer in Beijing whose clients include American multinational corporations.

“共产党人在外资企业管理层的渗透目前还不算明显,但情况肯定会朝着这个方向发展,”在北京执业的律师吉莫曼(James Zimmerman)说,他的客户包括美国跨国企业。

He said several of his clients in joint ventures had received explicit requests to give their internal party organizations a greater say in the company’s operations. At some companies, the requested language requires a board of directors to consult with the committee before making business decisions.

他表示,他有几个合资企业客户已经接到了明确要求,需让企业内部的党组织在公司的运营中获得更多发言权。一些公司被要求在董事会做出商业决策之前与党委协商。

Foreign business associations in China have spoken out. In November, the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce said it was concerned about “proactive calls on foreign-invested companies to promote the development of the Communist Party of China within companies.” The European Chamber of Commerce has called such incidents a “great concern” that would represent “a significant change from the legal framework under which joint ventures were negotiated and under which they have been operating successfully for decades.”

在华外国贸易协会对此表达了态度。11月,德国工商大会(Delegation of German Industry and Commerce)表示,对“主动呼吁外资企业提高中国共产党在企业内部的地位”感到担心。中国欧盟商会(European Union Chamber of Commerce in China)称之为“十分令人担忧”的事件,可能代表着“合资企业谈判所依靠的、已经借此成功经营了数十年的法律框架发生重大变化”。

The creeping influence of the party in foreign offices and factories is a sensitive subject in a country where the party seems ready to punish anyone who questions its widening influence. Many companies are loath to discuss the issue.

共产党在外国驻华公司和工厂的影响力蔓延是一个敏感话题,在这个国家,党会毫不犹豫地惩罚任何一个质疑其影响力扩大的人。许多公司都不愿讨论这个问题。

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Cummins, for example, declined to comment on the changes to its joint venture’s articles of incorporation that gave the party greater power. Cummins had not “experienced any challenges or impact due to the structure we have in place and the role of the Chinese Communist Party,” a spokesman said.

比如说,康明斯对修改合资公司章程、给予党更大权力一事拒绝置评。发言人说,康明斯并没有“因为我们现有的结构和中国共产党的作用而受到任何挑战或影响。”

Cummins’s Chinese partner, Dongfeng Motor Group, has recently taken steps to intensify the party’s activities at its other joint ventures, according to an article last year from Xinhua, China’s official news agency. They include ventures with Peugeot Citroën, the French automaker; Honda, of Japan; and Dana, the American auto parts maker.

据中国官方通讯社新华社去年发表的一篇文章,康明斯的中国合作伙伴东风汽车公司前不久采取措施,加强它在其他合资企业内党的活动。这些企业包括与它法国汽车制造商标致雪铁龙(Peugeot Citroën)、日本的本田,以及美国汽车零部件制造商德纳(Dana)合作的公司。

Dongfeng’s other partners, like Peugeot and Dana, did not respond to repeated requests for comment. A Honda spokesman declined to comment about its partnership with Dongfeng.

标致和德纳等东风的合作伙伴没有回应多次置评请求。本田发言人拒绝就其与东风的合作发表评论。

However, the Honda spokesman confirmed that the party claimed a more assertive role in another joint venture with a different Chinese company, GAC Group.

然而,本田发言人证实,在本田与另一家中国公司广汽集团的合资企业中,中国共产党要求取得更强势的地位。

GAC, an automaker owned by Guangzhou Automobile Group, is pushing its joint ventures to change their articles of association to give the party a greater role, a spokeswoman said. In addition to Honda, it has joint ventures with Toyota and Mitsubishi, both of which declined to comment.

广汽集团是由广州汽车集团拥有的汽车制造商,一位本田发言人称,目前广汽正在推动其合资企业改动公司章程,令党发挥更大的作用。除本田之外,广汽还与丰田(Toyota)和三菱(Mitsubishi)建立了合资公司,两家企业都拒绝置评。

In November, at the most important Communist Party meeting, which takes place every five years, Mr. Xi called on officials to strengthen the party in “government, the military, society and schools, north, south, east and west.” The message was quick to reach party members lower down in the ranks.

11月,在中国共产党五年一届的最高会议上,习近平呼吁官员,在“党政军民学,东西南北中”加强党的力量。这个信息很快就被传达给基层党员。

Soon after Mr. Xi’s speech, party officials in the central province of Hunan issued a notice to members instructing them to write the party into legal documents for private and state-owned companies alike. The document was accidentally made public when a local state-owned newspaper published it, but it was quickly taken down.

习近平讲话后不久,中部省份湖南省的党干部对党员发出通知,指示他们对私营企业和国企一视同仁,将中国共产党写入企业法律文件中。这份文件意外地被当地一家国有报纸公布,但很快就被撤下。

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Over the past year, the state-owned oil giant Sinopec has begun to ask its foreign joint venture partners to legally require “party-building work,” according to one executive with direct knowledge of the requests who was not authorized to speak publicly. Party building is an amorphous term that can mean general recruiting and educating but can also refer to more direct, specific activity. The foreign executive told Sinopec that putting the party in the joint venture’s legal documents would pose major problems for the head office overseas.

据一位直接了解内情但未被授权公开发言的高管透露,去年,中国国有石油巨头中国石化已开始要求其外国合资伙伴依法展开“党建工作”。“党建”是一个含糊的术语,可能意味着一般的党员招募和教育工作,但也可以指更直接、更具体的活动。这位外国高管告诉中石化,将共产党纳入合资公司法律文件,对其位于国外的总公司将是一个严重的问题。

Sinopec did not respond to several requests for comment.

中石化没有回应多次置评请求。

Dongfeng Motors, Cummins’s partner and one of China’s biggest carmakers, has long had strong Communist Party ties.

东风汽车是康明斯的合作伙伴,也是中国最大的汽车制造商之一,长期以来一直与中国共产党有着紧密的关系。

Instructors at Communist Party schools have used Dongfeng’s joint venture with Nissan as a model of how the party can be involved with business, according to the book “The Party” by Richard McGregor. When the partnership was negotiated, Dongfeng insisted that the new company give the chief party representative a senior management role, with a salary and compensation for expenses.

根据马利德(Richard McGregor)撰写的《党》(The Party)一书,中共党校的教员已将东风与日产(Nissan)的合资企业作为共产党涉足企业经营的范例。在就合作关系谈判时,东风坚持要求新公司将党群经理作为一个高级管理职位,有工资和报销费用。

Today, Dongfeng’s Communist Party committees are working to expand their influence further. In other Dongfeng joint ventures, committees have tried to make the party more relevant for employees by holding social events.

如今,东风汽车党委正在努力进一步扩大影响力。在东风其他合资企业中,党委试图通过举办社交活动,让员工对党产生更多亲近感。

In 2016, a group of employees from Dongfeng-Cummins traveled to the site of the Communist Party’s first base, according to Dongfeng’s website. On a rainy day, the group dressed in Red Army outfits, huddled together to hold a red flag with the hammer and sickle and smiled for the camera.

东风的网站显示,2016年,东风康明斯的一批员工前往中国共产党最早的根据地。那是一个雨天,这群人身穿红军服装挤在一起,举起一面有镰刀锤头的红旗,对着镜头微笑。