Leader of the Communist Party of China

Leader of the
Communist Party of China
中共中央主要负责人
Logo of the Communist Party of China
Flag of the Communist Party of China
Incumbent
Xi Jinping

since 15 November 2012
Central Committee of the Communist Party of China
Type Party leader
Reports to National Congress of the Communist Party of China
Seat Zhongnanhai
Beijing, People's Republic of China
Nominator Central Committee of the Communist Party of China
Appointer Central Committee of the Communist Party of China
Term length Five years, no term limit
Constituting instrument Constitution of the Communist Party of China
Inaugural holder Chen Duxiu
Formation 1 July 1921
Deputy Vice Chairman (1956–1982)
Leader of the Communist Party of China
Simplified Chinese 中共中央主要负责人
Traditional Chinese 中共中央主要負責人
Literal meaning Central Committee of the CPC primary responsible person
This article is part of a series on the
Politics of the
People's Republic of China

The leader, now officially the General Secretary of the Central Committee (CC) of the Communist Party of China (CPC), is by right of office the Chairman of the Central Military Commission and the President of the People's Republic of China. Since its formation in 1921, the leader's post has been titled as Secretary of the Central Bureau (19211922), Chairman (19221925, 19281931, and 19431982), and General Secretary (19251928, 19311943, and 1982 onwards).

By custom the party leader has either been elected by the Central Committee or the Central Politburo.[1] There were several name changes until Mao Zedong finally formalised the office of Chairman of the Central Committee.[1] Since 1982, the CPC National Congress and its 1st CC Plenary Session has been main the institutional setting in which the CPC leadership are elected.[1] From 1992 onwards every party leader has been elected by a 1st CC Plenary Session. In the period 1928–45 the CPC leader was elected by conference, meetings of the Central Committee or by decisions of the Politburo.[1] The last exception to this rule is Jiang Zemin, who was elected at the 4th Plenary Session of the 13th Central Committee in the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.[2] Currently, to be nominated for the office of General Secretary, one has to be a member of the Politburo Standing Committee.[3]

Despite breaching the party's constitution, several individuals (who are not included in the list) have been de facto leaders of the CPC without holding formal positions of power.[4] Wang Ming was briefly in charge in 1931 after Xiang Zhongfa was jailed by Kuomintang forces, while Li Lisan is considered to have been the real person in-charge for most of Xiang's tenure.[4] Deng Xiaoping is the last CPC official to achieve this; he never served as Chairman or General Secretary, his highest post being Chairman of the CPC Central Military Commission.[5]

Leader offices

Title Existence Established
Secretary of the Central Bureau 1921–1922 1st National Congress
Chairman of the Central Executive Committee 1922–1923 2nd National Congress
General Secretary of the Central Bureau 1923–1925 3rd National Congress
General Secretary of the Central Executive Committee 1925–1927 4th National Congress
General Secretary of the Central Committee 1927–1928 5th National Congress
Chairman of the Central Committee 1928–1931 6th National Congress
General Secretary of the Central Committee 1931–1943 4th Plenary Session of the 6th Central Committee
Chairman of the Central Politburo 1943–1945 Politburo resolution
Chairman of the Central Secretariat 1943–1945 Politburo resolution
Chairman of the Central Committee 1945–1982 7th National Congress
General Secretary of the Central Committee 1982 onwards 12th National Congress

Leaders

Name
(birth–death)
Took office Left office Length of tenure Central Committee Portfolios held while leader Portrait
1 Chen Duxiu
陈独秀
(1879–1942)
1 July 1921 7 August 1927 6 years and 38 days 2nd (1922–23)
3rd (1923–25)
4th (1925–27)
2 Xiang Zhongfa
向忠发
(1880–1931)
1 July 1928 24 June 1931 2 years and 359 days 5th (1927–28)
6th (1928–45)
3 Bo Gu
博古
(1907–1946)
September 1931 17 January 1935 3 years and 139 days 6th (1928–45)
4 Zhang Wentian
张闻天
(1900–1976)
17 January 1935 20 March 1943 8 years and 63 days 6th (1928–45)
5 Mao Zedong
毛泽东
(1893–1976)
20 March 1943 9 September 1976 33 years and 174 days 6th (1928–45)
7th (1945–56)
8th (1956–69)
9th (1969–73)
10th (1973–77)
6 Hua Guofeng
华国锋
(1921–2008)
7 October 1976 28 June 1981 4 years and 265 days 11th (1977–82)
7 Hu Yaobang
胡耀邦
(1915–1989)
29 June 1981 15 January 1987 5 years and 201 days 11th (1977–82)
12th (1982–87)
8 Zhao Ziyang
赵紫阳
(1919–2005)
16 January 1987 24 June 1989 2 years and 160 days 12th (1982–87)
13th (1987–92)
9 Jiang Zemin
江泽民
(born 1926)
24 June 1989 15 November 2002 13 years and 145 days 13th (1987–92)
14th (1992–97)
15th (1997–02)
10 Hu Jintao
胡锦涛
(born 1942)
15 November 2002 15 November 2012 10 years and 1 day 16th (2002–07)
17th (2007–12)
11 Xi Jinping
习近平
(born 1953)
15 November 2012 Incumbent 5 years and 289 days 18th (2012–17)
19th (2017–22)

See also

References

Citations

Sources

General

References for when the individuals were elected to the office of CPC leader, the name of the offices and when they established and were abolished are found below:

Articles and journal entries
Books
  • Wu, Guoguang (2015). China's Party Congress: Power, Legitimacy, and Institutional Manipulation. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-107-08202-1. 
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