Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China
|Central Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China
|Status||Highest body of the Central Committee, Communist Party of China|
|re-elected members||Xi Jinping,
|newly elected members||Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan, Zhang Gaoli|
|Elected by||the 18th Central Committee|
|Responsible to||the Politburo, 18th Central Committee|
|Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China|
|Alternative Chinese name|
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
The Central Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China (PSC) is a 7 man committee consisting of the top leadership of the Communist Party of China. It is believed[by whom?] that the committee meets once a week and makes decisions by consensus. Each member has a portfolio covering a major area of national concern such as the economy, legislation, corruption, internal security, or propaganda. According to the Constitution, the General Secretary of the Central Committee must be a member of Politburo Standing Committee.
Currently the Central Politburo Standing Committee acts as the powerful decision-making body in China, and its decisions de facto have the force of law. Its members are closely watched by both the national media as well as political watchers abroad. Historically, the role of the PSC has varied and evolved. During the Cultural Revolution, for example, the PSC had little power.
The actual power wielded by the PSC has varied widely from period to period. In the early days of the Cultural Revolution, for example, real power was concentrated in the Central Committee Cultural Revolution Group, which was nominally subject to the Politburo Standing Committee but in fact dominated the Politburo Standing Committee. In 1969, the Cultural Revolution Group was abolished, with those of its members who were most loyal to Mao Zedong admitted into the PSC. The last years of the Cultural Revolution were dominated by internal chaos, and following Chairman Mao's death in October 1976, only two PSC members continued their official duties; namely, Hua Guofeng (party chairman) and Ye Jianying (vice chairman). Five of the Committee members had died in the preceding year, one (Deng Xiaoping) had been dismissed, and two (as members of the Gang of Four) were "quarantined for investigation".
After taking power in 1978, one of the goals of Deng Xiaoping was to strengthen the power of the party. In 1989 he ordered the military to intervene in the Tiananmen Protests of 1989 against the wishes of a majority of the PSC, and in which the party subsequently ousted a majority of the PSC.
The Standing Committee is selected from the 25-member Politburo which is elected by the Party's central committee. At the 2002 16th Party Congress the Standing Committee was expanded to nine members, but at the 2012 18th Party Congress reduced to seven.
Historical makeup of the PSC
According to informed academic observers such as Cheng Li, a scholar at Brookings Institution, and Susan Shirk of the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, rise in the Chinese political system and selection to the Standing Committee depends more on family connections and loyalty to powerful patrons than on ability. Seniority is believed to play an important role. Policy views of ambitious aspirants are routinely concealed to avoid trouble.
Makeup of the 18th PSC
Depending on how the status is calculated (Wang Qishan is not a princeling himself, but his wife is), 3 or 4 of the members are princelings, the descendants of prominent and influential senior communist officials. The group is strongly committed to the constitutional role of the Communist Party as the leading party, reform being viewed as a matter of controlling corruption and establishing a better relationship between party organizations and governmental institutions and the people. Most of the current members are considered to be allies of Jiang Zemin, the former General Secretary of the Communist Party of China who retired in 2002.
Current members (in order)
- Politics of the People's Republic of China
- Political position ranking of the People's Republic of China
- Politburo of the Communist Party of China
- Collective leadership
- "China’s Next Leaders: A Guide to What’s at Stake". China File. November 13, 2012. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
- Chapter III Central Organizations of the Party - Article 22
- Edward Wong (November 14, 2012). "Ending Congress, China Presents New Leadership Headed by Xi Jinping". The New York Times. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
- Edward Wong (November 17, 2012). "Family Ties and Hobnobbing Trump Merit at China Helm". The New York Times. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
- Susan Shirk (November 15, 2012). "Age of China’s New Leaders May Have Been Key to Their Selection". China File. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
- Li, Cheng (Winter 2012). "The Battle for China’s Top Nine Leadership Posts". The Washington Quarterly 35 (1): 131–145. doi:10.1080/0163660X.2012.642788.
- "Xinhua Insight: China's new helmsmen". Xinhua. 15 November 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2012.