Orders of precedence in the People's Republic of China

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The political ranking of the People's Republic of China is the ranking of political leaders in China, by order of presumed political power. Although there is no formally published ranking, there is usually an established convention and protocol, and the relative positions of Chinese political figures can usually be deduced from the order in meetings and especially by the time and order which figures are covered by the official media.

Depending on the person and the time period, the hierarchy will vary accordingly. Although Chinese political positions are becoming increasingly institutionalized, part of the power of Chinese leaders still derives from who they are, rather than what position they hold. The informal role as Party "Center" (currently the position of General Secretary) is an example of the continuing importance of non-institutionalized and informal practices of power.

Individuals can hold multiple top leadership titles but also be unable to claim to be the de facto ruler as was the case with Chairman Hua Guofeng, when "paramount leader" Deng Xiaoping was present. The traditional ranking system was based upon the hierarchical line of the politburo standing committee; however, "special" cases do arise as it is the case with Jiang Zemin and the 4th Generation leaders. Jiang, although retired from the politburo and the central committee, was nonetheless ranked number two for being the all-powerful CMC chairman until his resignation on September 19, 2004.

Leaders of the Party and the State[edit]

By convention, persons holding positions of the Vice-Chairs of the NPC or above are referred to "Leaders of the Party and the State" (党和国家领导人) in the official media. A highly typical ranking is as follows:

Rank Leader Official titles
1 Xi Jinping General Secretary of the Communist Party of China
Chairman of the CPC Central Military Commission
President of the People's Republic of China
2 Li Keqiang Premier of the State Council
2nd rank member of the 18th Politburo Standing Committee
3 Zhang Dejiang Chairman of the NPC Standing Committee[1]
3rd rank member of the 18th Politburo Standing Committee
4 Yu Zhengsheng Chairman of the CPPCC National Committee
4th rank member of the 18th Politburo Standing Committee
5 Liu Yunshan First secretary of the Central Secretariat
5th rank member of the 18th Politburo Standing Committee
Chairman of the Central Guidance Commission for Building Spiritual Civilization
President of the CPC Central Party School
6 Wang Qishan Secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection
6th rank member of the 18th Politburo Standing Committee
7 Zhang Gaoli First Vice Premier of the State Council
7th rank member of the 18th Politburo Standing Committee
8 Jiang Zemin former Paramount Leader
former General Secretary and President
9 Hu Jintao former Paramount Leader
former General Secretary and President

Order of precedence[edit]

Official state media, when reporting news pieces, adhere to strict ranking protocol when the news involves multiple top leaders. As a result, the news overlooks the actual importance of the story attached to each leader; rather the news order is determined by political ranking alone. For example, if the Premier was on a relief visit to a region damaged by an earthquake, and the Chairman of the National People's Congress happened to be chairing a regular NPC meeting, the Premier would always have his news item placed before that of the NPC Chairman.[citation needed] The order of precedence is strictly adhered to when seating leaders at official meetings and functions. The current order of precedence is as follows:

Portrait Information Party position(s) State position(s)
1st
[2]
Xi Jinping
Name Xi Jinping General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee
Chairman of the CPC Central Military Commission
Leader of the Central Leading Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reforms
Chairman of the National Security Commission
President of the People's Republic of China
Chairman of the PRC Central Military Commission
Birthplace Xicheng District, Beijing
NPC Constituency Shanghai At-large
Member since 22 October 2007
2nd
[2]
Xi Jinping
Name Li Keqiang Party secretary of the State Council of the People's Republic of China
Deputy Leader of the Central Leading Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reforms
Vice Chairman of the National Security Commission
Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China
Birthplace Dingyuan County, Anhui
NPC Constituency Shandong At-large
Member since 22 October 2007
3rd
[2]
Zhang Dejiang
Name Zhang Dejiang Party secretary of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress
Vice Chairman of the National Security Commission
Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress
Birthplace Tai'an County, Liaoning
NPC Constituency Zhejiang At-large
Member since 15 November 2012
4th
[2]
Yu Zhengsheng
Name Yu Zhengsheng Party secretary of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference
Birthplace Shaoxing, Zhejiang
NPC Constituency Hubei At-large
Member since 15 November 2012
5th
[2]
Liu Yunshan
Name Liu Yunshan Top-ranked Secretary of the Central Secretariat of the CPC
Chairman of the Central Guidance Commission for Building Spiritual Civilization
President of the CPC Central Party School
Deputy Leader of the Central Leading Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reforms
 
Birthplace Tumed Right Banner, Inner Mongolia
NPC Constituency Inner Mongolia At-large
Member since 15 November 2012
6th
[2]
Wang Qishan
Name Wang Qishan Secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection  
Birthplace Tianzhen County, Shanxi
NPC Constituency Beijing At-large
Member since 15 November 2012
7th
[2]
Zhang Gaoli
Name Zhang Gaoli Deputy Party secretary of the State Council of the People's Republic of China
Deputy Leader of the Central Leading Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reforms
First Vice Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China
Birthplace Jinjiang, Fujian
NPC Constituency Tianjin At-large
Member since 15 November 2012

Other members of the CPC Politburo[edit]

Former living leaders from the Politburo Standing Committee or equivalent[edit]

in order of seniority at the time they were in office

Name Image Birth year Party-joining year Former highest post(s) Retirement year
Jiang Zemin Jiang Zemin St. Petersburg2002.jpg 1926 1946 General Secretary of the Communist Party of China
President of the People's Republic of China
Chairman of the Central Military Commission
2005
Hu Jintao Hu Jintao Cannes2011.jpg 1942 1964 General Secretary of the Communist Party of China
President of the People's Republic of China
Chairman of the Central Military Commission
2013
Li Peng Li Peng.png 1928 1945 Member of the CPC Politburo Standing Committee
Premier of the People's Republic of China
Chairman of the NPC Standing Committee
2003
Wan Li 1916 1936 Member of the CPC Politburo
Chairman of the NPC Standing Committee
1993
Qiao Shi 1924 1940 Member of the CPC Politburo Standing Committee
Chairman of the NPC Standing Committee
1998
Zhu Rongji Zhu Rongji 2001.jpg 1928 1949 Member of the CPC Politburo Standing Committee
Premier of the People's Republic of China
2003
Li Ruihuan Li Ruihuan.png 1934 1959 Member of the CPC Politburo Standing Committee
Chairman of the CPPCC National Committee
2003
Wu Bangguo Wu Bangguo Beijing2011.jpg 1941 1964 Member of the CPC Politburo Standing Committee
Chairman of the NPC Standing Committee
2013
Wen Jiabao Wen Jiabao (Cropped).jpg 1942 1965 Member of the CPC Politburo Standing Committee
Premier of the People's Republic of China
2013
Jia Qinglin Jia Qinglin.jpg 1940 1959 Member of the CPC Politburo Standing Committee
Chairman of the CPPCC National Committee
2013
Song Ping 1917 1937 Member of the CPC Politburo Standing Committee 1992
Wei Jianxing 1931 1949 Member of the CPC Politburo Standing Committee
Secretary of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection
2002
Li Lanqing 1932 1952 Member of the CPC Politburo Standing Committee
First Vice Premier of the People's Republic of China
2003
Zeng Qinghong Zeng Qinghong.png 1939 1960 Member of the CPC Politburo Standing Committee
First Secretary of the CPC Central Secretariat
Vice President of the People's Republic of China
2008
Wu Guanzheng 1938 1962 Member of the CPC Politburo Standing Committee
Secretary of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection
2007
Li Changchun Li Changchun.jpg 1944 1965 Member of the CPC Politburo Standing Committee 2012
Luo Gan 1935 1960 Member of the CPC Politburo Standing Committee
Secretary of the CPC Central Political and Legislative Affairs Committee
2007
He Guoqiang He Guoqiang (Brasilia 2008).jpg 1943 1966 Member of the CPC Politburo Standing Committee
Secretary of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection
2012
Zhou Yongkang Zhou Yongkang.png 1942 1964 Member of the CPC Politburo Standing Committee
Secretary of the CPC Central Political and Legislative Committee
2012

Members of the Secretariat of the Communist Party of China[edit]

Provincial party secretaries/Governors[edit]

All subsequent rankings follow the Chinese political ranking system.

Rankings below the National Leadership[edit]

Within the PRC, there is an established convention as to the ranking of officials below the central leadership. Unlike in the west, the Provincial leaders do not enjoy an elevated presence in their own province. Rather they must still be placed behind all national leaders listed above.

Departmental heads of the Communist Party of China, and ministers of the State Council are both called bùzhǎng (部长; literally "Head of Department"), but the Party heads are ranked half a rank above cabinet ministers, reflecting the Party's "vanguard" status. Thus, for example, the head of the Party's International Department (中联部) is treated as half a rank above the minister for Foreign Affairs (外交部). However, this is not true as Departmental heads share the same rank and are treated with the same benefits as cabinet ministers.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Since the 18th Party Congress, Li Keqiang is ranked 2nd in the Politburo Standing Committee; because he is expected to become Premier, this potentially signals that the Premier will now rank above the NPC Chairman.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Xinhua Insight: China's new helmsmen". Xinhua. 15 November 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  3. ^ http://cpc.people.com.cn/GB/64162/71380/71387/71591/4854995.html