18th Politburo of the Communist Party of China

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The 18th Politburo of the Communist Party of China was elected by the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on 15 November 2012.[1]

Explanation on composition[edit]

At the beginning of its term, the 25 Politburo members held the following portfolios: seven members of the Politburo Standing Committee, six regional party leaders, two military figures, five leaders of central party organs and commissions, three Vice Premiers, the Vice President, and the head of the national trade union federation. The internal composition was largely similar to the previous Politburo, with only a few portfolio changes.

The number of Standing Committee members decreased from nine to seven. The party leaders of the direct-controlled municipalities of Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, and Chongqing, the province of Guangdong, and the far western region of Xinjiang were represented on the Politburo; this arrangement was unchanged from the previous Politburo. The two vice-chairmen of the Central Military Commission, the national trade union head, the head of the party's Organization and Propaganda departments, and all Vice-Premiers were represented on the Politburo; again this arrangement was totally consistent with the composition of the previous Politburo.

The long-term head of the Policy Research Office, Wang Huning, gained a seat on the Politburo. This was the first time the head of this office was represented at the Politburo level. Prior to the start of his Politburo term, Wang sat on the Central Secretariat. Similarly, Li Zhanshu, who was appointed director of the party's General Office, was also given a seat on the Politburo, while his predecessors generally did not enjoy this 'privilege'. The Secretary of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, Meng Jianzhu, did not earn a seat on the Standing Committee, unlike his predecessor Zhou Yongkang.

Moreover, no Politburo member directly took on the role that Li Changchun played as "propaganda chief" in the previous Politburo; instead, Standing Committee member Liu Yunshan was named both executive Secretary of the Secretariat in charge of party affairs, he was also seen as having 'taken over' Li Changchun's post as informal "propaganda chief". Liu Yandong, who continued her term from the 17th Politburo, was promoted from State Councilor to Vice-Premier; therefore no State Councilors sat on the 18th Politburo.

Apart from the seven Standing Committee members, only three others maintained their membership from the previous Politburo: Liu Yandong, Li Yuanchao, and Wang Yang, meaning that 15 out of the 25 members were newcomers. Li held the office of Vice-President, which was previously held by Xi Jinping, and Wang was transferred from his post as Guangdong party chief to become Vice Premier. Li and Wang theoretically meet the age requirements to advance one level higher to the Standing Committee at the 19th Party Congress, the only two-term Politburo members apart from Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang who met this requirement.

Two women, Sun Chunlan and Liu Yandong, sat on the Politburo, the first time this has happened since 1973 (when Ye Qun and Jiang Qing were part of the Politburo). No ethnic minorities earned a seat on the council.

Changes during term[edit]

When Ling Jihua was removed from office as the head of the United Front Work Department due to a corruption investigation in December 2014, Sun Chunlan left her post as party chief of Tianjin to take lead of the United Front Department. This meant that Tianjin temporarily lost its representation on the Politburo. Conversely, it also made Sun the first United Front Department head to sit on the Politburo in decades.

Standing Committee members[edit]

Ordered in political position ranking
  1. Xi Jinping
  2. Li Keqiang
  3. Zhang Dejiang
  4. Yu Zhengsheng
  5. Liu Yunshan
  6. Wang Qishan
  7. Zhang Gaoli

Members[edit]

In stroke order of surnames:

References[edit]

External links[edit]