Communist Youth League of China

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Communist Youth League of China
SecretaryHe Junke[1]
  • 1920; 101 years ago (1920) (foundation)
  • 5 May 1922; 99 years ago (1922-05-05) (official)
HeadquartersNo. 10, Qianmen Dongdajie, Beijing
MembershipIncrease 81,246,000
Mother partyChinese Communist Party
International affiliation
NewspaperChina Youth Daily

The Communist Youth League of China (CYLC), also known as the Young Communist League of China or simply the Communist Youth League (CYL), is a youth movement of the People's Republic of China for youth between the ages of 14 and 28, run by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The league is organized on the party pattern.[2] Its leader is its First Secretary, who is an alternate member of the Central Committee of the CCP. The incumbent First Secretary is He Junke, appointed on June 2018 . The Communist Youth League is also responsible for guiding the activities of the Young Pioneers (for children below the age of 14).[3]


Communist Youth League of China
Simplified Chinese中国共产主义青年团
Traditional Chinese中國共產主義青年團
Literal meaningCommunist Youth League of China
Simplified Chinese共青团
Traditional Chinese共青團
Literal meaningCommunist Youth League
Original name
Simplified Chinese中国社会主义青年团
Traditional Chinese中國社會主義青年團
Literal meaningSocialist Youth League of China
Wartime name
Simplified Chinese中国新民主主义青年团
Traditional Chinese中國新民主主義青年團
Literal meaningChina New Democracy Youth League

Founded in May 1920, it was originally named as the Socialist Youth League of China. Whilst the Party was officially established in July 1921, the Chinese Socialist Youth League was organized with the Party being set up throughout the country. In May 1922, the 1st National Congress (simplified Chinese: 全国代表大会; traditional Chinese: 全國代表大會; pinyin: Quánguó Dàibiǎo Dàhuì) of the League was held under the leadership of the Party, and therefore became a unified organization in China. In the 3rd National Congress in January 1925, the Chinese Socialist Youth League was renamed as the Chinese Communist Youth League. After the Sino-Japanese War, in order to adapt to the new social and political situation, it was officially renamed as the Chinese New Democracy Youth League in April 1949.

Later in May 1957, its name as the Chinese Communist Youth League was resumed, historically combining the congresses of all three leagues (the Chinese Socialist Youth League, the Chinese Communist Youth League as well as the Chinese New Democracy Youth League). During the 10 years of the Cultural Revolution, the functioning of the League was blocked and the Central Committee was disbanded as it was accused of revisionism; its functions were partly resumed in the early 1970s. From 1978 to 2008, six congresses were held.

The Communist Youth League has contributed a number of top echelon leaders of the CCP-led government of the People's Republic of China. The proliferation of leaders with a Youth League background has led to the informal name "Tuanpai" (abbreviation for "Youth League faction") being used to describe certain members of the leadership at different times. The first "Youth League faction" was represented by Hu Yaobang (party chairman 1981-1982, party general secretary 1982-1987 following the abolition of the chairman position). The second "Youth League faction" is represented by Hu Jintao (General secretary 2002-2012, President 2003-2013). While there is no direct political lineage between the two Hus, Hu Jintao's administration has formally elevated the memory of the earlier Hu. In 2005, the 90th anniversary of Hu Yaobang's birth, a new museum and a series of commemorative books and television programs were launched. The scandalous death of the son of Ling Jihua and Gu Liping, a couple associated with the Communist Youth League, may have tarnished the reputation of the organization as a path to power.[4]

Current General Secretary Xi Jinping has sought to reduce the prominence of the CCP's youth wing, stating that "All they [cadres] can do is just repeat the same old bureaucratic, stereotypical talk".[5][6] Political commentators have noted that the diminishing of the Communist Youth League faction curtailed the influence of former paramount leader Hu Jintao, solidifying Xi's own political faction.[6] Xi effectively closed the Central School of China Communist Youth League, folding it into the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.[6] He also demoted the league's chief and imprisoned one of its top officials.[7]


In 1987, the first anthem of CYLC was composed.

  • "Glorious! Communist Youth League of China"
  • 光荣啊!中国共青团
Simplified Chinese


English lyrics

光荣啊(Guāngróng a,)中国(zhōngguó)共青团(gòngqīngtuán,)
光荣啊(Guāngróng a,)中国(zhōngguó)共青团(gòngqīngtuán.)

We are the flowers of May,
Who embrace the age of youth;
We are the rising sun,
Who ignites the future with life.
The torch of The May Fourth Movement,
Aroused the awakening of the nation.
A magnificent career,
Inspires us to carry on the future.
Glorious! Communist Youth League of China,
Glorious! Communist Youth League of China.
Mother named us with communism.
We are creating a new world.


The national leading organization is the National Congress and the Central Committee, elected by the congresses. The National Congress are held each 5 years, but can be held earlier or later under special circumstances. In between congresses, the Central Committee implements the decisions made in the National Congress and leads the League as a whole; the Central Committee usually meets in plenary session once a year. In addition to the Central Committee, there are General Affairs Committees which oversee the daily affairs of the League and lead the fundamental organizations in 31 provincial level administrative areas of the country. "CPC and is considered to be the CPC's assistant and backup".[8]

By the end of 2002, there were approximately 210,000 committee members of fundamental organizations. 2007 estimates put the number of Youth League members at 73 million.[9] Central Committee reported at the end of 2006, students accounted for 49.9% of the league.[8]

Under the leadership of CCP General Secretary Hu Jintao, who was also a leading figure in the Youth League, key government positions at both central and provincial levels are more likely to be filled by the League's members and former cadres, known as tuanpai.

CYLC's official newspaper is the China Youth Daily.

List of First Secretaries[edit]

Chronology of National Congresses[edit]

  • 1st National Congress (Socialist Youth League): 5–10 May 1922
  • 2nd National Congress (Socialist Youth League): 2–25 August 1923
  • 3rd National Congress (Socialist Youth League): 26–30 January 1925
  • 4th National Congress: 10–16 May 1927
  • 5th National Congress: 12–16 July 1928
  • 6th National Congress (1st Congress, New Democratic Youth League): 11–18 April 1949
  • 7th National Congress (2nd Congress, New Democratic Youth League): 23 June–2 July 1953
  • 8th National Congress (3rd Congress, New Democratic Youth League): 12–25 May 1957
  • 9th National Congress: 11–29 June 1964
  • 10th National Congress: 16–26 October 1978
  • 11th National Congress: 20–30 December 1982
  • 12th National Congress: 4–8 May 1988
  • 13th National Congress: 3–10 May 1993
  • 14th National Congress: 19–25 June 1998
  • 15th National Congress: 22–26 July 2003
  • 16th National Congress: 10–13 June 2008
  • 17th National Congress: 17–21 June 2013
  • 18th National Congress: 26–29 June 2018[10]

Social media[edit]

The social media accounts of Communist Youth League of China have engaged in harassment of foreign journalists. During the 2021 Henan floods the Communist Youth League asked its social media followers to locate and report the location of a BBC journalist on assignment covering the story. They also accused foreign reporters in general of slandering China with their reporting about the floods.[11]

The Communist Youth League has praised the Little Pinks.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 July 2018. Retrieved 4 July 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Ristaino 1988, p. 420.
  3. ^ Ristaino 1988, p. 421.
  4. ^ "PREMIER LEAGUE: After fatal Ferrari crash, careers are stalled, group loses power". The Asahi Shimbun. 5 March 2013. Archived from the original on 8 March 2013. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  5. ^ Gan, Nectar (23 September 2017). "Latest Xi Jinping book gives clues on decline of Communist Party's youth wing". South China Morning Post. Archived from the original on 14 October 2017. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  6. ^ a b c Nakazawa, Katsuji (25 September 2017). "Xi silences once-powerful youth league and former president's protege". Nikkei Asian Review. Archived from the original on 14 October 2017. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  7. ^ "Xi Jinping has been good for China's Communist Party; less so for China". The Economist. 14 October 2017. Archived from the original on 13 October 2017. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  8. ^ a b China's Communist Youth League has 73.496 million members Archived 6 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine. (4 May 2007).
  9. ^ Xinhua News Agency, "China's Communist Youth League has 73.496 million members" Archived 18 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine, 4 May 2007.
  10. ^ "micro-blog of Communist Youth League of China". Archived from the original on 2 July 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  11. ^ Wade, Stephen (2 August 2021). "Beijing Games: Sports coverage fine, other things maybe not". Associated Press. Retrieved 4 August 2021.
  12. ^ Zhuang, Pinghui (26 May 2017). "The rise of the Little Pink: China's angry young digital warriors". SCMP. Retrieved 27 July 2020.


External links[edit]