Leader of the Communist Party of China

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Leader of the
Communist Party of China
中共中央主要负责人
Danghui.svg
Logo of the Communist Party of China
Flag of the Chinese Communist Party.svg
Flag of the Communist Party of China
Xi Jinping March 2017.jpg
Incumbent
Xi Jinping

since 15 November 2012
Central Committee of the Communist Party of China
TypeParty leader
Reports toNational Congress of the Communist Party of China
SeatZhongnanhai
Beijing, People's Republic of China
NominatorCentral Committee of the Communist Party of China
AppointerCentral Committee of the Communist Party of China
Term lengthFive years, no term limit
Constituting instrumentConstitution of the Communist Party of China
Inaugural holderChen Duxiu
Formation1 July 1921
DeputyVice 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 meaningCentral Committee of the CPC primary responsible person

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 (1921–1922), Chairman (1922–1925, 1928–1931, and 1943–1982), and General Secretary (1925–1928, 1931–1943, 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[edit]

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[edit]

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)
Chen Duxiu.jpg
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)
Xiang Chongfai.jpg
3 Bo Gu
博古
(1907–1946)
September 1931 17 January 1935 3 years and 139 days 6th (1928–45)
Chin Banxian.jpg
4 Zhang Wentian
张闻天
(1900–1976)
17 January 1935 20 March 1943 8 years and 63 days 6th (1928–45)
Zhang Wentian3.jpg
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)
Mao Zedong portrait.jpg
6 Hua Guofeng
华国锋
(1921–2008)
7 October 1976 28 June 1981 4 years and 265 days 11th (1977–82) Hua Guofeng-1.jpg
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)
Hu Yaobang 1953.jpg
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)
Zhao Ziyang-1.jpg
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)
Jiang Zemin at Hickam Air Base, October 26, 1997, cropped.jpg
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)
Hu Jintao Cannes2011.jpg
11 Xi Jinping
习近平
(born 1953)
15 November 2012 Incumbent 6 years and 25 days 18th (2012–17)
19th (2017–22)
Xi Jinping March 2017.jpg

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Wu 2015, p. 10.
  2. ^ Wang 2012, p. 12.
  3. ^ 19th National Congress (2017). Constitution of the Communist Party of China. p. 18.
  4. ^ a b Wu 2015, pp. 10–11.
  5. ^ Wu 2015, p. 11.

Sources[edit]

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