Li Zhanshu

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Li Zhanshu
Li Zhanshu 2013.jpg
Director of the General Office of the Communist Party of China
Assumed office
31 August 2012
Deputy Ding Xuexiang
Chen Shiju
Meng Xiangfeng
General secretary Xi Jinping
Preceded by Ling Jihua
Communist Party Secretary of Guizhou province
In office
August 2010 – July 2012
Governor Zhao Kezhi
Preceded by Shi Zongyuan
Succeeded by Zhao Kezhi
Governor of Heilongjiang province
In office
December 2007 – August 2010
Preceded by Zhang Zuoji
Succeeded by Wang Xiankui
Personal details
Born (1950-08-30) 30 August 1950 (age 66)
Pingshan, Hebei, China
Political party Communist Party of China
Alma mater Hebei Normal University

Li Zhanshu (Chinese: 栗战书; pinyin: Lì Zhànshū; born August 30, 1950) is a Chinese politician and the current Director of the General Office of the Communist Party of China and the chief of the General Office of the National Security Commission. He is also a member of the 18th Politburo of the Communist Party of China. Previously, Li served as the Governor of Heilongjiang province, the Communist Party Secretary of Guizhou province, and Party Secretary of Xi'an.

Early career[edit]

Li was born in Pingshan County, Hebei province in 1950.[1] He became a member of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 1975.[1] He started his career as an ordinary functionary in the capital of his home province, Shijiazhuang, working as an office worker for the Shijiazhuang commercial bureau and the Shijiazhuang party committee. In 1980, Li studied night school at the Hebei Normal University. After graduating, he was promoted to Party Secretary of Wuji County (at around the same time, the party chief of neighbouring Zhengding County was Xi Jinping, current General Secretary of the Communist Party of China).

For the next decade, Li took on progressively senior roles in Hebei province, including deputy party chief and Commissioner of Shijiazhuang prefecture (equivalent to mayor), head of the provincial Communist Youth League organization, Commissioner of Chengde prefecture, member of the Party Standing Committee of Hebei and Secretary-General of the provincial party committee.

Regional leadership[edit]

In 1998, Li was transferred to Shaanxi province to serve on its party leadership council and become the head of its provincial Organization Department. Beginning in January 2002, Li became the Party Secretary of Xi'an. In May, he concurrently took on the role of deputy party chief of Shaanxi province. During his term in Xi'an, Li was known to have set the goal for Xi'an to become the "best city in the western interior".

In December 2003, Li became Deputy Party Secretary of Heilongjiang, and assumed the post of Vice Governor about a year later.[2] At the time, outside observers classified Li as a member of the Tuanpai, i.e., officials with a background in the Communist Youth League. On December 25, 2007, then Governor Zhang Zuoji resigned, and Li took over as acting Governor, confirmed in January 2008.[3] In August 2010, Li became the Party Secretary of Guizhou province, taking on his first role in the top office of a province. At the time, Li was not yet a full member of the Central Committee; it was considered very rare for someone to hold office as a provincial party chief without a full seat on the Central Committee.[4]

General Office[edit]

In July 2012, Li was transferred to Beijing to serve as the executive deputy director of the General Office of the Communist Party of China, being groomed to replace Ling Jihua. He assumed office as Director of the General Office two months later. [5] Three months later, Li was also named Secretary of the Work Committee for Organs Directly Reporting to the Central Committee (中直工委书记).[6] Regarded as a "rising star", Li was elected to the Politburo of the Communist Party of China at the 18th Party Congress held in November 2012, which was unusual for a General Office chief (Ling Jihua, for example, was not a member of the Politburo), signalling that Li would hold significant clout under Xi Jinping's administration. Additionally, as was customary of the general office chief, Li was also named a Secretary of the Central Secretariat.[7] In 2013, Li was also named chief of the General Office of the newly formed National Security Commission.

Li has played a major role in facilitating a strong relationship between China and Russia, and is the first General Office chief in post-Mao China to have played such an active role in foreign affairs. For example, in 2015 Li was sent as a "special representative" of Xi Jinping to meet with Vladimir Putin in Moscow.[8] During the 2015 Moscow Victory Day Parade held in Moscow, Li was a member of the Chinese delegation. Li was known to have accompanied Xi on the President's various meetings with foreign guests, including on Xi's 2015 state visit to the United States.

Li, seen as one of the most influential members of Xi Jinping's inner circle, is considered a "dark horse" candidate for the 19th Politburo Standing Committee, China's top decision-making body which will take office in 2017.[9]

Li was an alternate member of the 16th and 17th Central Committees of the Communist Party of China and is a full member of the 18th Central Committee.


Li's great-uncle Li Zaiwen (栗再温; 1908–1967) served as Vice Governor of Shandong province. Li's daughter, Li Qianxin (栗潜心), has been reported by Chinese-language media as being active in Hong Kong, and is one of the Vice-Chairs of the Hua Jing Society, a youth organization promoting mainland-Hong Kong cooperation.[10]


Party political offices
Preceded by
Ling Jihua
Director of the General Office of the Communist Party of China
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Shi Zongyuan
Communist Party Secretary of Guizhou
Succeeded by
Zhao Kezhi
Government offices
Preceded by
Zhang Zuoji
Governor of Heilongjiang
Succeeded by
Wang Xiankui