Shanghai clique

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The Shanghai clique (simplified Chinese: 上海帮; traditional Chinese: 上海幫; pinyin: Shànghǎi bāng) is the name given to an informal group of officials in the Communist Party of China, especially those who serve in the Central Committee or the Central Government of China, who rose to prominence in connection to the Shanghai municipal administration under former CPC General Secretary Jiang Zemin.

This popular phrase was used somewhat pejoratively to describe Jiang's efforts to promote people who previously worked, or were associated with, his administration in Shanghai. It is more appropriately referred to as the "Jiang clique".[1]


Important people who have been identified as belonging to the clique include incumbent standing members of the powerful Politburo of the CPC Central Committee.

These members have been commonly identified as part of the Shanghai clique and have all served for part of their careers in Shanghai; they are listed in rough order of importance:

Zhu Rongji, Meng Jianzhu, and Han Zheng also at one point in their careers served in prominent positions in Shanghai, however they were not commonly associated with Jiang and thus were usually not named as part of the Shanghai clique.

The following individuals owe part of their career advancement to personal support from Jiang; they are listed in rough order of how often they are associated as being part of Jiang's inner circle:

Upon Jiang's retirement in 2004, it was widely believed that he stuffed the Politburo Standing Committee with his 'own men', and was making it difficult for Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao to carry out their own policies. Evidence for this theory included the 5th Plenary Meeting of 16th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, when Hu's efforts to reshuffle the Politburo was blocked by members of the Shanghai Clique. Wen's macro-economic measures aimed at slowing down infrastructure growth and nationwide overheating in the property sector received great resistance from alleged members of this clique.

However, as Jiang had retired from all of his positions at the 4th Plenary Meeting of 16th National Congress of the CPC, Hu Jintao became the legitimate General Secretary of the Communist Party of China. There were signs of important members of the Shanghai Clique defecting to Hu's camp, thereby strengthening Hu's position. In addition, in a bold move in September 2006, Hu acted to purge prominent rival Chen Liangyu, former Communist Party Secretary and Mayor of Shanghai, for alleged corruption, thus strengthening his position both within the party and in China.[2]

After Hu left office in 2012, the influence of the Shanghai clique was no longer a visible feature of the Chinese political landscape.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ BBC article Top China leader fired for graft published 25 September 2006