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Military


Senior Leadership

CMC ChairPresidentVice PresidentPremier National Party Congress
Mao Zedong Mao Zedong
01 Oct 1949
27 Sep 1954
none Zhou Enlai 7th National Congress 1945
Mao Zedong
27 Sep 1954
27 Apr 1959
Zhu De
Liu Shaoqi
27 Apr 1959
21 Dec 1964
Dong Biwu 8th National Congress 1956
Liu Shaoqi
21 Dec 1964
31 Oct 1968
Song Qingling
31 Oct 1968
24 Feb 1972
vacant 9th National Congress 1969
Dong Biwu
24 Feb 1972
17 Jan 1975
10th National Congress 1973
Post abolished
17 Jan 1975
05 Mar 1978
Post abolished Hua Guofeng
Hua Guofeng Post abolished
15 Mar 1978
16 May 1981
Post abolished 11th National Congress 1977
Song Qingling
16 May 1981
28 May 1981
vacant Zhao Ziyang
Deng Xiaoping post abolished
28 May 1981
18 Jun 1983
post abolished
12th National Congress 1982
Li Xiannian
18 Jun 1983
08 Apr 1988
Ulanhu 1988
Yang Shangkun
08 Apr 1988
27 Mar 1993
Wang Zhen Li Peng 13th National Congress 1987
Jiang Zemin Rong Yiren
27 Mar 1993
15 Mar 1998
14th National Congress 1992
Hu Jintao
15 Mar 1998
23 Mar 2003
Zhu Rongji 15th National Congress 1997
Hu Jintao Zeng Qinghong
23 Mar 2003
15 Mar 2008
Wen Jiabao 16th National Congress 2002
Xi Jinping
15 Mar 2008
Mar 2013
17th National Congress 2007
Xi Jinping Li Yuanchao
Mar 2013
Mar 2018
Li Keqiang 18th National Congress 2012
Wang Qishan
Mar 2018
Mar 2023
19th National Congress 2017

Mar 2023
Mar 2028
.. 20th National Congress 2022

Mar 2028
Mar 2033
.. 21st National Congress 2027

Mar 2033
Mar 2038
.. 22nd National Congress 2032

Under China's previous leaders, power bases evolved, such as the Communist Youth League faction of Xi's predecessor Hu Jintao, and the Shanghai faction of former leader Jiang Zemin. The loose coalition of the Princeling Party and the Shanghai Clique, draws its strength primarily from the children of revolutionary-era senior CCP officials, and from officials with experience in Chinas coastal provinces. It is based in a patronage network extending from former CCP General Secretary Jiang Zemin. The second group, the China Communist Youth League Faction, [CYL] or Tuanpai, is found among supporters of CCP General Secretary Hu Jintao. Many of these officials have direct experience working in the CCPs nationwide youth organization. They also tend to share experience working in Chinas poorer, inland provinces, as well as experience in Party Affairs work.

Some argued that China's "princelings," the sons and daughters of prominent Communist Party officials, including many who helped found the PRC, shared a perception that they, as the descendents of those who shed blood in the name of the Communist revolution, had a "right" to continue to lead China and protect the fruits of that revolution. Such a mindset could potentially place the "princelings" at odds with Party members who did not have similar pedigrees, such as President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao and Party members with a CYL background, who were derisively referred to as "shopkeepers' sons." Some princeling families denounce those without revolutionary pedigrees by saying, "While my father was bleeding and dying for China, your father was selling shoelaces."

Since his election as party secretary, Xi rose to become one of China's most powerful leaders in decades. He is now referred to as the "core" of the party and presides over the military and government, as well. In addition to his titles of president, party secretary and head of the Central Military Commission, he also heads a handful of other leading groups that oversee everything from foreign affairs to military reform, internet security and the economy.

On 10 March 2018, Chinas communist party rulers smoothly passed an amendment to the constitution that gave the countrys powerful leader Xi Jinping a mandate to serve as president for as long as he wishes, perhaps for life. The current round of amendments is the largest in more than three decades since the current constitution was established. The changes put an end to a once a decade leadership reshuffling process that had become a hallmark of Chinese politics and one of the few predictable elements of the countrys opaque political system.

The amendments also added Xi Jinpings political thought and vision to the document, a first for any Chinese leader in office since Chinas founder Mao Zedong was in power. Changes also asserted in clearer terms than ever the communist partys absolute authority over all affairs and its position as the only political organization fit to rule China.

During the last round of constitutional amendments in 2004, proposed changes that were much smaller in scope than the current round of changes were allowed to be openly discussed by the public, and deliberations began more than a year before a vote took place. A detailed outline of the specific changes to the articles was released to the public more than two months before a vote was held. The current round of amendments was decided behind closed doors when some 200 senior communist party officials gathered in Beijing in late January. Following the meetings, there was no mention of the proposed amendment to end limits on the presidents term in office. That was only revealed in late February, a week before the current meetings began.




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