The Emblem of
the Communist Party of China
“Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China and
the guidance of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong
Thought, the Chinese people of all nationalities will
continue to adhere to the people's democratic dictatorship
and the socialist road, steadily improve socialist institutions,
develop socialist democracy, improve the socialist legal
system, and work hard and self-reliantly to modernize the
country's industry, agriculture, national defense and science
and technology step by step to turn China into a socialist
country with a high level of culture and democracy.”
-- Preamble to the PRC Constitution
The 18th National Congress
November 8 - 14, 2012
Politburo Standing Committee: 7
Politburo: 25
Central Committee: 205 (171 alternates)
Party Congress Delegates: 2270
Members: 80 million
Politburo Standing Committee
• Xi Jinping 习近平, General Secretary, Chairman of
the Central Military Comission, borned in 1953
• Li Keqiang 李克强, 1953
• Zhang Dejiang 张德江, 1946,
• Yu Zhengsheng 俞正声, 1945, 68 years old
• Liu Yunshan 刘云山, 1947
• Wang Qishan 王岐山, 1948
• Zhang Gaoli 张高丽, 1946
Figuring out how to transfer power at the top in
the absence of an open and legitimate leadership
selection process is the biggest political challenge
China faces. Most authoritarian governments are
brought down by splits in the leadership, not by
revolts of the masses. Two thirds of the
authoritarian leaders who were overthrown from
1946-2008, were deposed by élite insiders.
China's leaders still remember the lesson of the
1989 Tiananmen crisis: What brought the PRC to
the brink of collapse was the split in the
leadership over how to respond to the protests,
not the protests themselves.
After Mao Zedong died, Deng Xiaoping tried to
stabilize Party rule by institutionalizing a system of
term limits and mandatory retirement. Getting
Jiang Zemin to step down as general secretary in
2002 was a significant achievement--the first time
a major communist leader left office peacefully.
As they compete with one another, however, Chinese
politicians are making and remaking the rules, most of
which are neither written down nor publicly articulated.
They sometimes expand the size of the Politburo,
China's top governing body of roughly two dozen, and
of its inner core the Politburo Standing Committee to
balance the power of different groups. The upper age
limit for appointment to the leadership bodies has been
lowered over time--it is now sixty-seven--as the leaders
have used it as a convenient tactic for eliminating rivals
and reducing the number of eligible contenders.
BBC NEWSNIGHT (8 Nov 2012): China's New Leaders.
Who is Xi Jinping?
Research Ideas:
1. Democratization of the CCP 党内民主:冯桂芬、美国政党初选
2. 一篇纽约时报中文版的文章谈党内民主
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