The 19th Party Congress saw a reshuffling of China’s leadership. The Fairbank Center presents a new and updated visual guide to what we know about China’s new leaders of party and state.
On October 25, 2017, after the conclusion of its 19th Congress, the Communist Party of China (CCP) unveiled its leadership for the next five years. The new leadership was elected by the CCP’s 19th Central Committee (CCP-CC), which was elected by the Party Congress on October 24.
As expected, Xi Jinping 习近平 was elected to a second term as the CCP-CC’s General Secretary, the party’s top position (denoted by the red circle in the graphic). Aside from the affirmation of his status as Core of the CCP’s Fifth Generation Leadership, Xi also had his eponymous ideology enshrined in the Party Constitution, thereby gaining an even more elevated status in the CCP.
The Politburo Standing Committee (PSC), the highest decision making body in China (denoted by the orange circle), chaired by the General Secretary, remained at seven members with five new appointments. All 19th PSC members were members of the 18th Politburo.The retirement age of 68 for Politburo members was respected. Breaking with recent conventions, however, no “heir-apparent” to either the General Secretary or the Premier was named, judged by the fact that no 19th PSC members are younger than 58 and thus cannot serve two additional five year terms after 2022 under current age restrictions.
Fifteen of the twenty five 19th Politburo members were new to the Politburo. Three 18th Politburo members either retired in full (like Li Yuanchao 李源潮) or lost their Politburo seats while retaining membership on the 19th CCP-CC (such as Liu Qibao 刘奇葆 and Zhang Chunxian 张春贤) despite being under the retirement age of 68.
While many of the key party posts have been formally filled by 19th Politburo members since the Congress, others state positions at the vice national rank and above remain occupied by retiring leaders (i.e. those who did not become 19th CCP-CC members; these leaders are not displayed in the graphic and the position they occupy are marked with || ___ || where relevant). Some of the replacements of these retiring leaders can be inferred ith a relatively high degree of certainty (those titles marked with “?” in the graphic) based on past precedence and other positions they have been assigned to since the Party Congress.
Replacements for others may remain speculative (marked with ?? __ ?? in the graphic) until as late as March 2018, when the new National People’s Congress (NPC) and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) are expected to meet to formally elect new national leaders from candidates nominated by the CCP. Leaders who had their current positions assigned before the Party Congress are denoted with parentheses in the graphic.
Infographics and analysis by Yuan Wang, Research Associate at Harvard Business School, and James Evans, Publications Coordinator at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies. Click here to download the full-sized and updated infographic.