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Chairman of the Communist Party of China

The Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China () was the head of the Communist Party of China (CPC). In 1982, it was succeeded by the General Secretary of the Central Committee.

Contents


History and functions

Between 1922 and 1925, Chen Duxiu (still Party Secretary) served as Chairman of the Central Executive Committee (), but the name was changed in General Secretary of the Central Executive Committee in 1925. The post was first introduced in March 1943, when the Politburo decided to discharge Zhang Wentian as General Secretary and named Mao Zedong as Chairman of the Politburo of the CPC Central Committee (). The seventh CPC National Congress introduced the post of Chairman of the Central Committee into the party constitution, and in 1956 the General Secretary was given the day-to-day management of the Party Secretariat. The chairman was elected by the Central Committee in plenary session and had full powers over the CC, the Politburo and its Standing Committee.

The 1956 Party Constitution introduced the multiple Vice-Chairman post; since 1945, actual vice-chairmanship had been exercised by the Secretariat members. Liu Shaoqi was the highest-ranking vice-chairman from 1956 to 1966.

The 1969 Party Constitution (adopted by the 9th Congress) introduced the post of a single vice-chairman, in order to give more authority to Lin Biao as Mao's successor. The 1973 Constitution (adopted by the 10th Congress) re-introduced the collective vice-chairmanship. In 1976, Hua Guofeng was named First Vice-Chairman of the Central Committee, a post previously held unofficially by Liu Shaoqi from 1956-1966; Zhou Enlai from 1973-1975; and Deng Xiaoping in 1975 in the capacity of "Vice-Chairman in charge of the day-to-day work of the Central Committee".

The 1975 Chinese Constitution reinforced the influence of the party on the state. The Central Committee (and, by extension, its chairman) was placed before the National People's Congress. Article 15 said that "the Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China leads all the armed forces of the country".

Although Hua Guofeng succeeded Mao at the party chairmanship, he was unable to enforce his authority when, in 1978, then Vice-Chairman Deng Xiaoping became the de facto leader of China.

The post of Chairman was abolished in 1982 and the General Secretary was re-introduced.

List of the chairmen

No. Portrait Name Took office Left office
1 Chairman of the Central Executive Committee (1922 1925)
alt=A man wearing dark clothes, starring straight at the camera Chen Duxiu
(1879 1942)
1922 1925
Abolished (1922 1953)
2 Chairman of the Central Politburo (1943 1956)
alt=A man wearing dark clothes, starring straight at the camera Mao Zedong
(1893 1976)
20 March 1943 28 September 1958
Chairman of the Central Committee (1945 1982)
alt=A man wearing dark clothes, starring straight at the camera Mao Zedong
(1893 1976)
19 June 1945 9 September 1976
3 alt=A man wearing dark clothes, starring straight at the camera Hua Guofeng
(1921 2008)
7 October 1976 28 June 1981
4 alt=A man wearing dark clothes, starring straight at the camera Hu Yaobang
(1915 1989)
29 June 1981 11 September 1982

List of the Vice-chairmen

  • 8th Central Committee (1956 1969)
  • 9th Central Committee (1969 1973)
  • 10th Central Committee (1973 1977)
    • Hua Guofeng (First Vice-Chairman from 6 April 1976, Chairman from 9 September), Zhou Enlai (died in 1976), Kang Sheng (died in 1975), Li Desheng, Wang Hongwen (arrested in 1976), Ye Jianying, Deng Xiaoping (from 1975 to 1976, and from 1977).
  • 11th Central Committee (1977 1982)

Gallery

Chairmen of the Party

File:Chen.jpg| Chen Duxiu File:Mao_Zedong_portrait.jpg| Mao Zedong File:Hua_Guofeng-1.jpg| Hua Guofeng File:Young Hu Yiaobang.jpg| Hu Yaobang

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