Political position ranking of PRC: Wikis


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The political ranking of the People's Republic of China is the ranking of political leaders in China, by order of presumed political power. Although there is no formally published ranking, there is usually an established convention and protocol, and the relative positions of Chinese political figures can usually be deduced from the order in meetings and especially by the time and order which figures are covered by the official media.

Depending on the person and the time period, the hierarchy will vary accordingly. Although Chinese political positions are becoming increasingly institutionalized, part of the power of Chinese leaders still derives from who they are, rather than what position they hold. The informal role as Party "center" (formerly the position of paramount leader) is an example of the continuing importance of non-institutionalized and informal practices of power.

Individuals can hold multiple top leadership titles but also be unable to claim to be the de facto ruler as was the case with Hua Guofeng, when "paramount leader" Deng Xiaoping was present. The traditional ranking system was based upon the hierarchical line of the politburo standing committee; however, "special" cases do arise as it is the case with Jiang Zemin and the 4th Generation leaders. Jiang, although retired from the politburo and the central committee, was nonetheless ranked number two for being the all powerful CMC chairman until his resignation on September 19, 2004.


Party and State leaders

By convention, persons holding positions of the Vice-Chairs of the NPC or above are referred to "Party and State leaders" (党和国家领导人) in the official media. A typical ranking is as follows:

Rank Title Current Occupant
1 General Secretary of the CPC Hu Jintao
2 President of the PRC Hu Jintao
3 Chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) Wu Bangguo
4 Premier of the State Council Wen Jiabao
5 Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) Hu Jintao
6 Chairman of the People's PCC (CPPCC) Jia Qinglin
7 Vice-President of the PRC Xi Jinping
8 First Vice Premier of the State Council Li Keqiang

Order of Precedence

Official state media, when reporting news pieces, adhere to strict ranking protocol when the news involves multiple top leaders. As a result, the news overlooks the actual importance of the story attached to each leader, rather the news order is determined by political ranking alone. For example, if the Premier was on a relief visit to a region damaged by an earthquake, and the Chairman of the National People's Congress happened to be chairing a regular NPC meeting, the NPC chair would always have his news item placed before that of the Premier. The order of precedence is strictly adhered to when seating leaders at official meetings and functions. The current order of precedence is as follows (bolded members of first section are current members of the Politburo Standing Committee):


Current Politburo Standing Committee

Other Members of the CCP Politburo

Former leaders from the Politburo Standing Committee or equivalent

in order of seniority at the time they were in office

Members of the Secretariat of the Communist Party of China

Provincial party secretaries/Governors

All subsequent rankings follow the Chinese political ranking system.

Rankings below the National Leadership

Within the PRC, there is an established convention as to the ranking of officials below the central leadership. Unlike in the west, the Provincial leaders do not enjoy an elevated presence in their own province. Rather they must still be placed behind all national leaders listed above.

It should be noted that departmental heads of the Communist Party of China, and ministers of the State Council are both called bùzhǎng (部长; literally "Head of Department"), but the Party heads are ranked half a rank above/below cabinet ministers, reflecting the Party's "vanguard" status. Thus, for example, the head of the Party's International Department (中联部) is treated as half a rank below the minister for Foreign Affairs (外交部).

See also


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