Central Committee of the Communist Party of China

Central Committee of the Communist Party of China

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The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China is the highest authority within the Communist Party of China
Communist Party of China
The Communist Party of China , also known as the Chinese Communist Party , is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China...

. Its approximately 350 members and alternates are selected once every five years by the National Party Congress
National Congress of the Communist Party of China
The National Congress of the Communist Party of China is a party congress that is held about once every five years. The National Congress is theoretically the highest body within the Communist Party of China, but in practice important decisions are made before the meeting. Since 1987 the National...

.

The Central Committee appoints many of the most powerful people in China, including the General Secretary
General Secretary of the Communist Party of China
The General Secretary of the Communist Party of China , officially General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, is the highest ranking official within the Communist Party of China, a standing member of the Politburo and head of the Secretariat...

 and the members of the Politburo
Politburo of the Communist Party of China
The Central Politburo of the Communist Party of China or Political bureau of the CPC Central Committee , formerly as Central Bureau before 1927, is a group of 24 people who oversee the Communist Party of China...

, Standing Committee
Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China
The Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China is a committee consisting of the top leadership of the Communist Party of China, whose membership varies between 5 and 9 people. The inner workings of the PSC are not well known, although it is believed that decisions of the PSC are...

, and Central Military Commission.

The Secretariat of the Central Committee
Secretariat of the Communist Party of China Central Committee
The Secretariat of the Communist Party of China Central Committee is the permanent bureaucracy of the Communist Party of China and forms a parallel structure to state organizations in the People's Republic of China....

 is the working body of the Politburo and its Standing Committee. Members of the Secretariat are nominated by the Standing Committee and are subject to endorsement by the Central Committee. They include the Central Propaganda Department, the Central Organization Department
Organization Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee
The Organization Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee is a department of the Secretariat of the Communist Party of China Central Committee that controls staffing positions within the CPC....

, the Central International Liaison Department
International Liaison Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee
The International Liaison Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee is an agency under the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China in charge of conducting its foreign relations with other political...

, and the United Front Work Department
United Front Work Department
The United Front Work Department of the People's Republic of China is an agency under the command of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. Its main function is to manage relations with the non-Communist Party elite, including individuals and organizations holding social,...

, among others.

Function and Structure


While the Central Committee does not exercise authority as a corporate body in the same way that a legislature would, it is an important body in that it contains the leading figures of the party, state, and army. In contrast to Party Congresses, which have always been ceremonial, full meetings of the Central Committee have been on occasion arenas in which there are real debates and decisions on party policy. An example of this was the Third Plenary Session of the 11th CPC Central Committee
Third Plenary Session of the 11th CPC Central Committee
The Third Plenary Session of the 11th CPC Central Committee was a meeting of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China held in Beijing from December 18 to 22, 1978...

 in 1978, at which China formally embarked on a project of Chinese economic reform
Chinese economic reform
The Chinese economic reform refers to the program of economic reforms called "Socialism with Chinese characteristics" in the People's Republic of China that were started in December 1978 by reformists within the Communist Party of China led by Deng Xiaoping.China had one of the world's largest...

. The Central Committee is larger and has a somewhat more diverse ideological spectrum than the Politburo.

Some analysts have suggested that as part of his effort to increase intra-party democracy that Hu Jintao
Hu Jintao
Hu Jintao is the current Paramount Leader of the People's Republic of China. He has held the titles of General Secretary of the Communist Party of China since 2002, President of the People's Republic of China since 2003, and Chairman of the Central Military Commission since 2004, succeeding Jiang...

 intends to increase the power held by the Central Committee. Two significant acts taken by Hu have been the cancellation of the traditional August leadership conference at Beidaihe
Beidaihe
Beidaihe District is a district in Qinhuangdao municipality, Hebei province on the coast of the Bohai Sea in North China. It has an area of 70.14 square kilometers and a population of 66,000. is also known as a birding haven. The Beidaihe Beach Resort stretches 10 km from east to west, from...

, and the comparative large amount of public coverage given to the plenary Central Committee meeting in October 2003.

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