Communist Party of China

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"CPC" redirects here. For other uses, see CPC (disambiguation).

Communist Party of China

General SecretaryXi Jinping
FoundersChen Duxiu
Li Dazhao
1st National Congress
Founded23 July 1921
NewspaperPeople's Daily
Think tankCentral Policy Research Office
Youth wingCommunist Youth League of China
Young Pioneers of China
Membership (2022)96,710,000
Political orientationMarxism–Leninism
Socialism with Chinese Characteristics
Mao Zedong Thought
Deng Xiaoping Theory
Three Represents
Scientific Outlook on Development
Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era
International AffiliationIMCWP (has not attended any meeting since 2021)

The Communist Party of China (Chinese: 中国共产党; pinyin: Zhōngguó Gòngchǎndǎng) is the founding and dominant ruling party of the People's Republic of China. Founded in 1921, it established the correct path of the new democratic revolution, and liberated the Chinese people. The party has explored the correct revolutionary path of encircling the cities from the countryside and seizing political power with armed forces, "awakening millions of workers and peasants" and "taking the whip to beat the enemy", overcoming the "three mountains" of imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucratic capitalism, and established the People's Republic of China in which the people are the masters of the country.[1][2]

The Communist Party of China is the vanguard of the Chinese working class, the Chinese people and the Chinese nation, and the core of leadership for the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics. It represents the development requirements of China's advanced productive forces, the direction of China's advanced culture, and the most fundamental interests of the general public. The party's highest ideal and ultimate goal is to realize communism.[3]

The Communist Party of China takes Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the important thought of "Three Represents", the Scientific Outlook on Development, and Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as its own guide to action. The leadership of the Communist Party of China is the most essential feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics. The central task of the Communist Party of China is to unite and lead the people of all ethnic groups in the country to build a great modern socialist country in an all-round way, realize the second centenary goal, and comprehensively promote the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation through Chinese-style modernization.[4][5][6]



The Communist Party of China was founded on July 23, 1921, heavily influenced by the events of the May Fourth Movement and the October Revolution.[7] At its first congress, the party only had about 50 members.[8] Although the party was founded on July 23, its anniversary is officially celebrated on July 1. Owing to the shortage of archival materials available at the time, which indicated that the party was founded in July 1921 but did not provide an exact date, in June 1941 the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China declared July 1 to be the anniversary of the party's birth. Although historians were later able to determine the exact date to be July 23, the anniversary is still celebrated on July 1.[9]

Civil war and War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression

In 1934, the Chinese Red Army began the Long March and retreated from Jiangxi to Shaanxi to avoid persecution from the Kuomintang and established a revolutionary base in Yan'an.[10]

After fascist Japan invaded China, the Chinese Red Army became part of the Eighth Route Army.

After many years of civil war in which the CPC achieved total victory in mainland China and most of the coastal islands, led the People's Liberation Army to defeat the National Revolutionary Army of the Republic of China, and forced the Republic of China into a military coup.

First Generation

The government of the Republic of China retreated to Taiwan. Mao Zedong established the People's Republic of China in Beijing in 1949, the only ruling party in the PRC leading the Workers' and Peasants' Alliance and the United Front on behalf of the working class and exercising the People's Democratic Dictatorship in mainland China since October 1949.

Second Generation

In 1978, the third plenary session of the CPC Central Committee approved Deng Xiaoping's reform and opening up policy and established several special economic zones.[8]

Third Generation

Fourth Generation

Fifth Generation

By 2021, the CPC had reached over 90 million members.[8]


In 2020, the Communist Party of China had 91,914,000 members, about 6.57% of the population of China. In 2017, about 26.7% of members were women.[11] In 2015, roughly 30% were farmers, herdsmen or fishermen, 25% were white collar workers, 18% were retirees, and 8% were government employees.[12]

On July 2, 2001, Jiang Zemin allowed the possibility of membership to be extended to billionaires.[13] Despite this, the Politburo and Central Committee are barred to these billionaires. The National People's Congress and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference also includes parties that aren't the CPC. 2,980 seats are available in the National People's Congress, only 45 are held by the capitalist class. The Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference includes the regions of Hong Kong and Macau, religious bodies and non-CPC members. Only 59 out of 2,200 available seats are held by the capitalist class.[14]

In 2019, the breakdown is at least 66.14% working class/peasantry, 28.37% undefined class status, and 5.5% capitalists (the extra 0.01% comes from rounding the two halves of White Collar Management up by 0.005% each). Even if we put all of those from an undefined class status, still about two-thirds of the party are workers/peasants. If we put them as aligned with the working class the percentage would be 94.51%. But even if we were the least generous as possible then we’d still end up with over half the party members being of a working-class/peasant background, so no matter how you cut it, the CPC is primarily made up of workers and peasants.[14]


Disputed English nomenclature

The CPC is incorrectly referred to as "Chinese Communist Party" (CCP) in Western media, despite the CPC declaring "Communist Party of China" to be the official English translation of its native name. This is used in order to promote Sinophobia, as well as for propaganda against China (due to the similarity of the acronym CCP to the Cyrillic acronym of the USSR, which is CCCP, thus evoking memories of the Red Scare).


Members are recursively grouped into party branches; higher-level party branches regulate lower-level branches. When a branch exceeds a manageable size, it becomes managed by a higher-level branch of the parent branch. In June 2021, the CPC had 4.86 million grassroots organizations, 2,771 county organizations, 397 city organizations, and 31 province-level organizations.[15]

Grassroots branches

A party branch must have at least three members. Branches with eight to 50 members elect a Party Branch Committee with three to five members. Multiple small branches with a total of between 50 and 100 branches are grouped into a General Party Branch, which elects a committee to lead it. If there are between 100 and 500 total members, all members of the branches meet to elect a Primary Party Committee. Groups of branches with more than 500 members send delegates to a convention to elect the Primary Party Committee.[15]

Local and regional levels

Delegates from grassroots branches hold congresses at county, city, and provincial levels every five years. County congresses have 200 to 400 delegates, city congresses have 300 to 500, and provincial congresses have 400 to 800. These congresses elect party committees for provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities, cities, prefectures, counties, and autonomous counties.[15]

National level

The CPC holds a National Congress once every five years and elects a Central Committee. Delegates from the National Congress come from 40 electoral units. 34 are based on regions and the other six are from the central government. The Central Committee elects a Politburo of 25 members and a Politburo Standing Committee of seven members, including the General Secretary.[15]

List of leaders

Name Native Name Position Assumed office Left Ofice
Chen Duxiu 陳獨秀 General Secretary 23 July 1921 1 July 1928
Xiang Zhongfa 向忠发 General Secretary 1 July 1928 24 June 1931 (died in office)
Bo Gu 博古 General Secretary September 1931 17 January 1935
Zhang Wentian 张闻天 General Secretary 17 January 1935 20 March 1943
Mao Zedong 毛泽东 Chairman 20 March 1943 9 September 1976 (died in office)
Hua Guofeng 华国锋 Chairman 7 October 1976 28 June 1981
Hu Yaobang 胡耀邦 Chairman, General Secretary 29 June 1981 15 January 1987
Zhao Ziyang 赵紫阳 General Secretary 15 January 1987 24 June 1989
Jiang Zemin 江泽民 General Secretary 24 June 1989 15 November 2002
Hu Jintao 胡锦涛 General Secretary 15 November 2002 15 November 2012
Xi Jinping 习近平 / 習近平 General Secretary 15 November 2012 Incumbent

See also

Further reading


  1. A great historical starting point - some important historical facts about the founding of the Communist Party of China - People's Daily Online
  2. Great Contributions of the Communist Party of China - The National People's Congress of China
  3. Constitution of the CPC -
  4. Amendment to the Constitution of the People's Republic of China - Xinhuanet
  5. Holding high the great banner of Xi Jinping's new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics - the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China Tour - Xinhuanet
  6. Xi Jinping: Hold High the Great Banner of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics and Work Together to Build a Modern Socialist Country in an All-round Way—Report at the Twentieth National Congress of the Communist Party of China - Xinhuanet
  7. Hu Qiaomu (1953). Thirty years of the Communist Party of China. Beijing: Foreign Languages Press.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "Reflections on the Communist Party of China’s Centenary" (2021-07-08). Qiao Collective. Archived from the original on 2022-07-18. Retrieved 2022-09-11.
  9. "共产主义小组的建立与中国共产党的成立" (2004-10-25). Xinhua News Agency. Archived from the original.
  10. "A preview of key moments in CPC's history" (2021-07-01). CGTN. Archived from the original on 2021-10-17. Retrieved 2022-10-16.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Class Analysis of the CPC in 2019- MpBritt
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 China Global Television Network. "Who Runs the CPC"