General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party

The General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (Chinese: 中国共产党中央委员会总书记) is typically the paramount leader of China. The general secretary is the head of the Chinese Communist Party and the highest-ranking official within the People's Republic of China (PRC). The general secretary is a standing member of the Politburo and head of the Secretariat.

General Secretary of the
Central Committee of the
Communist Party of China
中国共产党中央委员会总书记
Emblem of the Communist Party of China
Flag of the Communist Party of China
Incumbent
Xi Jinping

since 15 November 2012
Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party
TypeParty leader, Paramount leader
Reports toNational Congress of the Chinese Communist Party
SeatQinzheng Hall, Zhongnanhai, Beijing[1]
NominatorCentral Committee of the Chinese Communist Party
AppointerCentral Committee of the Communist Party of China
Term lengthFive years, no term limit
Constituting instrumentConstitution of the Chinese Communist Party
Inaugural holderChen Duxiu (1925)
Hu Yaobang (1982)
FormationJanuary 1925
September 1982
Unofficial namesSecretary-General
General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party
General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China
Simplified Chinese中国共产党中央委员会总书记
Traditional Chinese中國共產黨中央委員會總書記
Commonly abbreviated as
Simplified Chinese中共中央总书记
Traditional Chinese中共中央總書記

According to the Constitution, the General Secretary serves as an ex officio member of the Politburo Standing Committee, China's de facto top decision-making body.[2] Since 1989, the holder of the post has been, except for transitional periods, the chairman of the Central Military Commission, making the holder the Supreme Military Command of the People's Liberation Army.[note 1] The position of General Secretary is the highest authority leading China's National People's Congress, State Council, Political Consultative Conference, Supreme People's Court and Supreme People's Procuratorate in Xi Jinping's administration.

The general secretary is nominally elected by the Central Committee. In practice, the de facto method of selecting the general secretary has varied over time. The two most recent general secretaries, Hu Jintao and Xi Jinping, were first elevated to the position of first secretary of the Secretariat in the same process used to determine the membership and roles of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. Under this informal process, the first secretary would be chosen during deliberations by incumbent Politburo members and retired Politburo Standing Committee members in the lead up to a Party Congress. The first secretary would later succeed the retiring general secretary as part of a generational leadership transition at the subsequent party congress.

The current general secretary is Xi Jinping, who took office on 15 November 2012 and was re-elected on 25 October 2017.