The Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (中国共产党中央委员会) is the highest organ of authority of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) during periods when the National Congress of the CCP is not in session.
The Central Committee’s membership is comprised of the senior-most leaders of the CCP, and are appointed once every five year’s during the party’s National Congress.
Main Professional Duties
The “Constitution of the Chinese Communist Party” (中国共产党章程) stipulates that the Central Committee is responsible for “executing the decisions of the National Congress, leading the work of the party, and representing the party internationally,”
The Central Committee is responsible for convening a meeting of the CCP National Congress once every five years, thus making it the “party’s highest organ of authority” during the interim.
During such interim periods meetings of the Central Committee may be convened to either make decisions or endorse major policy changes as ordered by the Politburo.
The Central Committee is also vested with the authority to:
- Convene meetings of the National Congress in advance,
- Elect the CCP General Secretary,
- Elect members of the Politburo and its Standing Committee,
- Elect the Central Military Commission,
- Confirm the membership of the Secretariat,
- Confirm the membership of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.
The Central Committee was first established in 1927 by the 5th CCP National Congress, just six years following the establishment of the Chinese Communist Party itself in 1921.
The Central Committee was the successor to the Central Executive Committee (中央执行委员会), which was comprised of party leaders who conducted party work during the early years of the CCP.
During the several decades following its establishment the Central Committee’s chief responsibility was the confirmation of party leadership, as well as endorsing key policy decisions.
The Central Committee convened only rarely during the period from 1937 to 1949, due to the disruption caused by the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Chinese Civil War.
During the two decades following the establishment of the People’s Republic in China (PRC) in 1949 the Central Committee continued to convene on an infrequent basis, despite being officially required to meet once a year.
The Central Committee did not convene at all in 1951 – 1953, 1960, 1963 – 1965 or in 1967, while Cultural Revolution (1966 – 1976) served to severely disrupt its operation.