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Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China

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The Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China is a committee whose membership varies between 5 and 9 and includes the top leadership of the Communist Party of China. The inner workings of the PSC are not well known, although it is believed that decisions of the PSC are made by consensus. Formally the membership of the Committee is approved by the Central Committee. In practice, the membership of the PSC appears to be the result of negotiations among the top leadership of the Communist Party.

Although the PSC has existed since the beginning of the People's Republic of China, the actual power wielded by the PSC has varied wildly from period to period. During the Cultural Revolution, the PSC and the Communist Party of China were essentially powerless with actual power being in the Revolutionary Committees set up by Mao Zedong.

After taking power in 1978, one of the goals of Deng Xiaoping was to strengthen the power of the party, a goal which he ironically undermined in 1989 when he ordered the military to intervene in the Tiananmen Protests of 1989 against the wishes of a majority of the PSC, and in which the party subsequently ousted a majority of the PSC.

Although Jiang Zemin stepped down from this all-powerful committee to make way for a younger “fourth generation” of leadership led by Hu Jintao, Jiang may continue to wield significant influence. Five out of the nine new members of the all-powerful Standing Committee, Wu Bangguo, Jia Qinglin, Zeng Qinghong, Huang Ju, and Li Changchun[?] are linked to Jiang’s “Shanghai Clique” and considered his “protégés”. The 22-member Politburo is elected by the Party’s central committee. At the 2002 16th Party Congress, the Standing Committee was expanded to include nine members.

The current members are:

See also: Politics of the People's Republic of China, Politburo of the Communist Party of China



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