Politburo Standing Committee of the CPC

The Politburo Standing Committee (PSC) is made up of the top leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC). The current iteration of the PSC numbers seven members, although it can vary from five to eleven individuals. Although members of the PSC were once chosen solely by the sitting General Secretary, today's version of the PSC allows incumbent and retired members of both the Politburo and the PSC to exert some influence in the membership process.


Appointment to the PSC

The Communist Party of China has never publicly announced the appointment process on the PSC. Although members are elected at the National Party Congress (NPC), it is not clear who decides should be elected. As the Hoover Institute's Alice Miller notes, "observers outside the party in China, Hong Kong, and elsewhere have filled this information vacuum with speculation based on presumptions of factional competition, bargaining among factional chieftains, and intense jockeying among potential candidates in the run-up to a party congress."


The Politburo Standing Committee has been the party’s key decision-making body since the beginning of the reform era in the late 1970s. Appointments to the body are routinely made at the party’s national congress, held every five years, and the subsequent first plenum of the new Central Committee appointed by the party congress. The party has never publicly explained how it makes decisions as to whom it appoints to the Politburo Standing Committee. Observers outside the party in China, Hong Kong, and elsewhere have filled this information vacuum with speculation based on presumptions of factional competition, bargaining among factional chieftains, and intense jockeying among potential candidates in the run-up to a party congress


Members of the PSC

The Intelligence Ledger has provided readers with a list of members, ranking from highest to lowest in importance, below: