Generations of Chinese leadership

From Academic Kids

Because both the Communist Party of China and the People's Liberation Army promote according to seniority, it is possible to group Chinese leaders into generations. These include:

  • second generation - Deng Xiaoping, Chen Yun, Hu Yaobang, Hua Guofeng, Ye Jianying. These leaders were also involved in the Chinese revolution but in junior roles. Unlike the first generation, many were educated overseas, particularly in France. Their young formative experiences were similar to the first generation. Most had some position of authority during Cultural Revolution, although as a rule those that held power after the 1980s were purged during that decade.
  • third generation - Jiang Zemin, Zhao Ziyang, Li Peng, Zhu Rongji - These leaders were born before the revolution but were educated afterwards before the Sino-Soviet split. Most of them received education in Russia as engineers and entered the party initially as factory managers. Unlike their predecessors, there is a split between the political and military leadership. Their formative experiences included the Sino-Japanese War and the Korean War.
  • fourth generation - Hu Jintao, Wen Jiabao, Zeng Qinghong. These were promoted to top leadership at the 16th Party Congress and are expected to remain in power until the 18th party congress in 2012. Most of them were engineers whose educations were disrupted by the Cultural Revolution and unlike both their predecessors and successors have spent very little time overseas.
  • fifth generation - Li Keqiang, Zhou Qiang, Zhao Leji, Han Zheng - These have not yet been promoted to the top leadership but currently are in mid or high level position such as provincial governors or heads of ministries. In the fifth generation one sees fewer engineers and more management and finance majors, including successful entrepreneurs. Most of the fifth generation of civilian leadership were educated in elite universities in the United States. This generation will be dominated by Hu Jintao's Communist Youth League faction. [1] (http://www.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/asiapcf/east/12/31/china.fifth/)
  • sixth generation - These make up low and mid level party positions. Most were born after the Cultural Revolution and tend to be more nationalistic than their predecessors. Like the fifth generation, most of the members of this generation of leadership are expected to be educated in elite universities in the United States.

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