Leaders Of Communist China Through History

Xi Jinping, the incumbent leader of China. Editorial credit: Gil Corzo / Shutterstock.com.
Xi Jinping, the incumbent leader of China. Editorial credit: Gil Corzo / Shutterstock.com.

The Republic of China is a multi-party democracy with several parties coexisting in the country. These parties comprise of United Front and the Communist Party of China. The CPC is the oldest and the founding party in the country, presently it is the ruling political party in China and also the sole governing party. Other political parties do not hold any power or independence outside of the ruling political party CPC. The Communist Party of China (CPC) was formed in 1921 and quickly grew such that by 1949 it had driven KMT government from mainland China, and this led lead to the establishing of the People’s Republic of China. The party has a membership of 88.76 million people making it the second largest political party in the world. Leaders of the Communist China through history have had an affiliation with the party. Some of these leaders include;

Mao Zedong

Mao Zedong was the founding figure of the People’s Republic of China party born in 1893, and he was a real Chinese revolutionary leader. His leadership in China was autocratic and was the Chairman of the party. Zedong was the first and the longest serving head of the People’s Republic of China ascending into leadership in 1949 until his death in 1976. Maoism defined his political policies, military strategies, and Marxist-Leninist. In 1949, Mao proclaimed the establishment of PRC a one-party state under the control of CPC. In 1957 he embarked on transforming PRC from agrarian to the industrial economy by launching the Great Leap Forward campaign. However, the move led to widespread famine and death of between 15 to 45 million people. In 1966 he began another program, Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution that lasted for ten years and was marked by the destruction of cultural artifacts and elevation of Mao personality cult. He died in 1976 at the age of 82.

Hua Guofeng

Hua Guofeng was the designated successor of Mao as the head of the Communist Party of China. Born in 1921, he became the party’s regional official in 1949 when the party was formed. Due to his loyalty to Mao, he was elevated to the national stage in early 1976 when he became the first vice chairperson of the CPC. When Mao died in the same year, Hua ascended to the helm of the party and chair of the Central Military Commission. He successfully brought to an end the Cultural Revolution that had been initiated by his predecessor Mao. Because he persisted with the Maoist, he was outmaneuvered by Deng Xiaoping in December 1978.

Deng Xiaoping

Deng Xiaoping was the supreme leader of the PRC, and he was Chinese revolutionary leader from 1978 until 1989 when he retired. After the death of Mao, Deng led the country through several economic reforms. He shared his powers with the Eight Elders, a group of old powerful politicians. After the Great Leap forward led by Mao, Deng was instrumental in the reconstruction of the economy in the 1960s. His policies, however, differed with Mao’s political policies thus he was purged twice during the great Cultural Revolution but gained popularity after ousting Hua. Deng is credited with bringing the country back to its feet after years of Mao’s destructive policies. He died on 19 February 1997.


Other great leaders who contributed to the reformation of The People’s Republic of China include Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao, and Xi Jinping. Xi is the current president and leader of the Communist Party of China who assumed office on 15th November 2012.

Leaders Of Communist China Through History

RankParamount LeaderTerm in Office
1Mao ZedongOctober 1st, 1949 to September 9th, 1976
2Hua Guofeng
September 9th, 1976 to December 22nd, 1978
3Deng Xiaoping
December 22nd, 1978 to November 9th, 1989
4Jiang Zemin
November 9th, 1989 to November 15th, 2002
5Hu Jintao
November 15th, 2002 to November 15th, 2012
6Xi Jinping
November 15th, 2012 to Present

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