Cai Qi
Cai in 2022
First-ranked Secretary of the Secretariat of the Chinese Communist Party
Assumed office
23 October 2022
General SecretaryXi Jinping
Preceded byWang Huning
Director of the General Office of the Chinese Communist Party
Assumed office
20 March 2023
General SecretaryXi Jinping
Preceded byDing Xuexiang
Director of the Office of the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party
Assumed office
20 March 2023
General SecretaryXi Jinping
Preceded byDing Xuexiang
Communist Party Secretary of Beijing
In office
27 May 2017 – 13 November 2022
DeputyChen Jining
Yin Yong (Mayor)
Preceded byGuo Jinlong
Succeeded byYin Li
Mayor of Beijing
In office
31 October 2016 – 27 May 2017
(Acting until 20 January 2017)
Party SecretaryGuo Jinlong
Preceded byWang Anshun
Succeeded byChen Jining
President of the Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games
In office
25 February 2018 – 13 March 2022
IOC PresidentThomas Bach
Preceded byLee Hee-beom
Succeeded byGiovanni Malagò
Chair of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games
In office
9 June 2017 – 13 March 2022
Preceded byGuo Jinlong
Succeeded byPosition dissolved
Personal details
Born (1955-12-05) December 5, 1955 (age 68)
Youxi County, Fujian, China
Political partyChinese Communist Party (1975–present)
Alma materFujian Normal University
Cai Qi

Cai Qi (Chinese: 蔡奇; born December 5, 1955) is a Chinese politician, who is the current first-ranked secretary of the Secretariat of the Chinese Communist Party, fifth-ranking member of the CCP Politburo Standing Committee. He is also the serving directors of both the CCP General Office and General Secretary's office, both powerful and influential positions within the internal administrative apparatus of the Chinese Communist Party.

Cai began his career in Fujian province. He has served successively as the mayor of Sanming, the mayor of Quzhou, the mayor of Hangzhou and the Communist Party secretary of Taizhou, Zhejiang. Beginning in 2010 he served as the executive vice governor of Zhejiang Province, and in 2014 was transferred to Beijing to serve as deputy director of the CCP National Security Commission Office (rank equivalent of minister). Between 2017 and 2022, he was the Communist Party Secretary of Beijing. Largely due to Cai's extensive experience working in Zhejiang province, he is believed to be a political ally of CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping.

Early life

Cai was born in Youxi County, Fujian province on December 5, 1955.[1] During the latter years of the Cultural Revolution he worked at the Xiyang Commune, Yong’an County, Fujian. He joined the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in 1975. Cai attended Fujian Normal University and graduated in 1978 with a degree in political economics.[1][2] Afterwards, he stayed in the university as an official in its CCP committee, working there until 1983.[1]

Early local careers


In 1983, he was transferred to the Fujian Provincial CCP Committee, working there as a clerk until 1985, then working as a division deputy head between 1985 and 1987, and then working as a mishu at a General Work Department between 1987 and 1991.[1] He worked as the deputy director of the Office of Political Reform between 1991 and 1992, deputy director of the Party Building Department between 1992 and 1993, and deputy director of the Provincial Party General Office between 1993 and 1996. As deputy director of the General Office, he was primarily a personal secretary to then Fujian CCP secretary Chen Guangyi.[1]

Between 1994 and 1997, he pursued a post-graduate degree in economic law at his alma mater via part-time studies.[2] He additionally attended a four-month training program for department and prefecture-level cadres at the CCP Central Party School in 1996.[1] In September 1996 Cai took on his first major role in local government as the deputy CCP secretary and later mayor of the city of Sanming in Fujian, working there until 1999.[2]


He was transferred to Zhejiang province in May 1999 serving as the deputy CCP Secretary and Mayor of Quzhou, working there until 2002.[1][2] Cai additionally pursued a doctoral degree in political economics, which he obtained from September 1999 to July 2001 at Fujian Normal University through part-time studies.[2] Between March 2002 and April 2004 Cai served as Quzhou's CCP secretary, the top political office of the city.[2]

In April 2004 Cai became party secretary of Taizhou, Zhejiang; at the time, Xi Jinping was the party secretary of Zhejiang province.[2] In April 2007, Cai was promoted to the position Mayor of Hangzhou, the provincial capital, also serving as deputy CCP Secretary.[2] In January 2010, he became a member of the provincial CCP Standing Committee as head of the party's provincial Organization Department.[2] In November 2013, Cai became the Executive Vice Governor of Zhejiang province, where he was the deputy of then Governor of Zhejiang Li Qiang. He made the announcement of his change in jobs on his Tencent Weibo account before the official media's announcement was made.[3]


Cai in 2020

In March 2014, Cai was said to have been transferred to Beijing to work as the deputy director of the General Office of the CCP National Security Commission, a newly established body led by CCP general secretary Xi Jinping, though no official announcement was made about this appointment.[4][5] Given his Zhejiang work experience and his current position and seniority, Cai has been named as a member of the so-called "New Zhijiang Army", i.e., officials who at one point worked under Xi Jinping during his term as Zhejiang party secretary.[6]

After his transfer to Beijing, Cai stopped updating his various social media accounts. The only indication of his whereabouts appeared in news footage at numerous "study sessions" of the CCP Politburo, where he was shown seated next to other minister-level officials, suggesting that he was an official of full provincial-ministerial rank and working for the central party organization. It was later confirmed that he was serving as deputy director of the Office of the National Security Commission.[7]

Party Secretary of Beijing

On 31 October 2016, Cai was appointed acting mayor of Beijing, replacing Wang Anshun,[7] later being formally appointed as mayor by the Beijing Municipal People's Congress on 20 January 2017.[8] He was also appointed as the deputy CCP committee secretary of Beijing.[1]

In May 2017, Cai was appointed as CCP committee secretary of Beijing. Cai's appointment broke nearly all conventions in post-Cultural Revolution political tradition; he was neither a member nor alternate member of the Central Committee, and took on an office that would, under normal circumstances, be accorded Politburo membership.[9] He was appointed to the 19th CCP Politburo immediately after the 19th CCP National Congress in October 2017, becoming one of the few people to be appointed to the Politburo before serving at the CCP Central Committee.[10]

In 2017, early in his tenure, Cai came under controversy due to the forceful eviction of many migrant workers from Beijing.[11] At a leaked video of a speech he made a day after fires in southern Beijing on 18 November, Cai said "some should have been cleared long ago, but that’s difficult, so no one dared to do it", referring to unapproved dwellings. Afterwards, he publicly took a more conciliatory tone warning against “oversimplified” and “hasty” evictions.[11]

During his tenure, Cai Qi promoted green development, particularly environmental protection, in Beijing. He also devoted work to national security issues, especially cybersecurity.[1] In June 2020, Cai was appointed to lead the team charged with the elimination of coronavirus in the Xinfadi market.[12]

As the Beijing Party secretary, Cai was responsible for organizing the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. In June 2017, he was appointed President of the Beijing Organising Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. He gave an opening speech during the opening ceremony of the Olympics,[13] as well as during the closing ceremony.[14] He was awarded the Gold Olympic Order after the Olympics.[15]

Top leadership

Cai in 2023

Following the 1st Plenary Session of the 20th CCP Central Committee, held after the closing day of the 20th Party Congress in October 2022, Cai was appointed to the CCP Politburo Standing Committee as its fifth-ranking member, also becoming the first-ranking secretary of the CCP Secretariat.[16][17] In March 2023, he became the director of the CCP General Office, succeeding Ding Xuexiang; this made him the first General Office director that's also member of the Politburo Standing Committee since Wang Dongxing.[18]

Cai and Zheng Shanjie with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Beijing during Putin's visit to China in May 2024

Cai was revealed as a deputy head of the CCP National Security Commission in May, the first time one of the deputy heads was someone other than the premier or the chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.[19] According to the South China Morning Post, Xi appointed Cai to succeed himself as the leader of the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission in the first half of 2023.[20] Cai has also frequently accompanied Xi on trips, responsible for arranging his security, schedule and daily affairs.[19]

Currently, Cai Qi is seen as one of the most powerful men in China, comparable to Premier Li Qiang and only behind President Xi Jinping. Some even called Xi Jinping, Li Qiang, and Cai Qi as Gang of three, similar to Mao Zedong, Lin Biao and Jiang Qing in late 1960s and early 1970s.[21][22]

Public image

Cai is known for his extensive use of social media and his unorthodox approach to governance.[5] Cai has referred to Xi as "Xi Dada" (Father Xi) and "Boss Xi!" in public media.[23] The Economist opined in 2017 as Cai "rocketed up the Communist Party’s ranks" that "Xi Jinping has chosen an unusual man to lead the capital city."[24] Cai is said to have been a fan of Kevin Spacey's House of Cards TV serial, and was cited as a fan of the iPhone product.[25]

Cai maintains a Weibo microblog account under the subtitle "Cai Qi, a Bolshevik",[26][23] which has been active since May 2010. The account was initially opened under the name Qianshui (潜水; literally, "scuba diving"), but he was eventually 'outed' by internet users. The account is 'followed' by over ten million people.[23] He used it regularly to communicate with citizens.[27] As a sub-provincial-level official Cai was one of the highest-ranking officials to maintain a regular social media presence.[28] It is the opinion of certain political scholars that Cai used this Weibo tool to circumvent existing CCP apparatus and thereby gain public profile, "considerable influence" within the CCP and thereby promotion.[28] Cai has stated of the CCP that:[29]

We need to learn and get used to work in a 'glass room'. Weibo is a direct way to the grassroots which can help us to know what people want and think. My Weibo can partly solve the misunderstanding between people and government by solving their problems and sincerely talking to them.

On the evening of 14 September 2013, a mother of an ordinary government staffer working for the national revenue agency posted on her microblog feed that her son was expected to partake in heavy drinking with superiors on a regular basis as part of his work and that it was affecting his health. The mother pleaded for attention to the case by then Zhejiang party organization chief Cai Qi. A day later Cai responded to her asking which department her son worked at and vowed publicly "your son doesn't have to drink from now on."[30][23]

During his four years of using Weibo, he averaged more than six posts a day, which he compiled into a book called "A Room Made of Glass", saying he choose the title to promote transparency. He spoke about sensitive political topics in China, saying it was a "shame" the Facebook couldn't be accessed in China, and talking about the conviction of Ingo Heinrich, an East German body guard who was convicted after shooting Chris Gueffroy for trying to escape the Berlin Wall.[25] He also broke conventions, announcing his promotion as the deputy director of the Office of the National Security Commission through Weibo, before the Chinese state media reported on it.[10] He stopped posting on Weibo after his transfer to Beijing in March 2014.[10]

Personal life

Before retirement, Cai Qi's wife was a bureau-level official in Zhejiang. The couple have a son, who previously worked as an official at the subdistrict level in Hangzhou and as a staff member at the National Development and Reform Commission.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Cai Qi 蔡奇" (PDF). Brookings Institution. Retrieved 9 September 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i 蔡奇个人简历 (in Chinese). Hangzhou People's Government. July 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-10-16. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
  3. ^ "蔡奇任浙副省长仅4月即去职 拥有千万微博"粉丝"". 163. March 28, 2014.
  4. ^ name=Cai
  5. ^ a b "原浙江副省长蔡奇传调任国安委". South China Morning Post (Chinese). March 29, 2014. Archived from the original on October 11, 2016. Retrieved January 16, 2015.
  6. ^ "政坛新派系崛起 港媒盘点之江新军". Duowei News.
  7. ^ a b "Cai Qi Appointed Acting Mayor of Beijing". Caixin. 31 October 2016. Retrieved 9 September 2023.
  8. ^ "蔡奇当选北京市长,张硕辅当选北京市监察委主任" [Cai Qi elected as mayor of Beijing, Zhang Shuofu elected as director of the Beijing Municipal Supervisory Committee.]. The Paper. 20 January 2017. Retrieved 9 September 2023.
  9. ^ "蔡奇任北京市委书记 郭金龙不再兼任(图/简历)". 新华社.
  10. ^ a b c Baptista, Eduardo; Pollard, Martin Quin; Pollard, Martin Quin (2022-10-23). "Beijing party chief Cai, Xi loyalist, vaults to top rank". Reuters. Retrieved 2023-09-09.
  11. ^ a b Mai, Jun (23 December 2017). "Why a Xi Jinping protégé came under fire in Beijing over mass eviction of migrant workers". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 9 September 2023.
  12. ^ Yan, Yan; Li, Yuan (13 June 2020). "蔡奇調度疫情防控工作並赴豐台區西城區現場檢查時要求 果斷處置精准防控 迅速堅決阻斷傳染源". People's Network. Cai Qi dispatched epidemic prevention and control work and went to the on-site inspection in Xicheng District of Fengtai District to require decisive treatment and precise prevention and control, and quickly and resolutely block the source of infection
  13. ^ Winsor, Morgan; Alfonseca, Kiara (5 February 2022). "2022 Winter Olympics opening ceremony: Best moments from the event". ABC News. Archived from the original on 5 February 2022. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  14. ^ "Beijing bids farewell to Winter Olympics with closing ceremony_Latest News-Shenzhen Government Online". Shenzhen Government Office. Retrieved 2023-09-09.
  15. ^ "IOC thanks Beijing 2022 for memorable Olympic Winter Games". International Olympic Committee. 2022-02-21. Retrieved 2022-02-21.
  16. ^ Tian, Yew Lun; Munroe, Tony (2022-10-23). "China's Xi clinches third term, packs leadership with loyalists". Reuters. Retrieved 2022-10-23.
  17. ^ "Communique of the first plenary session of the 20th CPC Central Committee". State Council of the People's Republic of China. Xinhua News Agency. 24 October 2022. Retrieved 10 June 2023.
  18. ^ "Xi's New Top Aide Highlights Chinese Leader's Grip on Power". Bloomberg News. 21 March 2023. Retrieved 21 March 2023.
  19. ^ a b Tajima, Yukio (8 June 2023). "China's No. 5 official gains favor within Xi's inner circle". Nikkei Asia. Retrieved 9 September 2023.
  20. ^ Zheng, William (28 March 2024). "Xi Jinping's chief of staff is China's new internet tsar, sources say". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 28 March 2024.
  21. ^ "Analysis: Balance of power between Xi's top two aides is tipping".
  22. ^ "Are They Part of China's 'Gang of Three' or Just Xi's Minions?".
  23. ^ a b c d Ranade, Jayadeva (2017). Xi Jinping's China. KW Publishers Pvt Ltd. p. 189. ISBN 9789386288912.
  24. ^ "Xi Jinping has chosen an unusual man to lead the capital city". The Economist. 13 July 2017. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 2023-09-09.
  25. ^ a b Mai, Jun (28 May 2017). "The rise and rise of Xi Jinping's new man in Beijing". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 9 September 2023.
  26. ^ "QQ Microblog, Cai Qi".
  27. ^ "港媒:大V官員蔡奇料入國安辦 出任專職副主任". Takungpao. March 28, 2014.
  28. ^ a b Wang, Boyong; Wang, Shaoyu (2014). "Social Media Development and Implication on eGovernance in China". In Sonntagbauer, Peter (ed.). Handbook of Research on Advanced ICT Integration for Governance and Policy Modeling. IGI Global. ISBN 9781466662377.
  29. ^ Liu, Wei (1 November 2016). "Meet Cai Qi, long-time online celeb and Beijing's acting mayor". China Daily. Retrieved 9 September 2023.
  30. ^ "母亲微博哀怨儿子陪酒伤身 蔡奇怒斥". Sohu. September 17, 2013.
Party political offices Preceded byWang Huning First Secretary of the Secretariat of the Chinese Communist Party 2022– Incumbent Preceded byGuo Jinlong Communist Party Secretary of Beijing 2017–2022 Succeeded byYin Li Preceded bySi Xinliang Head of the Organization Department of Zhejiang province 2010–2013 Succeeded byHu Heping Sporting positions Preceded by Guo Jinlong President of Organizing Committee for Winter Olympic Games 2022 Succeeded by Government offices Preceded byWang Anshun Mayor of Beijing 2016–2017 Succeeded byChen Jining Preceded bySun Zhonghuan Mayor of Hangzhou 2007–2010 Succeeded byShao Zhanwei