First Secretary of Chinese Communist Party
Cai Qi
since 23 October 2022
Secretariat of the Chinese Communist Party
TypeSecretarial duties
Member ofSecretariat, Politburo, Politburo Standing Committee
Reports toCentral Committee
SeatQinzheng Hall, Zhongnanhai, Beijing[1]
NominatorPolitburo Standing Committee
AppointerCentral Committee
Term lengthFive years,
Constituting instrumentConstitution of the Chinese Communist Party
PrecursorChairman of the Central Committee's Secretariat
Inaugural holderDeng Xiaoping
Formation28 September 1956 (66 years and 299 days)
AbolishedApril 1969 - February 1980
Unofficial namesFirst ranked secretary
1st ranked secretary

The First Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party,[a] also referred to the First Secretary of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, is a senior position within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the de facto head of the CCP Secretariat.

The First Secretary is nominated by the CCP Politburo Standing Committee, and is appointed by the CCP Central Committee. It is responsible for the management of directives and day-to-day work of the CCP Secretariat assisting the Party leader. A member of both the Politburo Standing Committee and the Secretariat, the officeholder is often considered the fifth most powerful figure in China's political system — immediately behind the General Secretary of the Central Committee, the Premier of the State Council, the Chair of the National People's Congress and the Chair of the National Consultative Conference.[2]

The two most recent CCP General Secretaries, Hu Jintao and Xi Jinping, were first elevated to the position of first Secretary of the Secretariat in the same process used to determine the membership and roles of the CCP Politburo Standing Committee.[3]

The current officeholder is Cai Qi, who was appointed by a decision of the 20th Politburo on 23 October 2022 to replace Wang Huning, who left office after his re-election as Politburo Standing Committee member.[4]


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The office was established at the Party's 8th National Congress in 1956. The position was called “General Secretary” from 1956 to 1966.

During the tenure of the Culture Revolution and Hua Guofeng’s leadership (1969–1980), the CCP Secretariat was abolished. The Secretariat was re-established in 1980 and Hu Yaobang was appointed as it’s General Secretary. The CCP Chairman was replaced by the CCP General Secretary at the Party’s 12th National Congress in 1982, thus the most senior position of the Secretariat has been informally called “First Secretary” or “First ranked Secretary” since 1985.


First Secretaries of the CCP Central Committee's Secretariat
No. Portrait Name Took office Left office Duration Electoral term BY PM Birthplace
General Secretary of the Central Committee's Secretariat
1 Deng Xiaoping 28 September 1956 23 August 1966 9 years and 329 days 8th CC
1904 1924 Guang'an, Sichuan
Standing Secretary of the Central Committee's Secretariat
- Tao Zhu 23 May 1966 4 January 1967 226 days 8th CC
1908 1926 Qiyang, Hunan
General Secretary of the Central Committee's Secretariat
2 Hu Yaobang 29 February 1980 12 September 1982 2 years and 196 days 11th CC
1915 1933 Liuyang, Hunan
First Secretary of the Central Committee's Secretariat
Hu Qili 24 September 1985 24 June 1989 3 years and 273 days 12th CC
13th CC
1929 1948 Yulin, Shaanxi
Qiao Shi 24 June 1989 19 October 1992 3 years and 117 days 13th CC
1924 1940 Shanghai
5 Hu Jintao 19 October 1992 15 November 2002 10 years and 27 days 14th CC
15th CC
1942 1964 Taizhou, Jiangsu
6 Zeng Qinghong 15 November 2002 22 October 2007 4 years and 341 days 16th CC
1939 1960 Ji'an, Jiangxi
7 Xi Jinping 22 October 2007 15 November 2012 5 years and 24 days 17th CC
1953 1974 Beijing
8 Liu Yunshan 15 November 2012 25 October 2017 4 years and 344 days 18th CC
1947 1971 Salaqi County, Suiyuan
9 Wang Huning 25 October 2017 23 October 2022 4 years and 363 days 19th CC
1955 1984 Shanghai
10 Cai Qi 23 October 2022 Incumbent 274 days 20th CC
(2022– )
1955 1975 Youxi County, Fujian


  1. ^ The office is informally referred to as the First Secretary or First ranked secretary since 1985. During 1982 to 1985, the Secretariat members were ordered by the surname stroke count.

See also


  1. ^ Ta, Kung Pao. "曾庆红三次拥抱,谢幕退出政坛". Archived from the original on 23 September 2020. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  2. ^ "Cai Qi Leads Propaganda Ministers Conference". China Media Project. 2023-01-05. Following the 20th National Congress of the CCP in October last year, Cai Qi, who previously served as Party Secretary of Beijing, succeeded Wang Huning (王沪宁) as the First Secretary of the CCP Secretariat in charge of propaganda and ideology.
  3. ^ "The big dance: A look back at the 17th Party Congress". China Briefing News. 2007-10-31. Xi, the son of liberal party elder and former vice-premier Xi Zhongxun will take over the post of first-ranked secretary of the CCP Secretariat and state vice-president.
  4. ^ "Infographic: China's New Leaders after the 20th Party Congress - Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies". Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies. The Central Secretariat is the CCP's top internal management body. It is officially chaired by the General Secretary, but day-to-day affairs are overseen by the first-ranked Secretary (newly elected Cai Qi 蔡奇).