Sun Chunlan
Sun in 2015
Vice Premier of the People's Republic of China
In office
19 March 2018 – 11 March 2023
Serving with Han Zheng, Hu Chunhua, Liu He
PremierLi Keqiang
Head of the United Front Work Department
In office
31 December 2014 – 7 November 2017
DeputyWang Zhengwei
Zhang Yijiong (executive)
General secretaryXi Jinping
Preceded byLing Jihua
Succeeded byYou Quan
Communist Party Secretary of Tianjin
In office
November 21, 2012 – December 30, 2014
Preceded byZhang Gaoli
Succeeded byHuang Xingguo (acting)
Communist Party Secretary of Fujian
In office
November 2009 – November 2012
Preceded byLu Zhangong
Succeeded byYou Quan
Communist Party Secretary of Dalian
In office
Preceded byBo Xilai
Succeeded byZhang Chengyin
Personal details
Born (1950-05-24) 24 May 1950 (age 73)
Shenyang, Dongbei Area, People's Republic of China
Political partyCommunist Party of China (1973–present)
Alma materAnshan Industrial Technology College
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese孙春兰
Traditional Chinese孫春蘭
Literal meaningSun (surname) Spring-Orchidaceae

Sun Chunlan (Chinese: 孙春兰; born 24 May 1950) is a retired Chinese politician. She served as the second-ranked Vice Premier of the People's Republic of China and the highest-ranking incumbent female government official until March 2023. Previously, she served as a member of the Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party.

Sun served as the party chief of the coastal city of Dalian and as the First Secretary of All-China Federation of Trade Unions. From 2009 to 2014, Sun served in two prominent regional posts, first as Communist Party Secretary of Fujian province, then of Tianjin, one of China's four direct-controlled municipalities. Her tenure in Fujian made her the second female provincial-level party chief since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949 (the first was Wan Shaofen). Between 2014 and 2017, she served as head of the United Front Work Department of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party.


Sun was born in May 1950 in Raoyang County, Hebei. After graduating with a degree in mechanics from Anshan Industrial Technology Academy in Liaoning, Sun worked at Anshan Clock Factory, which made watches.[1] There she rose from the shop floor to membership of the factory's CCP branch,[2] which managed the operations of the factory. She joined the Chinese Communist Party in May 1973, during the latter stages of the Cultural Revolution. She was then transferred to the Anshan Textiles Factory to work as a manager. In 1988 she became the chair of the women's federation of Anshan.

In 1990, Sun was transferred to work in the organs reporting directly to the provincial party leadership, paving the way for further career advancement. In 1994 she became head of the provincial trade union federation, a year later she began sitting on the Liaoning provincial Party Standing Committee; achieving such a feat at age 45 was rare. In 1997, Sun was named deputy party chief of Liaoning and president of the provincial party school. In 2001, the party chief of the bustling coastal city of Dalian departed the city to become the governor of Liaoning. Sun was then confirmed as party chief of Dalian with party committee members unanimously confirming her nomination. She served in the post from 2001 to 2005, before being transferred to work in Beijing. Sun was named the Vice-Chair of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions at the Third Session of the 14th ACFTU Executive Committee, and then the First Secretary of the ACFTU Secretariat at the Eighth Session of the 14th ACFTU Presidium In December 2005.

Party Secretary and national leadership

In a December 2009 re-shuffle, Sun Chunlan was named party boss of Fujian Province,[3] the first female to take such a high-level secretaryship since Wan Shaofen, Party Secretary of Jiangxi in the 1980s. Provincial party chief positions are of special significance and are some of the most powerful positions of the land; that Sun assumed a bona fide "power position" was not only rare for a woman, but also made her well positioned for further advancement.

After the 18th Party Congress held in November 2012, Sun became the party chief of Tianjin municipality, China's richest provincial-level jurisdiction by GDP at the time, taking the post vacated by Zhang Gaoli, who became a member of the Politburo Standing Committee. As Party Secretary of Tianjin, Sun joined the elite ranks of the Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party as one of the two women on the body (the other was Vice-Premier Liu Yandong). She additionally became the first female party chief of a direct-controlled municipality in party history.

After the investigation and dismissal of former Hu Jintao aide Ling Jihua as head of the Communist Party's United Front Work Department, Sun was named as head of the department on December 31, 2014. Sun was the first United Front chief to hold a concurrent Politburo seat since Ding Guangen. Her post in Tianjin was succeeded on an interim basis by Mayor Huang Xingguo. Since Sun ascended to the United Front chief position, Xi Jinping has taken on a new datongzhan (大统战) strategy for United Front work, expanding the scope of the United Front Work Department. In 2015, Wang Zhengwei, Vice-Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, was named deputy head of the department, assisting Sun, creating a unique situation where two of the top leaders of the United Front were held by "deputy national leader" ranked figures.[4]

In March 2018, Sun was appointed as the Vice Premier of the People's Republic of China.[5]

Sun is a member of the 19th Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party. She was also an alternate member of the 15th and 16th Central Committees of the Chinese Communist Party, and a full member of the 17th, 18th and 19th Central Committees.

She was awarded the Gold Olympic Order after the 2022 Winter Olympics for her responsibility for the anti-COVID management of the Olympic Winter Games.[6]

In 2022, Sun Chunlan was selected as one of the Time 100.

Sun Chunlan retired from Politburo after 20th Party Congress, and Vice Premier in March 2023.


  1. ^ "Sun is widely considered a protégé of Hu Jintao, but it is unclear where and when Sun established her client relationship with Hu. Their political connection likely occurred or was consolidated during her study at the Central Party School in the early 1990s, when Hu served as president of the school." Cheng Li, Sun Chunlan 孙春兰: One of China's Top Future Leaders to Watch Archived 2013-06-02 at the Wayback Machine. The Brookings Institution John L. Thornton China Center, originally published in the China Leadership Monitor. Accessed on 1 January 2014.
  2. ^ "From Worker to CPC Provincial Secretary". Women of China. 2009-04-12. Retrieved 2009-12-31.[dead link]
  3. ^ South China Morning Post, China Section, 2009 Dec 02
  4. ^ "孙春兰、王正伟先后加持,中央统战部领导班子规格再创新高". The Paper. April 15, 2015. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved May 31, 2020.
  5. ^ "国务院副总理、国务委员、各部部长完整名单". Xinhua. 2018-03-19. Archived from the original on 2018-03-19. Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  6. ^ "IOC thanks Beijing 2022 for memorable Olympic Winter Games". International Olympic Committee. 2022-02-21. Retrieved 2022-02-21.
Party political offices Preceded byLing Jihua Head of the United Front Work Department of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party 2014–2017 Succeeded byYou Quan Preceded byZhang Gaoli Communist Party Secretary of Tianjin Municipality 2012–2014 Succeeded byHuang Xingguo Preceded byLu Zhangong Communist Party Secretary of Fujian Province 2009–2012 Succeeded byYou Quan Preceded byBo Xilai Communist Party Secretary of Dalian City 2001–2005 Succeeded byZhang Chengyin