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14. What's the membership of the Central Committee? How are the members elected?

Since the founding of the Communist Party of China in 1921, there have been fifteen Central Committees. The members of the Central Committee are elected at the Party's National Congress. Their term of office is five years, but will change accordingly if the National Congress is held ahead of schedule or put off due to extreme and unforeseen circumstances. Members and alternate members of the Central Committee must have been Party members for at least five years.

The quotas of members and alternate members of the Central Committee are determined by the Party's National Congress. A member vacancy in the Central Committee is usually filled by an alternate member according to votes. The membership of the first fifteen Central Committees has varied:

First Central Committee: 3 members;

Second Central Committee: 6 members;

Third Central Committee: 9 members;

Fourth Central Committee: 9 members;

Fifth Central Committee: 32 members;

Sixth Central Committee: 23 members;

Seventh Central Committee: 44 members;

Eighth Central Committee: 97 members;

Ninth Central Committee: 170 members;

Tenth Central Committee: 195 members;

11th Central Committee: 201 members;

12th Central Committee: 210 members;

13th Central Committee: 175 members;

14th Central Committee: 193 members;

15th Central Committee: 193 members.

(Notes: The above figures exclude the number of supplementary and alternate members.)

15. What is the alternate membership of the CPC Central Committee? How are the alternate members elected?

The alternate membership of previous CPC Central Committees has varied:

11th Central Committee: 132

12th Central Committee: 138

13th Central Committee: 110

14th Central Committee: 130

15th Central Committee: 151.

Alternate members of the Central Committee are elected at the Party?s National Congress. A member vacancy in the Central Committee is usually filled by an alternate member according to votes.

16. How is the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee elected?

The Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee is elected by the plenary session of the CPC Central Committee.

The Party?s Constitution has stipulated since the 12th National Congress that ?a plenary session of the Central Committee is held at least once a year by the Political Bureau of the Central Committee,? and that ?the Political Bureau of the Central Committee and its Standing Committee exercise the functions and powers of the Central Committee when the plenum of the Central Committee is not in session.

The Political Bureau regularly reports its work to the Central Committee and observes the principle of a collective leadership. The general secretary of the CPC Central Committee is responsible for calling the sessions of the Political Bureau. The Political Bureau must faithfully carry out the Party?s policies, principles and guidelines adopted at the National Congress. Its decisions concerning the transfer and reshuffling of personnel within the leading bodies of central organizations and issues of great importance within the Party must be endorsed by the plenary session of the Central Committee.

17. What is the membership of the Central Military Commission?

As the equivalent of the Central Military Commission of the People's Republic of China, the CPC Central Military Commission, is the highest military leading body of the People?s Republic of China. The Constitution of the country, adopted by the National People?s Congress on December 4, 1982, stipulates that the People?s Republic of China sets up the Central Military Commission to direct the armed forces of the country, and that the Central Military Commission be composed of a Chairman, Vice-Chairmen and members of the commission.

The current membership of the Central Military Commission is 11.

18. What is the membership of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection?

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, as the highest body of the Party for discipline inspection, was first founded in 1949. Zhu De served as the secretary of the First Central Commission for Discipline Inspection. However, during the ?cultural revolution? (1966-76), the Party?s institutions and work regarding discipline inspection were suspended.

The Third Plenary Session of the 11th CPC Central Committee, held on December 18-22, 1978, elected Chen Yun secretary of the 100-member Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

The new Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, elected at the 15th CPC National Congress held on September 12-18, 1997, is composed of 115 members.

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