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The National CCP Conference of September 1985 and China's Leadership Changes

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 February 2009

Extract

The National Conference of Delegates of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which met in Beijing from 16 to 23 September 1985, was a rare, but not a unique, event. According to official pronouncements, both before and after the conference, it was convened to consider two major issues. The first was the draft proposals for the Seventh Five-Year Plan to be introduced in 1986. The second was described as “organizational re-adjustment” – the question of changes in the membership of the CCP's leading political and administrative organizations.

Type
Recent Developments
Copyright
Copyright © The China Quarterly 1986

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References

1. A similar conference was held in March 1955, presumably to discuss the aftermath of what has become known as the “Gao Gang Affair,” the removal of Gao Gang, Rao Shushi and others from the leadership of the Party-state system. At sub-national level before the Eighth National Congress of 1956, other less formal “representative” conferences of Party members were not uncommon.

2. Unusually for a major CCP meeting, there was no formal communique issued. Instead, the speeches of the most important leading cadres at both the conference and its associated (Central Committee plenary sessions and discipline inspection commission) meetings, together with the proposal for the Seventh Five-Year Plan, were widely publicized. See Beijing Review, Nos. 39, 40 and 41 (30 September, 7 10, 14 October 1985)Google Scholar.

3. Yaobang's, Hu speech was distributed by the New China News Agency (NCNA) on 18 09 1985Google Scholar. See, British Broadcasting Corporation, Summary of World Broadcasts Part III (SWB), FE 8161/C/2, 20 September 1985. The relevant sections of the appropriate CCP constitutions are Article 31 (1956) and Article 18 (1982).

4. The 10 who resigned from the Political Bureau were: Deng Yingchao, Li Desheng, Nie Rongzhen, Song Renqiong, Ulanhu, Wang Zhen, Wei Guoqing, Xu Xiangqian, Ye Jianying and Zhang Tingfa. The six new full members of the Political Bureau are: Hu Qili, Li Peng, Qiao Shi, Tian Jiyun, Wu Xueqian and Yao Yilin. Yao had previously been an alternate member. The three new members of the CCP Secretariat are Li Peng, Tian Jiyun and Wang Zhaoguo. Two former alternate secretaries (Hao Jianxiu and Qiao Shi) became (full) secretaries.

5. Wen Hui Bao (Hong Kong), 19 09 1985Google Scholar.

6. The information presented here is drawn from the research project currently being carried out at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne into provincial leadership in the People's Republic of China. The project is supported and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, London. Leading cadres are here denned as all those holding the positions ofthe single most important cadres in each branch ofthe political–administrative system and all their immediate deputies. Thus, for example, provincial leadership is currently denned in terms of all those at the level of province, municipality and autonomous region who hold one ofthe following positions (or equivalent): any secretary pf a Party committee, governor or deputy governor, chairman or vice-chairman of standing committee of people's congress, commander or deputy commander of military district, political commissar (or deputy) of military district.

7. Mill's, W. de B.Leadership change in China's provinces,” in Problems of Communism, Vol. 34, No. 3 (1985), p. 24Google Scholar.

8. In all cases data are given only as of known cases.

9. “On the reform of the system of party and state leadership” in Selected Works of Peng Xiaoping (Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1984), p. 302Google Scholar.

10. SWB, FE 861/C/3.

11. See, for example, report of an article in Liaowang (Outlook), 25 February 1985 in SWB, FE 7887/BII/5.

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