Generations of Chinese leadership
Because the Communist Party of China
promotes according to seniority, it is possible to group Chinese leaders into generations. These include:
- first generation - included Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Zhu De, Liu Shaoqi. These were the leaders that started the People's Republic of China.
- second generation - Deng Xiaoping, Chen Yun. These leaders were also involved in the Chinese revolution but in junior roles. Many were educated overseas, particularly in France.
- third generation - Jiang Zemin, Zhao Ziyang, Li Peng, Zhu Rongji, Hu Yaobang - These leaders were born before the revolution but were educated afterwards. Most of them received education in Russia as engineers and entered the party initially as factory managers. Unlike their predecessors, they do not have significant military experience or close links to the military.
- fourth generation - Hu Jintao, Wen Jiabao, Zeng Qinghong. These were promoted to top leadership at the 16th Party Congress. Most of them were engineers whose educations were disrupted by the Cultural Revolution and unlike both their predecessors and successors have spent very little time overseas.
- fifth generation - Bo Xibo - These have not yet been promoted to the top leadership but currently are in mid or high level position such as provincial governors or heads of ministries. In the fifth generation one sees fewer engineers and more management and finance majors. Most of the fifth generation of civilian leadership were educated in elite universities in the United States.
- sixth generation - These make up low and mid level party positions. Most were born after the Cultural Revolution and tend to be more nationalistic than their predecessors. Like the fifth generation, most of the members of this generation of leadership are expected to be educated in elite universities in the United States.
See also: Politics of China