Structure of the Chinese Communist Party
July 1, 2021 - Since the founding of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in July 1921, it has grown to almost 92 million members, representing 6.6 per cent of China’s total population.
The CCP has had a monopoly on power in China since the Mao Zedong–led party defeated nationalist rivals and founded the People’s Republic in 1949. It has 91.9 million members.
Women remain underrepresented in the party. In 2019, there were about 25.6 million women members and 66.3 million men. There are almost no women in the party elite, with just one, Sun Chunlan, among the 25-member Politburo -- the party’s decision-making body.
The CCP convenes its National Party Congress (NPC) every five years to set significant policies and choose the Central Committee, which comprises around 370 members and alternates, including ministers, senior regulatory officials, provincial leaders, and military officers.
The Central Committee acts as a board of directors for the CCP, and its mandate is to select the Politburo.
As the population as a whole has aged, so has the party. In 2019, more than a third of the party’s membership was at least 61 years old.
Since coming to power in 2012, President Xi Jinping has consolidated control over the party. Xi pushed China’s legislative body to end presidential term limits, creating a path for him to rule for life.