Premier of the People's Republic of China

The premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, commonly called the premier of China and sometimes also referred to as the prime minister, is the head of government of China and leader of the State Council. The premier is nominally the second most powerful position in China's political system, under the general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (paramount leader), and holds the highest rank in the civil service of the central government.

Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China
National Emblem of the People's Republic of China (2).svg
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg
Shinzō Abe Li Keqiang 20191225 (1) (cropped).jpg
Li Keqiang

since 15 March 2013
TypeHead of government
Member of
  • State Council
  • Plenary Meeting of the State Council
  • Executive Meeting of the State Council
Reports to
SeatPremier's Office, Zhongnanhai, Beijing
(chosen within the Chinese Communist Party)
Term lengthFive years, renewable once
Constituting instrumentConstitution of the People's Republic of China
PrecursorChairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the Chinese Soviet Republic
Inaugural holderZhou Enlai
Formation7 November 1931; 91 years ago (1931-11-07) (Chinese Soviet Republic)
1 October 1949; 73 years ago (1949-10-01) (People's Republic of China)
Abolished22 September 1937; 85 years ago (1937-09-22) (Chinese Soviet Republic)
Unofficial namesPrime Minister
DeputyVice Premier
State councillor
Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China
Simplified Chinese中华人民共和国国务院总理
Traditional Chinese中華人民共和國國務院總理
Alternative Chinese name
Simplified Chinese国务院总理
Traditional Chinese國務院總理

The premier is responsible to the National People's Congress and its Standing Committee. The premier serves for a five-year term, renewable once. The premier presides over the plenary and executive meetings of the State Council, and is assisted by vice premiers in their work. Every premier has been a member of the Politburo Standing Committee since the PRC's founding in 1949, except during brief transition periods. In China's political system, the premier is generally thought to be responsible for managing the economy.[2]

The incumbent premier is Li Keqiang, who took office on 15 March 2013. He succeeded Wen Jiabao.


In 1989, Premier Li Peng, in cooperation with the then Central Military Commission chairman Deng Xiaoping, was able to use the office of the premier to order the military crackdown of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.[citation needed]

The premier has been supported by four vice-premiers since Deng Xiaoping's reform in 1983. The first-ranked vice premier will act in the premier's capacity in their absence.

Powers and dutiesEdit

Officially, the premier is approved by the National People's Congress upon the nomination of the president. In practice, the candidate is chosen within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) through deliberations by incumbent CCP Politburo members and retired CCP Politburo members as part of the process of determining membership in the incoming new CCP Politburo Standing Committee. Under this informal process, the eventual future premier is initially chosen as first vice-premier before assuming the position of premier during a subsequent round of leadership transitions.[3] Both the premier and the vice-premier are selected once every five years. The premier and the vice-premiers are limited to two terms. The premier has always been a member of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Chinese Communist Party.

The premier is the highest administrative position in the Government of China. The premier is responsible for organizing and administering the Chinese civil bureaucracy. For example, the premier is tasked with planning and implementing national economic, social development and the state budget.[4] This includes overseeing the various ministries, departments, commissions and statutory agencies and announcing their candidacies to the National People's Congress for vice-premiers, state councillors and ministerial offices. The premier's role and responsibilities are codified into the constitution unlike a prime minister's from the Westminster system as by convention or traditions.[4]

The premier does not have command authority over the armed forces, but is the head of the National Defense Mobilization Commission of China and deputy head of the CCP National Security Commission which are departments of the armed forces. Since the 1980s, there has been a division of responsibilities between the premier and the general secretary of the Communist Party wherein the premier is responsible for the technical details of implementing government policy while the general secretary gathers the political support necessary for government policy.

List of premiersEdit

Chinese Soviet Republic (1931–1937)Edit

The head of government is Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars.

People's Republic of China (1949–present)Edit

Li KeqiangWen JiabaoZhu RongjiLi PengZhao ZiyangHua GuofengZhou Enlai

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Public employees get salary increase - China -". Archived from the original on 2019-06-05. Retrieved 2019-11-06.
  2. ^ Wei, Lingling (2022-05-11). "China's Forgotten Premier Steps Out of Xi's Shadow as Economic Fixer". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2022-10-16.
  3. ^ "China's backroom power brokers block reform candidates". Southern China Mourning Post. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. 21 November 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2021.
  4. ^ a b Archived 2009-07-06 at the Wayback Machine, Section 3, Article 88 and Article 89.

External linksEdit