China Leadership Monitor

Analysis of Current Provincial Leaders

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Understanding the provincial leaders' biographical backgrounds, tenure in office, political socialization, career patterns, and rate of reshuffling is essential to the study of Chinese politics. This study focuses on the 412 current top provincial leaders, a cluster of elites that includes all current provincial party secretaries, governors (or mayors of provincial-level administrations in the cities), deputy provincial party secretaries, and vice governors or vice mayors. These people are the most important political leaders at the provincial level in present-day China. Data for this study are based principally on official Chinese information that has recently become available to the public on the Internet. I have constructed a database on the biographies of these 412 top provincial leaders. Each biography includes 76 entries, which are indexed into eight major categories for analytical purposes. These categories are: 1) basic biographical information, 2) status of membership and position, 3) promotion patterns, 4) regional background, 5) reshuffling experience, 6) work experience, 7) educational background, and 8) political association and networks. This report focuses on the first three categories.