China Leadership Monitor

Hu's Policy Shift and the Tuanpai's Coming-of-Age

Saturday, July 30, 2005

The promotion of leaders with Chinese Communist Youth League backgrounds (known as tuanpai) to ministerial and top provincial posts has been widely reported. Less noticed, but perhaps even more important, is how the rapid rise to power of these leaders correlates with Hu Jintao's new mandate emphasizing social fairness and social justice over GDP growth. This article analyzes the background of all 22 tuanpai officials currently serving as ministers or provincial chiefs from the perspective of two parallel developments—Hu's appeal for a "harmonious society" and the tuanpai's coming-of-age. The analysis reveals both the strengths and weaknesses of this emerging elite group and illuminates Hu's leadership style, political power, and policy orientation.