Communist Youth League of China

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"Communist Youth League" redirects here. For other Young Communist Leagues, see Young Communist League.
Communist Youth League of China
Secretary General Qin Yizhi
Founded 1920
Headquarters No. 10, Qianmen Dongdajie, Beijing
Membership 89 million (by the 17th National Congress)
Mother party Communist Party of China

The Communist Youth League of China, also known as the Young Communist League of China or simply the Communist Youth League, is a youth movement of the People's Republic of China for youth between the ages of fourteen and twenty-eight, run by the Communist Party of China (CPC). The league is organized on the party pattern. Its leader is its First Secretary, who is also a member of the CPC Central Committee. The current First Secretary is Qin Yizhi. The Communist Youth League is responsible also for guiding the activities of the Young Pioneers (for children below the age of fourteen).


Communist Youth League of China
Simplified Chinese 中国共产主义青年团
Traditional Chinese 中國共產主義青年團
Literal meaning Communist Youth League of China
Simplified Chinese 共青团
Traditional Chinese 共青團
Literal meaning Communist Youth League
Original name
Simplified Chinese 中国社会主义青年团
Traditional Chinese 中國社會主義青年團
Literal meaning Socialist Youth League of China
Wartime name
Simplified Chinese 中国新民主主义青年团
Traditional Chinese 中國新民主主義青年團
Literal meaning China New Democracy Youth League

Founded in May 1920, it was originally named as the Socialist Youth League of China. Whilst the Party was officially established in July 1921, the Chinese Socialist Youth League was organized with the Party being set up throughout the country. In May 1922, the 1st National Congress (simplified Chinese: 全国代表大会; traditional Chinese: 全國代表大會; pinyin: Quánguó Dàibiǎo Dàhuì) of the League was held under the leadership of the Party, and therefore became a unified organization in China. In the 3rd National Congress in January 1925, the Chinese Socialist Youth League was renamed as the Chinese Communist Youth League. After the Sino-Japanese War, in order to adapt to the new social and political situation, it was officially renamed as the Chinese New Democracy Youth League in April 1949.

Later in May 1957, its name as the Chinese Communist Youth League was resumed, historically combining the congresses of all three leagues (the Chinese Socialist Youth League, the Chinese Communist Youth League as well as the Chinese New Democracy Youth League). During the 10 years of the Cultural Revolution, the functioning of the League was blocked and the Central Committee was disbanded as it was accused of revisionism; its functions were partly resumed in the early 1970s. From 1978 to 2008, six congresses were held.

The Communist Youth League has contributed a number of top echelon leaders of the Communist Party-led government of the People's Republic of China. The proliferation of leaders with a Youth League background has led to the informal name "Youth League faction" being used to describe certain members of the leadership at different times. The first "Youth League faction" was represented by Hu Yaobang (party chairman 1981-1982, party general secretary 1982-1987 following the abolition of the chairman position). The second "Youth League faction" is represented by Hu Jintao (General secretary since 2002, President since 2003). While there is no direct political lineage between the two Hus, Hu Jintao's administration has formally elevated the memory of the earlier Hu. In 2005, the 90th anniversary of Hu Yaobang's birth, a new museum and a series of commemorative books and television programs were launched. The scandalous death of the son of Ling Jihua and Gu Liping, a couple associated with the Communist Youth League, may have tarnished the reputation of the organization as a path to power.[1]


The national leading organization is the National Congress and the Central Committee, elected by the congresses. The National Congress are held each 5 years, but can be held earlier or later under special circumstances. In between congresses, the Central Committee implements the decisions made in the National Congress and leads the League as a whole; the Central Committee usually meets in plenary session once a year. In addition to the Central Committee, there are General Affairs Committees which oversee the daily affairs of the League and lead the fundamental organizations in 31 provincial level administrative areas of the country. "CPC and is considered to be the CPC's assistant and backup".[2]

By the end of 2002, there were approximately 210,000 committee members of fundamental organizations. 2007 estimates put the number of Youth League members at 73 million.[3] Central Committee reported at the end of 2006, students accounted for 49.9% of the league.[2]

Under the leadership of Communist Party General Secretary Hu Jintao, who was also a leading figure in the Youth League, key government positions at both central and provincial levels are more likely to be filled by the League's members and former cadres, known as tuanpai.

CYLCs' official newspaper is the China Youth Daily.

Popular Culture[edit]

  • In EA's game series Command and Conquer Generals, the flag of the Youth League is used as an icon for the Nationalism upgrade.

List of First Secretaries[edit]

Chronology of National Congresses[edit]

  • 1st National Congress (Socialist Youth League): 5–10 May 1922
  • 2nd National Congress (Socialist Youth League): 2–25 August 1923
  • 3rd National Congress (Socialist Youth League): 26–30 January 1925
  • 4th National Congress: 10–16 May 1927
  • 5th National Congress: 12–16 July 1928
  • 6th National Congress (1st Congress, New Democratic Youth League): 11–18 April 1949
  • 7th National Congress (2nd Congress, New Democratic Youth League): 23 June–2 July 1953
  • 8th National Congress (3rd Congress, New Democratic Youth League): 12–25 May 1957
  • 9th National Congress: 11–29 June 1964
  • 10th National Congress: 16–26 October 1978
  • 11th National Congress: 20–30 December 1982
  • 12th National Congress: 4–8 May 1988
  • 13th National Congress: 3–10 May 1993
  • 14th National Congress: 19–25 June 1998
  • 15th National Congress: 22–26 July 2003
  • 16th National Congress: 10–13 June 2008
  • 17th National Congress: 17–21 June 2013

See also[edit]


External links[edit]