The Role of the Communist Youth League in the Xi Jinping Era

Mr Adrian Brona1

1Jagiellonian University, Cracow, Poland

Since Xi Jinping came to power in 2012, the Chinese political system has undergone dynamic changes. The consolidation of power in the hands of the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the reconstruction of the government stand among many examples of significant reforms that have taken place in recent years. Over the past three years, the Communist Youth League (CYL) also underwent a profound transformation. The CYL is a resourceful youth organization, often described as a “breeding ground” for the CPC’s cadres. This paper provides an overview of the CYL’s reform in relation to four aspects: the finances, bureaucracy, grassroots cadres, and ideology. The main objective of this study was to assess the future role of the CYL in the Chinese political system. This study was exploratory and interpretative, based on research data drawn mostly from documents and statements of the representatives of the CYL and the CPC. The results of this investigation indicated that the CYL is likely to remain an important component of the Chinese political system, albeit with limited impact on the creation of future leaders.


Adrian Brona – Ph.D. candidate at the Faculty of International and Political Studies of Jagiellonian University, Poland. Since 2015, principal investigator of the research project “Recruitment and Socialization of Chinese Political Elites since 1978 – the role of Communist Youth League” founded by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education via the Diamond Grant program.




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