In China, in every administration unit (province, county, village) or organization (company, school), there is a position called party secretary.

For example, in every province, there is a province party secretary (省委书记). In every city, there is a city party secretary (市委书记). In every company or school, there is a party secretary (党委书记). What are the responsibilities of these party secretaries?

Also what are the differences in responsibilities between mayor (市长) and city party secretary(市委书记) or between governor (省长) and province party secretary (省委书记)?

What are the responsibilities of the party secretary?

  • Secretary could mean 书记 or 秘书 in Chinese, but Party secretary is 书记 absolutely, but not necessarily 党委书记 (Party secretary for committee), there are 党支部书记(for sub-branch), 党总支书记(for branch), 党组书记(for group) as well. As China is a country under the rule of Communist Party of China, Party secretary has the highest authority over other administrators on the same level and below, for example, in a city administration, mayor is head of the government, Party secretary is the head of the Party committee at city level, they are in two different systems(different in name only, same in reality), Jul 15, 2021 at 3:38
  • But when problems arise, other administrators at the same or lower level (mayor, vice mayor, etc, according to actual unit concerned) may be held accountable. Only in case of big problems that have strong influence is a Party secretary criticized or removed from the post. Jul 15, 2021 at 3:41

1 Answer 1


党委书记是党的各级委员会书记的简称,是党的各级委员会的主要负责人。 主要负责党委全面工作,主持召集党委会议和党员(党员代表)大会。

(The party committee secretary is the abbreviation of the secretary of the party committees at all levels and is the main person in charge of the party committees at all levels. Mainly responsible for the overall work of the party committee, presided over the convening of party committee meetings and party member (party member representative) conferences.)

The party secretary is the main person in charge of the party committees. It means he or she is in the CCP system. But the mayor, governor, etc. are in the government system.

Remember: the party is not the government. There are differences between, e.g. the government can include some members of "eight democratic parties or groups".

But, the party system and the government system have a relationship. Take the city I live in, Yangzhou, as an example. Zhang Baojuan(张宝娟) is the mayor, and also the vice secretary of the city party secretary. But she is still lower than the city party secretary(empty now).

  • 2
    I grew up in a similar system (east Germany), so I have a good idea what this means. But your answer needs to spell it out more clearly for those with a different background.
    – Roland
    Jul 12, 2021 at 9:08
  • While a Party secretary is the biggest boss in any unit he is in, he may not be the one to take the biggest responsibility. In short, everything in China is under the rule of the Party, any accomplishment shall be the credit of the Party secretary, because without him and the committee, branch or group under his leadership, there could not be such victorious achievement. Jul 15, 2021 at 3:40

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