Selection of members is believed to be largely the result of high-level deliberations among incumbent members of the party's Politburo and PSC as well as retired PSC members. Prospective candidates for membership in the PSC typically rely on individual members of this high level group to act as their patrons. The current and former Politburo members conduct several rounds of deliberations interspersed with a series of straw polls to determine their support for the candidacy of new Politburo and PSC members. These straw polls are not binding and instead a reflect the evolving consensus of the group on a new member's candidacy. The Politburo may also conduct a straw poll of all incumbent Central Committee members on the candidacy of new Politburo and PSC members, but this poll is only consultative. The process of selecting the new Politburo and PSC begins with a closed door session of the incumbent PSC at Beidaihe in the last summer before the Party Congress convenes in the fall. The list of Politburo and PSC candidates for the Central Committee to formally confirm is usually complete several weeks before the Party Congress.[8][9]


Why is the selection process of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Chinese Communist Party held secret? Is there a particular why they wouldn't be fully transparent on how the members are selected? I am wondering, because no one would think that the deliberation process is democratic since China is not a democratic country, so they would be no harm in admitting that the process isn't democratic, so why isn't there some kind of official document that describes how the Politburo Standing Committee of the Chinese Communist Party select its members?

  • 2
    I believe the communist party is hiding the selection process away from its own (low ranking) members and the Chinese people, who otherwise may raise unwanted objections over the inclusion and exclusion of candidates and the qualifications or qualities of certain candidates.
    – r13
    Commented Aug 7, 2021 at 16:16
  • The making of sausages comes to mind. Commented Aug 7, 2021 at 17:23
  • Not to say that this all is correct, but a lot of politics happen behind closed doors. Political parties in all countries make decisions (often including selecting their candidates) behind closed doors, with a lot of pork barrels and things involved. I don't see this particular case as much different, of course except that the # of candidates is equal to the # of members.
    – xuq01
    Commented Aug 8, 2021 at 18:57

1 Answer 1


Probably because Communist parties have long valued unanimity and projecting a unified, according-to-Marxist-Leninist-principles image. Showing the horse-trading and bickering that is involved at the top would not fit that model. Horse trading and bickering that is potent enough for a number of Xi's opponents at the time of his accession in 2012 to now have been disgraced or behind bars.

Secret society: What the Chinese Communist Party doesn't want you to know

Secret meetings

CCP meetings include a five-yearly congress, which usually ends with the near-unanimous adoption of decisions.

High-level meetings of the 200-strong Central Committee take place behind closed doors, as do those of the Political Bureau, the inner cabinet. State television usually broadcasts an officially approved readout later.

The debates, if there are any, are not made public.

"Hiding internal tensions allows the CCP to present a steel facade to its enemies and those of China," Cabestan explained.

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