|General Secretary Xi Jinping|
No. of departments 4
|1st-ranked Secretary Liu Yunshan|
|Duration 15 November 2012 – Incumbent|
Inner-groups Politburo Standing Committee: 7 members Politburo: 25 members Secretariat: 7 members Military Commission: 7 members
Members 205 members and 168 alternates
The 18th Central Committee (18th CC) was elected by the 18th Congress on 15 November 2012, and will sit until the next National Congress is convened in 2017. The Committee is composed of full members and alternate members. A member has voting rights, while an alternate does not. If a full member is removed from the CC the vacancy is then filled by an alternate member at the next committee plenum — the alternate member who received the most confirmation votes in favour is highest on the order of precedence. To be elected to the Central Committee, a candidate must be a party member for at least five years.
The 18th CC was elected using the method "more candidates than seats". At the 18th National Congress, delegates could vote for 224 possible candidates for 205 seats for full membership, and 190 candidates for the 171 alternate members. 8.5 percent of the member candidates and 10 percent of the alternate candidates failed to be elected. Of the 373 full and alternate members, 184 of them (i.e., 48.9 percent) were elected to the Central Committee for the first time. Five of the nine members born in the 1960s were associated with the Communist Youth League (designated as Tuanpai by foreign commentators). Few offspring of previously high-standing officials (known as "princelings") managed to obtain full membership on the 18th CC, though a few were named alternate members. The number of members who worked in central-controlled state-owned enterprises increased from one in the 17th CC to six, while Zhang Ruimin (head of Haier) was re-elected. The number of members from the military remained constant from the previous committee at around 20 percent, continuing a longstanding tradition.
The first plenary session in 2012 was responsible for electing the bodies in which the authority of the Central Committee was invested when it was not in session: the Politburo and the Politburo Standing Committee. It was also responsible for approving the members of the Secretariat, Central Commission of Discipline Inspection and its Standing Committee. The second plenary session in March 2013 was responsible for nominating candidates for state positions.
The remaining plenary sessions of the 18th Central Committee were known for announcing a wide range of reform programs on a scale unprecedented since the Deng era, including "comprehensively deepening reforms", "ruling the country according to law", and complete the construction of a "moderately prosperous society". The 18th CC also saw the highest number of members expelled from the body due to corruption in the party's history.