Paramount leader

Informal term for the most prominent political leader in China.

- Paramount leader

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Grassalkovich Palace in Bratislava is the seat of the President of Slovakia.

Head of state

Public persona who officially embodies a state in its unity and legitimacy.

Public persona who officially embodies a state in its unity and legitimacy.

Grassalkovich Palace in Bratislava is the seat of the President of Slovakia.
World's parliamentary states (as of 2022): Republics with an executive president elected by a parliament Parliamentary republics Parliamentary constitutional monarchies in which the monarch usually does not personally exercise power Presidential republics, one-party states, and other forms of government
Elizabeth II is the reigning monarch and head of state of the United Kingdom and 14 other countries
Charles de Gaulle, President and head of state of the French Fifth Republic (1959–1969)
George Washington, the first president of the United States, set the precedent for an executive head of state in republican systems of government
George V, Emperor of India, and Empress Mary at the Delhi Durbar, 1911.
Tekiso Hati, ambassador of the Kingdom of Lesotho, presenting his credentials to Russian president Vladimir Putin
Daniel B. Shapiro, U.S. ambassador to Israel, presents his credentials to Israeli president Shimon Peres on 3 August 2011
A 1992 Letter of Credence, written in French, for the Czechoslovakian Ambassador to Lithuania, signed by the President of Czechoslovakia and addressed to his Lithuanian counterpart
Albert II, King of the Belgians inspecting troops on Belgium's national day in 2011
Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France and General Jean-Louis Georgelin, Chief of the Defence Staff, reviewing troops during the 2008 Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Élysées in Paris
Francis, from March 2013 the sovereign of the Vatican City State, an ex officio role of the Pope
Abdulmecid II is the 150th and last Caliph of Islam from Ottoman dynasty
Four generations of Danish kings in 1903: King Christian IX (left), Christian (X) (back), Frederick (VIII) (right), and Frederick (IX) (front)
The National Monument to Emperor Wilhelm I in Berlin, Germany, dedicated 1897, nearly 10 years after his death. The monument was destroyed by the communist government in 1950.
Title page of 1550 Italian edition of Machiavelli's The Prince
Bodin named on title page of Discorsi politici (1602) by Fabio Albergati who compared Bodin's political theories unfavourably with those of Aristotle
Frontispiece of Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan (1651)

However, since 1993, as a matter of convention, the presidency has been held simultaneously by the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, the top leader in the one party system.

Li in 1954

Li Xiannian

Chinese Communist military and political leader, President of the People's Republic of China (de jure head of state) from 1983 to 1988 under Paramount Leader Deng Xiaoping and then Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference from 1988 until his death.

Chinese Communist military and political leader, President of the People's Republic of China (de jure head of state) from 1983 to 1988 under Paramount Leader Deng Xiaoping and then Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference from 1988 until his death.

Li in 1954
Li in the People's Liberation Army during the Civil War (1946)
Li as Vice Premier in August 1974, visiting Nicolae Ceaușescu in Romania
Li with his wife Lin Jiamei and Ronald Reagan (1985)

If Hua had been successful in his efforts to achieve supreme power, Li would have become one of the most powerful officials in China, but Li's political career stalled when Deng Xiaoping eclipsed Hua as China's "Paramount leader".

Cover of the current constitution

Constitution of the People's Republic of China

Nominally the supreme law of the People's Republic of China.

Nominally the supreme law of the People's Republic of China.

Cover of the current constitution

Chinese leader Hu Jintao said that "These amendments of the Chinese constitution are of great importance to the development of China [...] We will make serious efforts to carry them out in practice."

National Emblem of the People's Republic of China

Leadership core

Recognized as central to the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party.

Recognized as central to the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party.

National Emblem of the People's Republic of China

The leadership core operates as part of the Leninist-inspired framework of democratic centralism, and is intended to represent a vital center rather than a hierarchical peak, which differentiates it from the role of paramount leader.

Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party

The leader of the Chinese Communist Party.

The leader of the Chinese Communist Party.

Although Hua Guofeng succeeded Mao as party chairman, by 1978 he had lost power to vice chairman Deng Xiaoping, who at that point had become the de facto leader of China.

Argentine president Carlos Menem presiding over an Argentine Air Force ceremony for the Falklands War in May 1997.

Commander-in-chief

Person who exercises supreme command and control over armed forces or a military branch.

Person who exercises supreme command and control over armed forces or a military branch.

Argentine president Carlos Menem presiding over an Argentine Air Force ceremony for the Falklands War in May 1997.
Governor General of Australia The Lord Gowrie (right) signing the declaration of war against Japan with Prime Minister John Curtin (left) looking on. (8 December 1941)
President Alexander Lukashenko wearing the official uniform of the commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Belarus.
Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Alija Izetbegović (right) meeting with US president Bill Clinton (left) in 1997 in Tuzla.
King George VI inspects a Royal Canadian Navy guard of honour during the 1939 royal tour of Canada.
King Christian IV on board his flagship during the 1644 Battle of Colberger Heide, by Wilhelm Marstrand. The king's personal commitment during the battle, are memorialized in first lines of the Danish royal anthem.
C. G. E. Mannerheim, the Marshal of Finland, as the commander-in-chief in 1941 during the Continuation War
Guyanese Commander in Chief rank insignia
The ceremony of passing the Cheget (i.e. the nuclear briefcase) from Dmitry Medvedev's military aide to Vladimir Putin's military aide during the 2012 presidential inauguration.
Current President of South Korea, President Yoon Suk-yeol
King Felipe VI in uniform of Captain General of the Navy at the Naval NCO Academy in 2014.
Mareşal Mustafa Kemal Pasha (center), the president of Turkey with other generals of the Turkish Armed Forces in 1925.
U.S. President Barack Obama in his capacity as commander-in-chief, salutes the caskets of 18 individual soldiers killed in Afghanistan in 2009.
Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela, dressed in military garb in August 2006.
New recruits standing in front of the Reichstag building, before taking the Bundeswehr oath. In the light of Prussian militarism and due to its infamous history of the 20th century; Germany of today puts a strong emphasis on having armed forces compatible with a parliamentary system.
Werner von Blomberg (left) saluting Adolf Hitler (right) with a baton at the 1937 Nuremberg Rally.
5-stars Flag-Insignia of Commander-in-Chief of Tatmadaw
4-stars Flag-Insignia of Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Tatmadaw
The Royal insignia (distinctief) worn by King Willem-Alexander, instead of a regular military rank, whenever he wears a Dutch military uniform.
Flag of the supreme commander
The Swedish monarch (King Carl XVI Gustaf) is no longer the commander-in-chief of the Swedish Armed Forces, although he continues to receive treatment befitting a head of state.
The epaulet for the wartime-only office and rank of General.

However, beginning in 1993, during the tenure of Jiang Zemin as CMC Chairman and General Secretary of the Communist Party, it has been standard practice to have the president, the CMC chairman, and the CCP general secretary to be normally held by the same person; although the slight differences in the start and end of terms for those respective offices means that there is some overlap between an occupant and his predecessor.

Supreme Military Command of the People's Republic of China

Throughout the history of the People's Republic of China, the position that effectively reigned as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces changed from time to time.

Throughout the history of the People's Republic of China, the position that effectively reigned as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces changed from time to time.

The officeholder is usually the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as well as the paramount leader.

National Emblem of the People's Republic of China

Government of China

Authoritarian political system under the exclusive political leadership of the Chinese Communist Party .

Authoritarian political system under the exclusive political leadership of the Chinese Communist Party .

National Emblem of the People's Republic of China
National Emblem of the People's Republic of China
The 12th National People's Congress held in 2013
Emblem of the Chinese Communist Party
Paramount leader and General Secretary Xi Jinping
The CMC is housed in the Ministry of National Defense compound ("August 1st Building")
Emblem of the People's Courts
Emblem of the People's Procuratorate

However, since 1993, as a matter of convention, the presidency has been held simultaneously by the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, the top leader in the one-party system.

6th Paramount leader Xi Jinping

Xi Jinping Administration

6th Paramount leader Xi Jinping

The Xi Jinping Administration of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), officially called the "CCP Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as General Secretary" between 2012 and 2016, and "CCP Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core" since 2016, has been said to begin after the progressive accumulation of power by Xi Jinping, who succeeded Hu Jintao as CCP General Secretary and Paramount leader in 2012 and later in 2016 was proclaimed the Party's 4th leadership core, following only Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, and Jiang Zemin.

John Locke

Separation of powers

Separation of powers refers to the division of a state's government into branches, each with separate, independent powers and responsibilities, so that the powers of one branch are not in conflict with those of the other branches.

Separation of powers refers to the division of a state's government into branches, each with separate, independent powers and responsibilities, so that the powers of one branch are not in conflict with those of the other branches.

John Locke
Montesquieu
George Washington at Constitutional Convention of 1787, signing of U.S. Constitution

Most practical political power is held by the Politburo Standing Committee dominated by the General Secretary, who serves as the country's supreme leader.