The General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Sino-Soviet Union (Russian: Генеральный секретарь Коммунистической партии Советского Союза), Mandarin: 中蘇共產黨總書記) is the de-facto head of government of the Sino-Soviet Union as well as the official leader of the Communist Party of the Sino-Soviet Union. The General Secretary is closed by an election held first by the National Assembly and later by the Central Committee of the Communist Party during the final stages of the election which is done around the same time as the election of the Premier of the Sino-Soviet Union.
In accordance with the Constitution of the Sino-Soviet Union, the General Secretary is the official leader of the Communist Party and shares executive power alongside the Premier, who's the head of state. Originally, the two offices had the same holder, but it was undone by Leonid Brezhnev as part of his reforms in 1972. As of 1991 as a result of the reforms by Mikhail Gorbachev, the General Secretary manages all aspects and the internal affairs of the communist party and ensures the ideological loyalty of its members, including the premier, and can be impeached if the Central Committee finds him un-loyal to the revolution.
Xi Jinping has been the current General Secretary since May 9th, 2012 after the election was held that year and has worked alongside Vladimir Putin after he became Premier. While Xi has officially stated that he will ensure Putin's loyalty to the party, critics have accused such a reason as an excuse on Xi's inactions against Putin and other accusations of corruption and abuse within the office of both the premier and the general secretary.
Powers and functions
The General Secretary is the official leader of the Communist Party and leads every aspect of the party. All organizations and bodies affiliated with the party ultimately report to the General Secretary through the Central Committee which was originally lead by the General Secretary as well. In 1991, Gorbachev reformed the party and had the Central Committee monitor the actions of the General Secretary and would be lead by the office of the Chairman instead, but the General Secretary remained the ultimate leader and highest position in the communist party and the government. Domestic concerns and policies are handled by the General Secretary while the Premier deals with international affairs as well as defense.
As General Secretary, the holder of the office is tasked with the goal of maintaining the loyalty of all of its members to the Communist ideology and the revolution as a whole. The Central Commission of Internal Affairs directly reports to the General Secretary and their goal is to monitor and report on the ideological loyalty of all known members of the party. In the case of the Premier, the General Secretary monitors him and accepts reports from cabinet meetings and files them to the Central Committee as a means of maintaining a system of checks and balances and reporting on the ideological loyalty of the nation's leader.
The selection process of choosing the next General Secretary is handled by the Communist Party and all affiliated organizations within the party. The National Assembly holds primary elections for the candidates where regional assemblies in the Soviet republics vote on who should be the new General Secretary and after six weeks. During the final stages, the final decision is handed over to the Central Committee who holds their own personal vote and the victor in that election is the new General Secretary. The process is handled strictly by the party as a means of maintaining the loyalty of its members and they seek to prevent possible ideological "corruption" by potential candidates for the office of General Secretary.
The Election Committee is solely responsible for all known elections and counts all votes casted by regional assemblies, the National Assembly, and the Central Committee at the final stages. The Chairman of the Election Committee then makes an address to the National Assembly and announces the next General Secretary after all of the votes are counted. In the event that an emergency election is needed, the process is shortened greatly and is handed down to the Central Committee who holds their own election via a meeting of the 400 members and the victor chosen is the newt to hold the office and much like regular elections, the outcome is announced by the Chairman of the Electoral Committee.
List of General Secretaries
Term of office
Joseph Stalin (1878-1953)
May 31st, 1946 - March 5th, 1953
The founder and first leader, Joseph Stalin was originally the leader of the Soviet Union prior to its unification with China and Mongolia. After the two countries merged, he took over and became its first leader as well as the its first General Secretary of the newly formed Communist Party. He brought Sovietization to China and ruled the country with an iron fist and greatly expanded his infamous Cult of Personality to the Chinese people. He died of mysterious circumstances in 1953
Mao Zedong (1893-1976)
March 8th - September 18th, 1972
Mao Zedong was a communist revolutionary who was often considered ones to he original "fathers" of the Sino-Soviet Union. He became a close ally and friend of Stalin and eventually succeeded him as General Secretary after his death in 1953. Under Mao's leadership, he instituted new policies to make China a fully communist society continuing the policies that Stalin had put in place as part of the larger Sovietization process. This lead to the Great Leap Forward which ultimately lead to a famine in Manchuria and over 40 million people died as a result. The Cultural Revolution was eventually launched and it traveled from China all the way to the Caucuses, but it destabilized the country and he was forced out of office in a military coup in September of 1972.
Leonid Brezhnev (1906-1982)
September 18th, 1972 - November 10th, 1982
Leonid had seized power after overthrowing Mao and his administration in a military coup in 1972 which saw the end of the Cultural Revolution and martial law to be declared on the entire Sino-Soviet Union. This however, re-stabilzied the country and under Leonid's administration, he brought new changes and reforms which saw the office of the Premier and General Secretary needing to be held by two separate people. He retained the office as party leader while Hu Yaobang became the new premier. Despite his however, Leonid held great influence over him and was considered the de-facto leader of the country. Leonid was most remembered for his Sovietization of Tibet which saw religious and ethnic tensions erupt, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the infamous Era of Stagnation. He died of failing health in 1982.
Deng Xiaoping (1904-1997)
November 11th, 1982 - June 12th, 1989
Deng Xiaoping was elected into office by the National Assembly and the Central Committee two days after Leonid had died. He was a well-known and popular public figure being well-received and popular amongst the general Soviet public and was even popular and had many allies within the Communist Party itself. Under his administration, he worked hard with Jiang Zemin to bring many reforms to the Sino-Soviet Union. By 1988, he had ended the Era of Stagnation, but was criticized and lost support for his role in the Revolutions of 1989 where he permitted the usage of military force against protestors in Tiananmen Square and in the Eastern Bloc prompting the National Assembly and the Central Committee to impeach him in June to control Xiang.
Mikhail Gorbachev (1926-)
June 12th, 1989 - September 1st, 1993
Gorbachev had assumed the position of General Secretary in the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square massacre and Eastern Bloc massacres of 1989 after Deng Xiaoping was impeached by the Central Committee on charges of being an ally for Jiang and only working to benefit his agenda. Gorbachev had originally tried pressuring Jiang into relieving pressure on the Soviet people and institute reforms to win back public support, but it didn't work and was eventually forced to overthrow Jiang Zemin in August of 1991 in a military coup and he served as interim General Secretary until order was restored in 1993 where he resigned and was elected Premier of the same year.
Nikolai Ryzhkov (1929-)
September 3nd, 1993 - November 14th, 2002
Nikolai Ryzhkov was part of the coup that overthrew Jiang Zemin and Deng Xiaoping in 1991 leading the Soviet Forces and acted as the military commander overseeing the occupation of Moscow during the event. After Gorbachev restored order to the country and brought the Cold War to a final conclusion, he was elected into office as the new General Secretary shortly after Gorbachev was elected Premier in a landslide election. Under Nikolai's administration, he stabilized the party and had disbanded many organizations that were known for their repressive policies as part of Gorbachev's reforms to restore order to the country and retain trust in the Communist Party amongst the people and party members alike.
Hu Jintao (1942-)
November 17th, 2002 - May 7th, 2012
Hu Jintao was a rather calm and inclusive General Secretary as he mainly kept to himself had rather standard public appearances only showing up for interviews and other scheduled events. His most well-known action as General Secretary was during the 2008 recession where he maintained the economic condition of the Communist Party and had helped party members retain their property and worked with Premier Dmitry Medvedev to stabilize and grow the Soviet economy.
Xi Jinping (1953-)
May 9th, 2012 - Present
Xi Jingping is the current acting General Secretary of the Communist Party having assumed office in May of 2012 during the party elections that same year. He took office around the same time as Vladimir Putin and has served as one of the key members of his administration since he first became Premier back in 2012 along with Xi. Since 2014, Xi has been accused by many as corrupt due to his role in supporting Putin and defending accusations of corruption and abuse within his office as well as permitting the usage of the KGB to crack down and dissent and has reinforced Leonid-era Sovietization policies in Tibet, much to the dismay of the local population.