The Premier (总理, pinyin: zŏnglĭ), sometimes referred to as the "Prime Minister", is the Chairman of the State Council of the People's Republic of China and nominal head of government. The Premier is formally approved by the National People's Congress upon the nomination of the President. In practice, both the President and the Premier are selected after high level negotiations within the Communist Party of China. The Premier is generally a member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo and usually second or third in the Communist Party hierarchy.

The Premier is responsible for organizing and administrating the Chinese civil bureaucracy. Signficiantly, the Premier does not have authority over the People's Liberation Army. In recent years, there has been a division of labor between the Premier and the President of the People's Republic of China in which the Premier is responsible for the technical details of implementing government policy while the President gathers the political support necessary for government policy.

List of Premiers

  • Wen Jiabao - since March 16, 2003.

  • Zhu Rongji - (1998-2003). He was nominated as Premier of the PRC by President Jiang Zemin and confirmed by the Ninth National People's Congress on March 17, 1998.

  • Li Peng - (1987-1998). He was made acting Premier of the PRC in November 1987 and full Premier in April 1988. He remained Premier until 1998 when he was made head of the National People's Congress.

  • Zhao Ziyang - (1980-1987).

  • Hua Guofeng - (1976-1980). He became Premier following Zhou Enlai's death in January 1976.

  • Zhou Enlai (1949-1976). He became Premier of the PRC in 1949, with the establishment of the Communist regime. He remained in this position until his death.

See also: Politics of the People's Republic of China, Political position ranking of PRC