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First Secretary of the Communist Party of Manchuria

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First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Manchuria
CPM logo .png
Member of Communist Party of Manchuria
Residence People's Palace, Harbin
Appointer Central Committee
Formation 31st September 1933
First holder Li Qingquan

The First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Manchuria (Chinese: ㄓㄨㄥㄍㄨㄥ ㄇㄢㄓㄡ ㄓㄨㄥㄧㄤ ㄨㄟㄩㄢㄏㄨㄟ ㄉㄧ ㄧ ㄕㄨㄐㄧ; Zhōnggòng mǎnzhōu zhōngyāng wěiyuánhuì dì yī shūjì) was the title given to the leader of the Communist Party of Manchuria. They were highest ranking official within the central committee and an ex officio permanent member of the politburo and the standing committee, being the head of government. In the Manchu People's Republic the First Secretary is essentially the country's leader while the President of Manchuria is largely a symbolic ceremonial post.

The First Secretary was also co-currently the Chairman of the Central Military Commission making them the de facto commander-in-chief of Manchuria after 1954. In the 1946 Manchurian Constitution the party was identified as the highest organ of state, making the First Secretary hypothetically above the Premier.


Powers and duties

List of first secretaries

Portrait Name
Term of office Notes
Li Qingquan.jpg Li Qingquan
31st September 1933 - May 1937 A Manchu nationalist, Li was the regional secretary of the Communist Party of China before declaring the creation of the Communist Party of Manchuria in 1933, appointing himself as its First Secretary. He was killed by Manchukuo authorities sometime in May 1937.
Xu Xiaobao.jpg Xu Xiaobao
May 1937 - 17th May 1953 Initially the interim leader after Li's death, Xu consolidated his power during the 1930's. Following the USSR's official recognition of Manchukuo in 1941 Xu successfully was able to integrate the CPM into Comitern and negotiate Manchurian independence in 1945. Following this Xu led Manchuria in a rigidly Stalinist fashion initiating the Red Terror as well as ushering in collectivization, nationalization, literacy campaigns, Five-Year Plans and a large cult of personality. He heavily advocated for the Korean War which resulted in military failure in Manchuria and the disastrous Tianjin Agreement. Following the Tianjin Agreement he was forced to step down and was eventually purged.
Qian Yiu-tong.jpg Qian Yiu-tong
17th May 1953 - 8th January 1981 Xu's former deputy and instrumental in securing Manchurian independence, Qian outmanoeuvred his opponents within the politburo prior to ousting Xu. Under Qian the Black River Protocol was introduced which aimed to make Manchuria a regional power. Qian began Manchuria's nuclear program, modernised the military and dismantled the cult of personality in favour of admiration of the party. The politburo and central committee were stripped of their powers which were transferred to lower levels of bureaucracy which helped strengthen the position of First Secretary as a result. Qian also oversaw the Great Exchange, the ethnic cleansing of Koreans, Han Chinese and other "subversive people's" in Manchuria. In 1967 he reversed on the Great Exchange ushering in the Zhongshan Movement, a period of economic and cultural reforms although the party remained committed to the Black River Protocol. In 1968 Qian halted the "Zhongshan Movement" and led a nationwide purge known as the Anti-Reactionary Campaign. However, during the 1970's Qian supported some economic reforms into light industry and consumer goods. As he entered his late 70's Manchuria under Qian largely stagnated as rigid adherence to the Black River Protocol smoothed over growing factionalism within the party and regionalism across the nation. In 1978 he sheltered Chinese dissident Huang Fuzhan which escalated tensions between China and Manchuria leading to the October Crisis which almost led to nuclear war. The October Crisis severely weakened Qian's standing in the party and led to him being eclipsed in his later years by reformists such as Tao Shiyou. Qian died of natural causes in 1981.
Image update 6b34c5abe98939d9 1341612017 9j-4aaqsk.jpg Tao Shiyou
8th January 1981 - 30th December 1993 Having been the Chairman of the Standing Committee since 1978 Tao was able to rally his reformist supporters within the politburo and central committee leading to his election as First Secretary following Qian's death. Eliminating his opponents within the party Tao was able to ascend to the position of Premier in 1983 making him the most powerful leader of Manchuria since 1967. Tao oversaw a new period of reforms he coined "New Communism" which put more economic focus on light industry, consumer goods and tourism as well as overhaul the stagnant Manchu bureaucracy, as well as moving away from a command economy to a "socialist-oriented free market" economy. Tao also introduced the two-child policy and created for himself a cult of personality.