The Communist Youth League, the Communist Party’s youth recruitment and training apparatus, has become a key power base within the party since the 1980s, competing with the princeling faction representing the offspring of former party leaders.
Founded in Shanghai and other cities in August 1920 as the Socialist Youth League to prepare for the formal establishment of the party a year later, it held its first national congress in Guangzhou on May 4, 1922. Despite the party coming to power in 1949, the league was never given the chance to play any significant role in Chinese politics for decades. But that all changed when reformist leader Hu Yaobang , a former league secretary, became party chief in 1982.
Hu is described as the leader of the first generation of the league faction because he promoted many followers with league backgrounds, including Hu Qili , Li Ruihuan , Xian Nan,
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