Zhongnanhai, as China’s power center, is a mystery to most people on the mainland. It used to be an imperial garden in central Beijing, adjacent to the Forbidden City, but once the Communist Party of China (CPC) selected the garden as the central headquarters, not even senior government officials can freely move in and out, reports our Chinese language sister newspaper Want Daily.
Only a very few of China’s first-generation leaders can live there, with some of their descendants still residing “illegally.” Currently, the complex serves as the central headquarters for the CPC and the State Council.
Since the CPC was founded in 1949, it had been constantly relocating its headquarters until Mao Zedong settled the Party in Zhongnanhai at the suggestion of Zhou Enlai.
Initially, the CPC divided Zhongnanhai into three zones. Zone A was for the General Office of the Central Committee of the CPC; zone B for the Central Propaganda Department; and zone C for the State Council. Between 1954-1956, the CPC moved the propaganda department out of zone B and renovated the area into residential quarters.
Full article: Zhongnanhai: the mysterious hub of the China’s Communist Party (Want China Times)