This article addresses some of the most important mechanisms and instruments in the Communist Party of China's (CPC) management of key officials and administrative personnel: Party and state cadres in administrative organs and institutions. These mechanisms include control over the administrative layout in terms of organs and positions (bianzhi), the authority to appoint leading personnel (nomenklatura), as well as a sophisticated cadre transfer system — which also involves rotation between big business and the political world. The article not only emphasises the crucial importance of cadre management in understanding the fundamentals of the Chinese power system, but it also points to a number of challenges in studying this particular Chinese form of personnel management. It shows the elaborate nature of cadre and personnel management in China and argues that in recent years the Party has strengthened rather than weakened its role in managing the cadre corps. Finally, the article draws on theoretical insights provided by the existing body of literature on elites in general and in relation to China in particular.