I am supposed to write a formal letter in Chinese addressing a president concerning the rise of hunger in the country. I am not sure how to address someone in the said position but I have knowledge on other positions.

2 Answers 2


Addressing leader of the country is not simple. There are head of state, leader of the ruling party, head of government, command-in-chief of the military, and many more. Some countries have these roles split but some countries have one person holding multiple roles. In the latter case, one person can be president, chairman, and general. But there is only one preferred (correct) way to address this person.

For China, Xi is head of state (as president), but also chairman of the ruling party. So although in English, he is "president Xi". He's never 习总统 in mainland China,always 习主席. Head of government for China is 李克强总理 Premier Li Keqiang.

Kim Jun Un is "the supreme leader". And you still remember Colonel Gaddafi?

So for your case, you need to find out what country it is and address correctly. If it's just a hypothetical country, then using 总统 is fine.


President of a country (e.g. The United States) is called 总统 in Chinese

A President or Chairman of a political party (e.g. Communist Party of China ) is called 主席

To formally address The President of a country in writing, you should use an honorific like 阁下 or 先生 or even 大人 and call him 总统阁下; 总统先生 or even 总统大人 (kind of too old fashion and too humble if you ask me)


奥巴马(name) 总统(title) 阁下 (honorific)

习近平(name) 总书记(title) 阁下 (honorific)


Sometimes people would call 習近平主席/总书记 as 'President Xi'

Even Wikipedia refers 習近平 as 'President'

President of the People's Republic of China


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