Government of China

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Government of the
People's Republic of China

中华人民共和国政府
Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó Zhèngfǔ
People's Republic of China National Emblem.svg
Formation1 October 1949
Legislature National People's Congress
Website English.gov.cn
Communist Party
Party Communist Party of China
General Secretary Xi Jinping [1]
Government
Executive State Council
(Li Keqiang Government)
President Xi Jinping
Premier Li Keqiang
Congress Chairman Li Zhanshu
Armed Forces
Military People's Liberation Army
People's Armed Police
Militia
Military Chairman Xi Jinping
Government of the People's Republic of China
Traditional Chinese 中華人民共和國政府
Simplified Chinese 中华人民共和国政府
National Emblem of the People's Republic of China (2).svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
China

The central government of the People's Republic of China is divided among several state organs:

Contents

  1. National People's Congress (NPC): the ultimate power of the state that supervise and elects all following organs;
  2. Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC): the legislative branch;
  3. President (together with the NPCSC, act as head of state) and the Vice-President, who has no power itself, but exercise power by holding other offices;
  4. State Council (synonymous with "Central People's Government"): the executive branch, whose Premier is the head of government;
  5. Central Military Commission (CMC): the military branch, whose Chairman is the commander-in-chief of the national armed forces including the People's Liberation Army (PLA), the People's Armed Police (PAP), and the Militia;
  6. National Supervisory Commission (NSC): the supervisory branch;
  7. Supreme People's Court (SPC): the judicial branch;
  8. Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP): the prosecutorial branch.

The legal power of the Communist Party is guaranteed by the PRC Constitution and its position as the supreme political authority in the PRC is realised through its comprehensive control of the state, military, and media. [2] According to a prominent government spokesman:

Communist Party of China Political party of the Peoples Republic of China

The Communist Party of China (CPC), also referred to as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China. The Communist Party is the sole governing party within mainland China, permitting only eight other, subordinated parties to co-exist, those making up the United Front. It was founded in 1921, chiefly by Chen Duxiu and Li Dazhao. The party grew quickly, and by 1949 it had driven the nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) government from mainland China after the Chinese Civil War, leading to the establishment of the People's Republic of China. It also controls the world's largest armed forces, the People's Liberation Army.

We will never simply copy the system of Western countries or introduce a system of multiple parties holding office in rotation; although China’s state organs have different responsibilities, they all adhere to the line, principles and policies of the party. [3]

The primary organs of state power are the National People's Congress (NPC), the President, and the State Council. Members of the State Council include the Premier, a variable number of Vice Premiers (now four), five State Councilors (protocol equal of vice premiers but with narrower portfolios), The Secretary-General, and now 26 ministers and other cabinet-level department heads. During the 1980s there was an attempt made to separate party and state functions, with the party deciding general policy and the state carrying it out. The attempt was abandoned in the 1990s with the result that the political leadership within the state are also the leaders of the party. This dual structure thereby creates a single centralized focus of power.

National Peoples Congress highest state body and legislature of the Peoples Republic of China

The National People's Congress is the highest organ of state power and the national legislature of the People's Republic of China. With 2,980 members in 2018, it is the largest parliamentary body in the world. The National People's Congress meets in full session for roughly two weeks each year and votes on important pieces of legislation, and members are considered to be part-time legislators and are not paid to serve in the NPC.

President of the Peoples Republic of China Ceremonial office and nominal de jure Head of State of China

The President of the People's Republic of China is the head of state of the People's Republic of China. Under the country's constitution, the presidency is a largely ceremonial office with limited powers. However, since 1993, as a matter of convention, the presidency has been held simultaneously by the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, the top leader in the one party system. The presidency is officially regarded as an institution of the state rather than an administrative post; theoretically, the President serves at the pleasure of the National People's Congress, the legislature, and is not legally vested to take executive action on its own prerogative. The current President is Xi Jinping, who took presidency in March 2013.

State Council of the Peoples Republic of China chief administrative authority of the Peoples Republic of China

The State Council, constitutionally synonymous with the Central People's Government since 1954, is the chief administrative authority of the People's Republic of China. It is chaired by the premier and includes the heads of each of the cabinet-level executive departments. Currently, the council has 35 members: the premier, one executive vice premier, three other vice premiers, five state councilors, and 25 additional ministers and chairs of major agencies. In the politics of the People's Republic of China, the Central People's Government forms one of three interlocking branches of power, the others being the Communist Party of China and the People's Liberation Army. The State Council directly oversees the various subordinate People's Governments in the provinces, and in practice maintains membership with the top levels of the Communist Party of China.

At the same time there has been a move to separate party and state offices at levels other than the central government. It is not unheard of for a sub-national executive to also be party secretary. This frequently causes conflict between the chief executive and the party secretary, and this conflict is widely seen as intentional to prevent either from becoming too powerful. Some special cases are the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, where according to constitution and respective basic law, most national laws do not apply and the autonomous regions where, following Soviet practice, the chief executive is typically a member of the local ethnic group while the party general secretary is non-local and usually Han Chinese.

Special administrative regions of China province-level autonomous subdivision in the Peoples Republic of China

The special administrative regions (SAR) are one type of provincial-level administrative divisions of China directly under Central People's Government. They possess the highest degree of autonomy.

Hong Kong East Asian city

Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, is a special administrative region on the eastern side of the Pearl River estuary in southern China. With over 7.4 million people of various nationalities in a 1,104-square-kilometre (426 sq mi) territory, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated places in the world.

Macau Special Administrative Region of China

Macau or Macao, officially the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, is a special administrative region of China on the western side of the Pearl River estuary in southern China. With a population of 667,400 and an area of 32.9 km2 (12.7 sq mi), it is the most densely populated region in the world.

Under the Constitution of China, the NPC is the highest organ of state power in China. It meets annually for about two weeks to review and approve major new policy directions, laws, the budget, and major personnel changes. Most national legislation in the PRC is adopted by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. Most initiatives are presented to the NPCSC for consideration by the State Council after previous endorsement by the Communist Party's Politburo Standing Committee. Although the NPC generally approves State Council policy and personnel recommendations, the NPC and its standing committee has increasingly asserted its role as the national legislature and has been able to force revisions in some laws. For example, the State Council and the Party have been unable to secure passage of a fuel tax to finance the construction of expressways. [4] [5]

Standing Committee of the National Peoples Congress standing body of PRCs National Peoples Congress

The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress is the permanent body of National People's Congress (NPC) of the People's Republic of China; both exercise the legislative power of the state.

Expressways of China Expressway network for the Peoples Republic of China

The expressway network of China, with the national-level expressway system officially known as the National Trunk Highway System, is an integrated system of national and provincial-level expressways in China.

Political leadership

Emblem of the Communist Party of China Danghui.svg
Emblem of the Communist Party of China

The Politburo Standing Committee consists of the government's top leadership. Historically it has five to nine members, and currently has seven members. Its officially mandated purpose is to conduct policy discussions and make decisions on major issues when the Politburo, a larger decision-making body, is not in session. According to the party's Constitution, the General Secretary of the Central Committee must also be a member of the Politburo Standing Committee. [6]

The Constitution of the Communist Party of China (CPC) has 53 Articles and includes contents of General Program, Membership, Organization System, Central Organizations, Local Organizations, Primary Organizations, Party Cadres, Party Discipline, Party Organs for Discipline Inspection, Leading Party Members' Groups, Relationship Between the Party and the Communist Youth League, Party Emblem and Flag.

General Secretary of the Communist Party of China The head of the Communist Party of China and the de facto Leader of China

The General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China is head of the Communist Party of China and the highest-ranking official within the People's Republic of China. The General Secretary is a standing member of the Politburo and head of the Secretariat. The officeholder is usually considered the "paramount leader" of China.

The membership of the PSC is strictly ranked in protocol sequence. Historically, the general secretary (or party chairman) has been ranked first; the rankings of other leaders have varied over time. Since the 1990s, the general secretary, premier, chairman of the National People's Congress, the chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the party's top anti-graft body, and the first-ranked secretary of the secretariat have consistently also been members of the Politburo Standing Committee. [7]

Paramount leader

Paramount leader and General Secretary Xi Jinping Xi Jinping March 2017.jpg
Paramount leader and General Secretary Xi Jinping

Power is concentrated in the Paramount leader, currently Xi Jinping, who heads the four most important political and state offices: He is General Secretary of the Communist Party, general secretary of the Central Committee, Chairman of the Central Military Commission, and President of the PRC. [8] Recently, experts have observed growing limitations to the Paramount leader's de facto control over the government. [9]

Constitution

The Constitution was first created on September 20, 1954. Before that an interim constitution-like document created by the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference was in force. The second promulgation in 1975 shortened the Constitution to just about 30 articles, and contained Communist slogans and revolutionary language throughout. The role of courts was slashed, and the Presidency was gone. The 3rd promulgation in 1978 expanded the number of articles, but was still under the influence of the just-gone-by Cultural Revolution.

The current constitution is the PRC's fourth promulgation. On December 4, 1982, it was promulgated and has served as a stable constitution for 30 years. The roles of the presidency and the courts were normalized, and under the constitution, all citizens were equal. Amendments in 1988, 1993, 1999, 2004, and 2018 recognized private property, safeguarded human rights, and further promoted the non-public sector of the economy.

National People's Congress

The 12th National People's Congress held in 2013 The 1st Session of the 12th National People's Congress open 20130305.jpg
The 12th National People's Congress held in 2013

The National People's Congress (usually abbreviated NPC) is the national legislature of the People's Republic of China. With 2,924 members in 2017, it is the largest parliamentary body in the world. [10] Under China's current Constitution, the NPC is structured as a unicameral legislature, with the power to legislate, the power to oversee the operations of the government, and the power to elect the major officials of state. The NPC and the National Committee of the People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), a consultative body whose members represent various social groups, are the main deliberative bodies of China, and are often referred to as the Lianghui (Two Assemblies). [11]

The NPC is elected for a term of five years. It holds annual sessions every spring, usually lasting from 10 to 14 days, in the Great Hall of the People on the west side of Tiananmen Square in Beijing. The NPC's sessions are usually timed to occur with the meetings of the CPPCC, and these annual meetings provide an opportunity for the officers of state to review past policies and present future plans to the nation. The fourth session of the 12th NPC was held from March 5 to March 16, 2016. [12]

President

Mao Zedong portrait.jpg LiuShaoqi Colour.jpg
Mao Zedong
First Chairman
Liu Shaoqi
2nd Chairman

The President of the People's Republic of China is the head of state. Under the PRC's constitution, the presidency is a largely ceremonial office with limited powers. [13] However, since 1993, as a matter of convention, the presidency has been held simultaneously by the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, top leader in one party system. [14] The office is officially regarded as an institution of the state rather than an administrative post; theoretically, the president serves at the pleasure of the National People's Congress, the legislature, and is not legally vested to take executive action on its own prerogative. [note 1] The current president is Xi Jinping, who took office in March 2013.

The office was first established in the Constitution of the People's Republic of China in 1954 and successively held by Mao Zedong and Liu Shaoqi. Liu fell into political disgrace during the Cultural Revolution, after which the office became vacant. The office was abolished under the Constitution of 1975, then reinstated in the Constitution of 1982, but with reduced powers. The official English-language translation of the title was "Chairman"; after 1982, this translation was changed to "President", although the Chinese title remains unchanged. [note 2] In March 2018, presidential term limits were abolished. [15]

State Council

Zhou Enlai in 1959.jpg Li Keqiang (cropped).jpg
Zhou Enlai
First Premier
Li Keqiang
Current Premier

The State Council is the chief authority of the People's Republic of China. It is appointed by the National People's Congress and is chaired by the Premier and includes the heads of each governmental department and agency. There are about 50 members in the council. In the politics of the People's Republic of China, the Central People's Government forms one of three interlocking branches of power, the others being the Communist Party of China and the People's Liberation Army. The State Council directly oversees the various subordinate People's Governments in the provinces, and in practice maintains an interlocking membership with the top levels of the Communist Party of China.

Currently the Premier of the State Council is Li Keqiang and the Vice Premiers are Han Zheng, Sun Chunlan, Hu Chunhua and Liu He. Together with the five State Councilors, they form the inner cabinet that regularly convenes for the State Council Executive Meeting. [16]

Central Military Commission

The CMC is housed in the Ministry of National Defense compound ("August 1st Building") ChinaDOD.jpg
The CMC is housed in the Ministry of National Defense compound ("August 1st Building")

The Central Military Commission exercises the command and control of the People's Liberation Army and is supervised by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. The state CMC is nominally considered the supreme military policy-making body and its chairman, elected by the National People's Congress, is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. In reality, command and control of the PLA, however, still resides with the Central Military Commission of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee.

Currently the chairman of the Central Military Commission is Xi Jinping.

National Supervisory Commission

The National Supervisory Commission of the People's Republic of China is the highest supervisory (anti-corruption) agency of the People's Republic of China. It supervises all public officials who exercise public power, at the same administrative ranking as the Supreme People's Court and Supreme People's Procuratorate [17] . Its operations are merged with the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China [18] . It replaces the former Ministry of Supervision.

Currently the director of National Supervisory Commission is Yang Xiaodu.

Supreme People's Court and Supreme People's Procuratorate

Emblem of the People's Courts Supreme People's Court of P.R.China's badge.svg
Emblem of the People's Courts
Emblem of the People's Procuratorate Supreme People's Procuratorate of P.R.China's badge .svg
Emblem of the People's Procuratorate

The Supreme People's Court is of the People's Republic of China. Hong Kong and Macau, as special administrative regions, have separate judicial systems based on British common law traditions and Portuguese civil-law traditions respectively, and are out of the jurisdiction of the Supreme People's Court. The judges of the Supreme People's Court are appointed by the National People's Congress.

As of 2018, the President of Supreme People's Court and the Procurator-General of Supreme People's Procuratorate are Zhou Qiang and Zhang Jun separately.

Provincial and local government

The governors of China's provinces and autonomous regions and mayors of its centrally controlled municipalities are appointed by the central government in Beijing after receiving the nominal consent of the National People's Congress (NPC). The Hong Kong and Macau special administrative regions (SARS) have some local autonomy since they have separate governments, legal systems, and basic constitutional laws, but they come under Beijing's control in matters of foreign policy and national security, and their chief executives are handpicked by the central government. Below the provincial level in 2004 there were 50 rural prefectures, 283 prefecture-level cities, 374 county-level cities, 852 county-level districts under the jurisdiction of nearby cities, and 1,636 counties. There also were 662 cities (including those incorporated into the four centrally controlled municipalities), 808 urban districts, and 43,258 township-level regions.

Counties are divided into townships and villages. While most have appointed officials running them, some lower-level jurisdictions have direct popular elections. The organs of self-governing ethnic autonomous areas (regions, prefectures, and counties)—people's congresses and people's governments—exercise the same powers as their provincial-level counterparts but are guided additionally by the Law on Regional Ethnic Autonomy and require NPC Standing Committee approval for regulations they enact "in the exercise of autonomy" and "in light of the political, economic, and cultural characteristics of the ethnic group or ethnic groups in the areas."[ citation needed ]

Civil service

See also

Notes

  1. It is listed as such in the current Constitution; it is thus equivalent to organs such as the State Council, rather than to offices such as that of the premier.
  2. In Chinese the President of the PRC is termed zhǔxí while the Presidents of other countries are termed zǒngtǒng. Furthermore zhǔxí continues to have the meaning of "chairman" in a generic context.

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References

Citations

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  3. "China 'will not have democracy' China will never adopt Western-style democracy with a multi-party system, its top legislator has said." BBC 9 March 2009, accessed October 9, 2010.
  4. China bites the bullet on fuel tax. Rsc.org (2009-01-01). Retrieved on 2013-07-21.
  5. Bbc News. BBC News. Retrieved on 2013-07-21.
  6. Chapter III Central Organizations of the Party - Article 22
  7. "China's Next Leaders: A Guide to What's at Stake". China File. 13 November 2012. Archived from the original on 2013-02-10. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  8. "A simple guide to the Chinese government". South China Morning Post. Xi Jinping is the most powerful figure in the Chinese political system. He is the President of China, but his real influence comes from his position as the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party.
  9. Higgins, Andrew (2011-01-16). "Hu's visit spotlights China's two faces". The Washington Post . The Washington Post Company . Retrieved 2011-01-17.
  10. International Parliamentary Union. "IPU PARLINE Database: General Information" . Retrieved 2017-08-06.
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  12. "The National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China" . Retrieved 2016-11-08.
  13. Krishna Kanta Handique State Open University, EXECUTIVE: THE PRESIDENT OF THE CHINESE REPUBLIC.
  14. "Does Chinese leader Xi Jinping plan to hang on to power for more than 10 years?". 6 October 2017. If Xi relinquished the presidency in 2023 but remained party chief and chairman of the Central Military commission (CMC), his successor as president would be nothing more than a symbolic figure... “Once the president is neither the party’s general secretary nor the CMC chairman, he or she will be hollowed out, just like a body without a soul.”
  15. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/11/world/asia/china-xi-constitution-term-limits.html
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Sources