Politics of China
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Politics of China
The politics of the People’s Republic of China function in a structure of a “socialist republic” governed by one party, the Communist Party of China.
The text of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China states the ruling status of the Communist Party.
The Communist Party, the Central People’s Government, and their regional and local representation exercises state authority within the People’s Republic of China
Under the double governance system, every local Bureau or office is subject to the coequal power of the local leader and the leader of the corresponding office,
bureau, or ministry at the next higher level.
Voters elect People’s Congress members.
Mistakes of local government is the responsibility of these country levels People’s Congresses, who elect members to the Provincial (or Municipal in the case of
independent municipalities) People’s Congress; in turn, the Provincial People’s Congress chooses members to serve in the National People’s Congress that convenes
in Beijing on a yearly basis.
At every level, the governing Communist Party committee plays a bigger role in selecting suitable candidates for election to the local congress and to the higher
The nominal head of state is the President of China, who acts as the formal figurehead under the National People’s Congress.
The head of government is the Premier of China, who supervises the State Council made up of four premiers and the heads of ministries and committees.
In a one-party system that has governed Chinese politics since 1949, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China holds ultimate power and authority of
state and government.
MAJOR LEADERS OF CHINA
Government Single-party “socialist republic”
President Xi Jinping
Premier Li Keqiang
Congress Chairman Zhang Dejiang
Conference Chairman Yu Zhengsheng
Legislature National People’s Congress
The Communist Party of China (CPC), a party with a membership of over 80 million, dominates government.
The influence of people and groups outside the official system, in times of comparative liberalization, has been disposed to increase, especially in the economic realm.
Each state-owned enterprise had to have a party committee under the command economy system.
With the introduction of the market economy, economic institutes where the party has limited to no authority are now prevalent.
Nonetheless, the party committees at all levels retain a dominant and key role in administration in all of the PRC’s governmental institutes, in particular when that role
is related to politics and its related aspects.
In central government offices and urban financial, industrialized, and cultural areas, central party control is most powerful; in rural areas, where most of Mainland
Chinese people reside, central power control is much less prevalent.
The most important duty of the CPC comes in the selection and promotion of personnel, who also recognize that party and state policy leadership is obeyed and that non-
party members do not establish self-governing organizations that might defy party rule.
The leading small groups that conduct activities of various organizations are especially vital.
While there is a convention that government commissions have no less than one non-party member, a party membership is a must-have assistance in promotion and
being in central policy setting meetings.
Constitutionally, the Party Congress, which convenes once every five years, is the most supreme body.
Prior to the Cultural Revolution, meetings were not regularly held, but have since been recurring.
The party’s responsibility is to elect the Central Committee; the main organs of power legally belong to the central committee.
The main organs of power in the Communist Party are:
The General Secretary, the highest-ranking official within the Party and typically the Chinese Paramount leader
The Politburo, made up of twenty-two full members (like the members of the Politburo Standing Committee)
The Politburo Standing Committee, which currently has seven members
The Secretariat, the CPC’s primary governmental mechanism, led by the General Secretary
The Central Military Commission
The Central Discipline Inspection Commission, whose duty is to root out corruption and malfeasance among party cadres
The National People’s Congress (NPC), the President, and the State Council are the main organs of state authority.
The Premier, a changeable number of vice premiers (now four), five state councilors (protocol equivalent of vice premiers, but with more constricted portfolios), and twenty-nine
ministers, and heads of State Council committees are among the members of the State Council.
There was an attempt made to separate party and state functions during the 1980s, where the party determined general policy and the state carried it out.
In the 1990s, the attempt was abandoned; as a result, the state’s political leadership also includes the leaders of the party, which created a single centralized locus of authority.
Simultaneously, there has been a resolution that party and state bureaus be separated at levels apart from the central government, and it is unprecedented for a sub-national
executive to also serve as party secretary.
Disagreement has frequently been known to grow between the chief executive and the party secretary; this conflict is commonly seen as deliberate to stop either from having too much
The Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, where the Communist Party has no jurisdiction whatsoever as part of the governmental system, is one distinct case;
another distinct case is the autonomous regions where, in accordance with Soviet practice, the chief executive is usually a member of the local ethnic group, whereas the party general
secretary is not local and normally Han Chinese.
The NPC, under the Chinese Constitution, is the most supreme organ of state authority in China; it assembles on an annual basis for almost two weeks to analyze and approve major
new policy guidelines, laws, the budget, and major personnel changes.
The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPCSC) adopts the majority of major legislation in China.
The NPCSC reviews most initiatives for deliberation by the State Council after previous support by the Communist Party's Politburo Standing Committee.
Even though the NPC typically approves State Council policy and personnel suggestions, the NPC and its standing commission has gradually declared its role as the national
legislature and has successfully forced amendments in laws; for instance, the State Council and the Party have not successfully passed a fuel tax to fund the building of expressways.
Autonomous regions (自治区):
Inner Mongolia / Nei Mongol (内蒙古自治区)
Tibet / Xizang (西藏自治区)
Special administrative regions (特别行政区):
Hong Kong: Xianggang (香港特别行政区)
Macau / Aomen (澳门特别行政区)
Taiwan (台湾省), governed by PRC
Founding and governing political party of the People’s Republic of China.
Only ruling party of China, despite existing with eight other recognized parties, with which
it forms the United Front.
Founded in July 1921; its principal founders were Chen Duxiu and Li Dazhao.
Expanded quickly; by 1949, it defeated the Kuomintang in a ten-year civil war, which led to
the birth of the People’s Republic of China.
Biggest political party in the world with a membership of 82.6 million.
Organized on the foundation of democratic centralism, a principle adopted by Russian
Marxist theoretician Vladimir Lenin that involves democratic and direct discussion on policy
on the condition of harmony in endorsing the agreed upon policies.
The National Congress, which convenes every fifth year, is the most supreme body of the
The Central Committee is the most supreme body when the National Congress does not
meet, but most duties and responsibilities lay in the Politburo and its Standing Committee,
as the body normally only meets once every year.
The leader of the CPC holds the positions of General Secretary (charged with civilian party
responsibilities), Chairman of the Central Military Commission (charged with military
affairs), and state president (mostly a formal post).
The party leader, via these positions, is China’s supreme leader; Xi Jinping, elected at the
18th National Congress (held in 2012), is the CPC’s current leader.
Born 15 June 1953 in Beijing.
General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, the President of the People’s
Republic of China, and the Chairman of the Central Committee.
As Party General Secretary, he is additionally an ex officio member of the CPC
Politburo Standing Committee, the de facto supreme decision-making body of
China; this makes him the supreme leader.
Son of communist veteran Xi Zhongxun; politically advanced through the ranks in
the coastline provinces of China.
Served as the Governor of Fujian between 1999-2002 and later as Governor and
CPC party chief of the nearby Zhejiang between 2002-2007.
Was briefly reassigned to Shanghai as party secretary in 2007 after Chen
Advanced to the Politburo Standing Committee and Central Secretariat in October
2007, and was chosen as Hu Jintao’s successor.
Now the leader of the fifth generation leadership of the People’s Republic.
Has wanted to reintroduce a campaign against corruption and a continuing of
market economic reforms, a direct approach to governing, and a comprehensive
national rebirth under the coinage “Chinese Dream”.
Born 1 July 1955 in Dinguyan County, Anhui.
Current Premier of the People’s Republic of China and party secretary of the State
Economist by training; head of the Chinese government and the main figure
responsible for its economic policy.
Also serves as vice chairman of the National Security Commission and second
ranked member of the CPC Politburo Standing Committee, the de facto supreme
decision making body of the PRC.
Now one of the main figures of the “fifth generation” (Xi-Li Administration) of
Communist Party leadership.
Served as the First Vice Premier under then Premier Wen Jiabo from 2008-2013;
under this post, his official portfolio comprised economic development, price
controls, finance, climate change, and macroeconomic management.
Advanced through the party ranks through his membership in the Communist
Served as the Governor of Henan and the Party secretary of the province from
1998-2004, and later as the Liaoning party secretary, a position that made him
first-in-charge of that province.
Born 1 November 1946 in Tai’an County, Liaoning, Liaoning.
Current Chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, the Chinese equivalent of the
speaker of the lower house in other nations.
Additionally a third ranked member of the CPC Politburo Standing Committee
and deputy head of the National Security Commission.
Served as Vice Premier responsible for energy, telecommunications, and
transportation under Premier Wen Jiabo.
Advanced to importance as the party secretary of the provinces of Zhejiang and
Guangdong, where he oversaw economic expansion.
Was nominated as Bo Xilai’s successor as the party chief of Chongqing in March
Born April 1945 in Shaoxing, Zhejiang.
8th and current Chairman of the CPPCC National Committee and fourth ranked
member of the 18th CPC Politburo Standing Committee since November 2012.
Previously served as the Communist Party Chief of Hubei province and then
Has served in the Politburo since November 2002.
Graduated from Harbin’s Military Engineering Institute, where he studied the
design of automatic rockets.
Son of Yu Qiwei (better known by the name Huang Jing, a Communist politician),
and Fan Jin, a war zone reporter.
Was sent to work in Zhangjiakou, Hebei in late 1968.
His career focus was in electronic engineering until the mid-1980s.