China’s Po­lit­i­cal Sys­tem and State In­sti­tu­tions


China’s po­lit­i­cal sys­tem

China is a so­cial­ist coun­try un­der the lead­er­ship of the Com­mu­nist Party of China (CPC). China’s po­lit­i­cal sys­tem in­volves multi-party co­op­er­a­tion and po­lit­i­cal con­sul­ta­tion un­der the lead­er­ship of the CPC; it is de­scribed as a so­cial­ist sys­tem with Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics.

China has eight non-com­mu­nist par­ties, such as the Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Com­mit­tee of the Chi­nese Kuom­intang, the China Demo­cratic League, the China As­so­ci­a­tion for Pro­mot­ing Democ­racy, and the Jiu­san So­ci­ety. To­gether, these par­ties sup­port the lead­er­ship of the CPC.

The Chi­nese Peo­ple’s Po­lit­i­cal Con­sul­ta­tive Con­fer­ence (CPPCC) is a pa­tri­otic united front or­ga­ni­za­tion for the Chi­nese peo­ple and an im­por­tant in­sti­tu­tion for multi-party co­op­er­a­tion and po­lit­i­cal con­sul­ta­tion un­der the lead­er­ship of the CPC. CPPCC con­sists of rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the CPC, non-com­mu­nist par­ties, democrats with­out party af­fil­i­a­tion, mass or­ga­ni­za­tions, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of all eth­nic groups and trades, rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Tai­wan, Hong Kong, Ma­cao and re­turned over­seas Chi­nese and in­vi­tees. The ma­jor func­tions of the CPPCC are po­lit­i­cal con­sul­ta­tion and demo­cratic su­per­vi­sion. The CPPCC or­ga­nizes the par­tic­i­pat­ing par­ties, or­ga­ni­za­tions and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of all eth­nic groups and trades to take part in the govern­ment man­age­ment and dis­cuss po­lit­i­cal af­fairs.

China’s state struc­ture

China’s state in­sti­tu­tions in­clude the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress (NPC), the Pres­i­dent of the Peo­ple’s Re­pub­lic of China, the State Coun­cil, the Cen­tral Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sion, lo­cal peo­ple’s con­gresses and lo­cal peo­ple’s gov­ern­ments, au­tonomous in­sti­tu­tions of lo­cal eth­nic au­tonomous districts, peo­ple’s courts and peo­ple’s procu­ra­torates.

The NPC is the supreme leg­isla­tive body and the body of supreme po­lit­i­cal power. It is made up of rep­re­sen­ta­tives elected in prov­inces, au­tonomous re­gions, mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties di­rectly un­der the Cen­tral Govern­ment, spe­cial ad­min­is­tra­tive re­gions and from the armed forces. Its stand­ing or­gan is the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee of the NPC. It is re­spon­si­ble for re­vis­ing the Con­sti­tu­tion of the Peo­ple’s Re­pub­lic of China, su­per­vis­ing the en­force­ment of the con­sti­tu­tion, mak­ing and re­vis­ing crim­i­nal laws, civil laws and other ba­sic laws, and elect­ing state lead­ers. The pres­i­dent and vice pres­i­dent of the Peo­ple’s Re­pub­lic of China are elected by the NPC. All cit­i­zens of the Peo­ple’s Re­pub­lic of China who have the right to vote and to stand for elec­tion can be elected pres­i­dent and vice pres­i­dent of the Peo­ple’s Re­pub­lic of China.

The State Coun­cil is the ex­ec­u­tive body of the supreme power or­gan and the supreme ad­min­is­tra­tive or­gan. It rep­re­sents the state and the govern­ment. The Cen­tral Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sion of the Peo­ple’s Re­pub­lic of China leads the na­tion’s armed forces. The peo­ple’s courts are the ju­di­cial au­thor­i­ties, and the peo­ple’s procu­ra­torates are the le­gal su­per­vi­sory or­gans.

Lo­cal gov­ern­ments in China re­fer to prov­ince, city or county, and town­ship-level gov­ern­ments. Lo­cal peo­ple’s gov­ern­ments are the ad­min­is­tra­tive or­gans at var­i­ous lev­els. Re­gional eth­nic au­ton­omy is adopted in re­gions where eth­nic mi­nori­ties are densely pop­u­lated. Eth­nic au­ton­omy is es­tab­lished at four lev­els: au­tonomous re­gions, au­tonomous pre­fec­tures, au­tonomous coun­ties and au­tonomous town­ships. For in­stance, Xin­jiang is called the Xin­jiang Uygur Au­tonomous Re­gion and Ti­bet is called the Ti­bet Au­tonomous Re­gion.

China has 23 prov­inces, four mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, five au­tonomous re­gions and the two spe­cial ad­min­is­tra­tive re­gions of Hong Kong and Ma­cao. The heads of lo­cal gov­ern­ments at var­i­ous lev­els are called gov­er­nors, may­ors, heads of county and heads of town­ship. The heads of au­tonomous re­gions are called chair­per­sons. Chair­per­sons of au­tonomous re­gions, heads of au­tonomous pre­fec­tures and heads of au­tonomous coun­ties must be cit­i­zens from those par­tic­u­lar eth­nic groups.

An edited ex­cerpt from

When in China: A Guide to Chi­nese Busi­ness Cul­ture

pub­lished by Sino­lin­gua Co. Ltd.

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