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.