The politics of the People’s Republic of China take place in a framework of a single-party socialist republic. The leadership of the Communist Party is stated in the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China. State power within the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is exercised through the Communist Party of China, the Central People’s Government and their provincial and local counterparts. Under the dual leadership system, each local Bureau or office is under the coequal authority of the local leader and the leader of the corresponding office, bureau or ministry at the next higher level. People’s Congress members at the county level are elected by voters.
These county level People’s Congresses have the responsibility of oversight of local government, and elect members to the Provincial (or Municipal in the case of independent municipalities) People’s Congress. The Provincial People’s Congress in turn elects members to the National People’s Congress that meets each year in March in Beijing. The ruling Communist Party committee at each level plays a large role in the selection of appropriate candidates for election to the local congress and to the higher levels. Communist Party
The more than 80 million-member Communist Party of China (CPC) continues to dominate government. In periods of relative liberalization, the influence of people and organizations outside the formal party structure has tended to increase, particularly in the economic realm. Under the command economy system, every state owned enterprise was required to have a party committee.
The introduction of the market economy means that economic institutions now exist in which the party has limited or no power. Nevertheless, in all governmental institutions in the PRC, the party committees at all levels maintain an important role. Central party control is tightest in central government offices and in urban economic, industrial, and cultural settings; it is considerably looser over government and party organizations in rural areas, where the majority of China’s people live.
The CPC’s most important responsibility comes in the selection and promotion of personnel. They also see that party and state policy guidance is followed and that non-party members do not create autonomous organizations that could challenge party rule. Particularly important are the leading small groups which coordinate activities of different agencies. Although there is a convention that government committees contain at least one non-party member, a party membership is a definite aid in promotion and in being in crucial policy setting meetings.
Constitutionally, the party’s highest body is the Party Congress, which is supposed to meet at least once every 5 years. Meetings were irregular before the Cultural Revolution but have been periodic since then. The party elects the Central Committee and the primary organs of power are formally parts of the central committee. The primary organs of power in the Communist Party include:
* The General Secretary, which is the highest-ranking official within the Party and usually the Chinese Paramount leader. * The Politburo, consisting of 22 full members (including the members of the Politburo Standing Committee). * The Politburo Standing Committee, which currently consists of nine members. * The Secretariat, the principal administrative mechanism of the CPC, headed by the General Secretary. * The Central Military Commission.
* The Central Discipline Inspection Commission, which is charged with rooting out corruption and malfeasance among party cadres. Government 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), and 29 ministers and heads of State Council commissions. 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 is also the leaders of the party, thereby creating a single centralized locus of power. At the same time, there has been a convention that party and state offices be separated at levels other than the central government, and it is unheard of for a sub-national executive to also be party secretary. Conflict has been often known to develop between the chief executive and the party secretary, and this conflict is widely seen as intentional to prevent either from becoming too dominant.
Some special cases are the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau where the Communist Party does not function at all as part of the governmental system, 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. Under the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, the NPC is the highest organ of state power in China. It meets annually for about 2 weeks to review and approve major new policy directions, laws, the budget, and major personnel changes.
Most national legislation in China is adopted by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPCSC). 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 freeways.
China’s political system here to the political structure, fundamental laws, rules, regulations and practices that are implemented in China’s mainland and regulate the state power, government, and the relationships between the state and society in the People’s Republic of China since its founding in October 1949. The Constitutional system
The Constitution is the fundamental law of the state. The existing Constitution was adopted for implementation by the 5th National People’s Congress on December 4, 1982. Amendments were made to the Constitution respectively at the 1st session of the 7th National People’s Congress on April 12, 1988, the 1st session of the 8th National People’s Congress on March 29, 1993 and the 2nd session of the 9th National People’s Congress on March 15, 1999. Major political principles in China:
1. The Communist Party of China is the country’s political party in power. The People’s Republic of China was founded by the Communist Party of China which is the leader of the Chinese people. 2. The socialist system. The socialist system led by the working class and based on the alliance of the workers and farmers is the fundamental system of the People’s Republic of China. 3. All rights belong to the people. All the power in the country belongs to the people who exercise their power through the National People’s Congress and local people’s congresses at all levels. The people manage the state, economy, culture and other social affairs through a multitude of means and forms. 4. The fundamental task and goals of the state.
To concentrate on the socialist modernization drive along the road of building socialism with Chinese characteristics; to adhere to the socialist road, persist in the reform and opening up program, improve the socialist system in all aspects, develop the market economy, expand democracy, and improve the rule of law; to be self-reliance and work hard to gradually realize the modernization of the industry, agriculture, national defense, science and technology so as to build China into a strong and democratic socialist country with a high degree of cultural development. 5. Democratic centralism.
The organizational principle for the state organs is democratic centralism. 6. The armed forces of the people. The armed forces of the People’s Republic of China belong to the people. The tasks of the armed forces are to consolidate national defense, resist invasion, defend the country, safeguard the people in their peaceful work and life, take part in the country’s economic construction and strive to serves the people. 7. To govern the country through the rule of law.
All individuals, political parties and social organizations must abide by the Constitution in all their actions and shall not be privileged to be above the Constitution or the law. All acts in violation of the Constitution and law must be investigated. The rule of law is practiced to build China into a socialist country with the rule of law. 8. The system of ethnic regional autonomy. All ethnic groups are equal. All prejudice and oppression against any ethnic group is forbidden. All behaviors harmful to ethnic unity and aimed at ethnic separation are forbidden.
The position and rights of the citizen in the political life of the country: 1. All citizens are equal before the law.2. The right to vote and stand for election. All citizens who have reached the age of 18 have the right to vote and stand for election, regardless of ethnic status, race, sex, occupation, family background, religious belief, education, property status or length of residence, except persons deprived of political rights according to law. 3. The freedom of speech and thought. All citizens enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, or assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration. 4. The freedom of religious belief. Citizens enjoy the freedom of religious belief. No state organ, public organization or individual may compel citizens to believe in, or not to believe in, any religion.
5. The right to criticize and make suggestions. Citizens have the right to criticize and make suggestions regarding any state organ or functionary. They have the right to make to relevant state organs complaints or charges against, or exposures of, any state organ or functionary for violation of the law or dereliction of duty.
6. The right to compensation. Citizens who have suffered losses as a result of infringement of their civic rights by any state organ or functionary have the right to compensation in accordance with law. 7. The right to work. Citizens have the right as well as duty to work. The state should, through various channels, create conditions for employment, enhance occupational safety and health, improve working conditions and, on the basis of expanded production, increase remuneration for work and welfare benefits. 8. The right to receive education. Citizens have the right and duty to receive education. 9. The equality of men and women. Women enjoy equal rights with men in all spheres of life, in political, economic, cultural, social and family life.
The System of the Head of StateThe President of the People’s Republic of China is the head of state for China. The President represents the People’s Republic of China.The election of the PresidentCitizens of the People’s Republic of China who have the right to vote and to stand for election and who have reached the age of 45 are eligible for election as President. The President of the People’s Republic of China is elected by the National People’s Congress. Normally one candidate to the Presidency is nominated by the Presidium of the National People’s Congress for election. The National People’s Congress has the power to remove the President. The President serves for a term of five years and can serve nomore than two consecutive terms.
The Election SystemThe election system refers to the way citizens choose public servants of the state. The election system of the People’s Republic of China here refers to the election of deputies to the people’s congresses at various levels. The election of deputies to the people’s congresses includes general local election and the election of deputies from the armed forces, in the special administrative regions and among Taiwan compatriots. The general election is applicable to the choice of local deputies and deputies in ethnic self-government areas.