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The Constitutional System
The Constitution is the fundamental law of the state.
The existing Constitution was adopted for implementation by the 5th Session of 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.
I. Major stipulations in the Constitution in regard to China’s political system
1. Major political principles in China
(1) The Communist Party of China is the country’s sole 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.
2. 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) Inviolable freedom of the person
No citizen may be arrested except with the approval or by decision of a people’s procuratorate or by decision of a people’s court, and arrests must be made by a public security organ.
Unlawful detention or deprivation or restriction of citizens’ freedom of the person by other means is prohibited, and unlawful search of the person of citizens is prohibited.
The personal dignity of citizens is inviolable, so are their residences.
(6) Freedom of correspondence
The freedom and privacy of correspondence of citizens are protected by law.
No organization or individual may, on any ground, infringe upon citizens’ freedom and privacy of correspondence, except in cases where, to meet the needs of state security or of criminal investigation, public security or procuratorial organs are permitted to censor correspondence in accordance with procedures prescribed by law.
(7) 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.
(8) 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.
(9) 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.
(10) The right to welfare
Citizens have the right to material assistance from the state and society when they are old, ill or disabled.
The state and society ensure the livelihood of disabled members of the armed forces, provide pensions to the families of martyrs and give preferential treatment to the families of military personnel.
The state and society help make arrangements for the work, livelihood and education of the blind, deaf-mutes and other handicapped citizens.
(11) The right to receive education
Citizens have the right and duty to receive education.
(12) The freedom to engage in academic studies and literary creation
Citizens have the freedom to engage in scientific research, literary and artistic creation and other cultural pursuits.
(13) 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.
(14) Both husband and wife have the duty to practice family planning.
(15) Citizens have the obligation to pay taxes in accordance with the law.
(16) Citizens have the obligation to perform military service and join the militia in accordance with the law.
II. The interpretation and revision of the Constitution and the system of supervision of its implementation
1. The right of interpretation of the Constitution
The right to interpret the Constitution rests with the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.
2. The amendment of the Constitution
The National People’s Congress holds the right to make amendments to the Constitution.
The revision of the Constitution shall be proposed by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress or more than one-fifth of the delegates to the National People’s Congress and it must be approved by a two-thirds majority of a session of the National People’s Congress.
3. The system of supervision
The National People’s Congress has the duty to supervise the enforcement of the Constitution.
The National People’s Congress has the right to change or withdraw interpretations to the Constitution by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress
II. The System of People's Congress
The nature and position of the system of people’s congress
The system of people’s congress is an organizational form for the state power in China. It is China’s fundamental political system.
The power in the People’s Republic of China belongs to the people and the organ for the people to exercise state power is the National People’s Congress and local people’s congresses at all levels.
The National People’s Congress (NPC) and local people’s congresses are established through democratic elections, responsible to and supervised by the people.
State administrative, judicial and procuratorial organs are created by, responsible to and supervised by the people’s congresses.
The National People’s Congress is the highest organ of state power. Local people’s congresses are local organs of state power.
II. The National People’s Congress
1. The composition and term of office of the NPC
The NPC is composed of deputies elected from the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government and deputies elected by the armed forces.
Deputies to the NPC are organized into delegations according to the units they are elected from. Each delegation is headed y a chairman and vice chairmen.
All the ethnic minorities are entitled to appropriate representation.
The NPC is elected for a term of five years.
The Standing Committee of the NPC must ensure the completion of election of deputies to the succeeding NPC two months prior to the expiration of the term of office of the current NPC. Should extraordinary circumstances prevent such an election, it may be postponed and the term of office of the current NPC extended by the decision of a vote of more than two-thirds of all those on the Standing Committee of the current NPC. The election of deputies to the succeeding NPC must be completed within one year after the termination of such extraordinary circumstances.
The NPC meets in session once a year and is convened by its Standing Committee.
A session of the NPC may be convened at any time the Standing Committee deems it necessary or when more than one-fifth of the deputies to the NPC so propose.
2. The functions and powers of the NPC
The NPC exercises the following functions and powers:
(1) to amend the Constitution;
The amendment of the Constitution shall be proposed by the Standing Committee of the NPC or more than one-fifth of the deputies to the NPC and can only be adopted by a majority of no less than two-thirds of the deputies to the NPC.
(2) to supervise the enforcement of the Constitution;
(3) to enact and amend basic laws governing criminal offences, civil affairs, the state organs and other matters;
(4) to elect the President and the Vice President of the People’s Republic of China;
(5) to decided on the choice of the Premier of the State Council upon nomination by the President, and on the choice of the Vice Premiers, State Councilors, Ministers in charge of ministries or commissions, the Auditor-General and the Secretary-general of the State Council upon nomination by the Premier;
(6) to elect the Chairman of the Central Military commission and, upon nomination by the Chairman, to decide on the choice of all other members of the Central Military Commission;
(7) to elect the President of the Supreme People’s Court;
(8) to elect the Procurator-General of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate;
(9) to examine and approve the plan for national economic and social development and the report on its implementation;
(10) to examine and approve the state budget and the report on its implementation;
(11) to alter or annul inappropriate decisions of the Standing Committee of the NPC;
(12) to approve the establishment of provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government;
(13) to decide on the establishment of special administrative regions and the systems to be instituted there;
(14) to decide on questions of war and peace; and
(15) to exercise such other functions and powers as the highest organ of state power should exercise.
(16) The NPC has the right to remove the following functionaries:
1) The Chairman and Vice Chairman of the People’s Republic of China;
2) The Premier of the State Council, the Vice Premiers, State Councilors, Ministers in charge of the ministries or commissions, the Auditor-General and the Secretary-general of the State Council;
3) The Chairman, Vice Chairman and other members of the Central Military Commission;
4) The President of the Supreme People’s Court; and
5) The Procurator-General of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate.
III. The Standing Committee of the NPC
The Standing Committee of the NPC is the permanent organ of the NPC. When the NPC is not in session, the Standing Committee performs the right of the highest organ of state power. It is responsible to and reports to the NPC.
1. The composition and term of office of the Standing Committee of the NPC
The Standing Committee of the NPC is composed of the Chairman, Vice Chairmen, Secretary-general and members.
Ethnic minorities are entitled to appropriate representation on the Standing Committee.
The NPC elects and has the power to recall members of the Standing Committee.
Those on the Standing Committee shall not serve in state administrative, judicial and procuratorial organs.
The term of office of the Standing Committee corresponds with that of the NPC and it shall exercise its power until a succeeding Standing Committee is elected by the succeeding NPC.
The Chairman and Vice Chairmen of the NPC shall not serve more than two consecutive terms.
2. The functions and powers of the Standing Committee
The Standing Committee of NPC exercises the following functions and powers:
(1) to interpret the Constitution and supervise its enforcement;
(2) to enact and amend laws, with the exception of those which should be enacted by the NPC;
(3) to partially supplement and amend, when the NPC is not in session, laws enacted by the NPC provided that the basic principles of these laws are not contravened;
(4) to interpret laws;
(5) to review and approve, when the NPC is not in session, partial adjustments to the plan for national economic and social development or to the state budget that prove necessary in the course of their implementation;
(6) to supervise the work of the State Council, the Central Military Commission, the Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate;
(7) to annul those administrative rules and regulations, decisions or orders of the State Council that contravene the Constitution or the law;
(8) to annul those local regulations or decisions of the organs of state power of provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government that contravene the Constitution, the law or the administrative rules and regulations;
(9) to decide, when the NPC is not in session, on the choice of Ministers in charge of ministries or commissions, the Auditor-General or the Secretary-general of the State Council upon nomination by the Premier of the State Council;
(10) to decide, upon nomination by the Chairman of the Central Military Commission, on the choice of other members of the Commission, when the NPC is not in session;
(11) to appoint or remove, at the recommendation of the President of the Supreme People’s Court, the Vice Presidents and Judges of the Supreme People’s Court, members of its Judicial Committee and the President of the Military Court;
(12) to appoint or remove, at the recommendation of the Procurator-General of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, the Deputy Procurators-General and the procurators of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, members of its Procuratorial Committee and the Chief Procurator of the military procuratorate, and to approve the appointment or removal of the chief procurators of the people’s procuratorates of provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government;
(13) to decide on the appointment or recall of plenipotentiary representatives abroad;
(14) to decide on the ratification or abrogation of treaties and important agreements concluded with foreign states;
(15) to institute systems of titles and ranks for military and diplomatic personnel and of other specific titles and ranks;
(16) to institute state medals and titles or honor and decide on their conferment;
(17) to decide on the granting of special pardons;
(18) to decide, when the NPC is not in session, on the proclamation of a state of war in the event of an armed attack on the country or in fulfillment of international treaty obligations concerning common defense against aggression;
(19) to decide on general mobilization or partial mobilization;
(20) to decide on the imposition of martial law throughout the country or in particular provinces, autonomous regions, or municipalities directly under the Central Government; and
(21) to exercise such other functions and powers as the NPC may assign to it.
3. Organs of the Standing Committee
The Chairman of the Standing Committee of the NPC directs the work of the Standing Committee and convenes its meetings. The Vice Chairmen and the Secretary-general assist the Chairman in his work.
The Chairman, Vice Chairmen and Secretary-general constitute the Council of Chairmen which handles the important day-to-day work of the Standing Committee of the NPC.
The Standing Committee of the NPC establishes a deputy credentials examination committee to examine the credentials of the deputies to the current NPC through by-elections and those newly elected to the succeeding NPC.
The credentials examination committee is composed of the chairman, vice chairman and members, nominated from among the members of the Standing Committee by the Council of Chairmen and agreed upon by the plenary session of the Standing Committee.
The NPC establishes special committees to examine, discuss and draw up relevant bills and draft solutions under the direction of the NPC and its Standing Committee.
When the NPC is not in session, its special committees work under the direction of the Standing Committee of the NPC.
The 9th NPC has established nine special committees, namely the ethnic groups committee, the law committee, the finance and economic committee, the education, science, culture and health committee, the foreign affairs committee, the overseas Chinese committee, the civil and judicial affairs committee, the environment and resources protection committee and the agriculture and rural areas committee.
Normally, the special committees are chaired by Vice Chairmen or members of the Standing Committee of the NPC.
The NPC and its Standing Committee may, when they deem it necessary, appoint committees of inquiry into specific questions and adopt relevant resolutions in the light of their reports.
IV. Local people’s congresses and their standing committees
People’s congresses are established in provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the Central Government, autonomous prefectures, counties, autonomous counties, cities, municipal districts, townships, ethnic townships and towns. Standing committees are established at people’s congresses at and above the county level.
1. The term of office of local people’s congresses
The term of office of people’s congresses of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government and cities divided into districts is five years.
The term of office of the people’s congresses of counties, autonomous counties, cities not divided into districts, municipal districts, townships, ethnic townships, and towns is three years.
2. The functions and powers of local people’s congresses
Local people’s congresses at various levels ensure the observance and implementation of the Constitution and the law and the administrative rules and regulations in their respective administrative areas. Within the limits of their authority as prescribed by law, they adopt and issue resolutions and examine and decide on plans for local economic and cultural development and for the development of public services.
Local people’s congresses at and above the county level shall examine and approve the plans for economic and social development and the budgets of their respective administrative areas and examine and approve the reports on their implementation. They have the power to alter or annul inappropriate decisions of their own standing committees.
The people’s congresses of provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the Central Government, of cities which are capitals of the provinces or autonomous regions as well as large cities approved by the State Council have the right to adopt local regulations in the light of their regional political, economic and cultural characteristics.
Local people’s congresses at their respective levels elect and have the power to recall governors and deputy governors, or mayors and deputy mayors, or heads and deputy heads of counties, districts, townships and towns.
Local people’s congresses at and above the county level elect and have the power to recall presidents of people’s courts and chief procurators of people’s procuratorates at the corresponding level.
The election or recall of chief procurators of people’s procuratorates shall be reported to the chief procurators of the people’s procucratorates at the next higher level for submission to the standing committees of the people’s congresses at the corresponding level for approval.
3. The composition, functions and powers of the standing committees of local people’s congresses
The standing committee of a local people’s congress at and above the county level is composed of a chairman, vice chairmen and members, and is responsible and reports on its work to the people’s congress at the corresponding level.
A local people’s congress at or above the county level elects and has the power to recall members of its standing committee.
No one on the standing committee of a local people’s congress at or above the county level shall hold office in state administrative, judicial and procuratorial organs.
The standing committee of a local people’s congress at or above the county level discusses and decides on major issues in all fields of work in its administrative areas; supervises the work of the people’s government, people’s court and people’s procuratorate at the corresponding level; annuls inappropriate decisions and orders of the people’s government at the corresponding level; annuls inappropriate resolutions of the people’s congress at the next lower level; decides on the appointment or removal of functionaries of state organs within the limits of its authority as prescribed by law; and, when the people’s congress at the corresponding level is not in session, recalls individual deputies to the people’s congress at the next higher level and elects individual deputies to fill vacancies in that people’s congress.
The standing committees of people’s congresses of the provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the Central Government, cities which are capitals of provinces or autonomous regions as well as large cities approved by the State Council have the power to adopt local regulations in the light of the local regional political, economic and cultural characteristics, when the people’s congresses at the corresponding level are not in session.
V. People’s congresses of townships, ethnic townships and towns
The term of office of people’s congresses of townships, ethnic townships and towns is three years. Such a people’s congress establishes a presidium headed by the chairman and vice chairmen. The presidium is responsible for convening the meetings of the people’s congress.
The functions and powers of the people’s congresses of townships, ethnic townships and towns mainly include the following:
1. The power to examine and decide on major issues
To decide on the plans for the construction of local economy, cultural undertakings and public understandings, in accordance with national plans; to examine and approve local financial budgets and report on the implementation of the budgets; and to decide on the implementation plans for civil work in their own regions.
2. The power to elect, appoint and remove local functionaries
To elect or recall the heads and deputy heads of the townships, ethnic townships and towns.
Candidates for the heads and deputy heads of the townships, ethnic townships and towns are to be nominated by the presidiums of the people’s congresses or no less than ten deputies.
The presidiums or more than one-fifth of the deputies to the people’s congresses of the townships, ethnic townships and towns may propose the removal of the above-mentioned functionaries when the people’s congresses are in session. The proposal of removal are submitted to the congresses by the presidiums.
All elections are by secret ballot.
3. The power of supervision
To examine the work report of the governments of the townships, ethnic townships and towns, annul their inappropriate decisions and decrees, and recall or remove functionaries making up the governments of the townships, ethnic townships and towns.
VI. Deputies to the people’s congresses
1. The election of deputies
Deputies to the NPC are elected by the people’s congresses of the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government and by the armed forces.
Deputies to the people’s congresses of the provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the Central Government and cities divided into districts are elected by the people’s congresses at the next lower level.
Deputies to the people’s congresses of counties, cities not divided into districts, municipal districts, townships, ethnic townships and towns are elected directly by the electorates.
2. The rights of the deputies
(1) During the session
1) Right to draft proposals for bills;
2) Right to raise suggestions, criticisms and put forward opinions;
3) Right to vote in election and decide on appointment;
4) Right to examine issues;
5) Right to propose the recall of functionaries;
6) Right to raise bills for questioning and conduct hearings;
7) Right to draft suggestions;
8) Right to vote; and
9) Right to impunity.
(2) Not in session
1) Right to maintain contact with original voting units;
2) Right to inspect;
3) Right to propose provisional sessions;
4) Right to audit other meetings;
5) Right to participate in committees for investigating specified issues;
6) Right to sit in meetings of the people’s congress and its standing committee of the original unit the deputy is elected from;
7) Right of special protection of the person; and
8) Right to privileges for deputies
III. The Party in Power
The Communist Party is the sole party in power in China.
Founded in 1921, the Communist Party of China (CPC) established the People’s Republic of China in 1949 through years of armed struggle.
The CPC now has more than 60 million members in more than 3 million grassroots organizations.
The CPC has established formal (through elections within the Party) and informal (appointed by the organization of the higher level) organizations within the Chinese government and various levels and walks of life in the country.
I. The nature of the CPC
The CPC is the vanguard of the Chinese working class, the faithful representative of the interests of the Chinese people of all ethnic groups and the core of leadership over the socialist cause of China.
CPC’s maximum program of long objective is to realize the Communist social system and the minimum program at present is to build socialism with Chinese characteristics.
The CPC takes Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory as the guidance of its actions.
The CPC’s basic line for the primary stage of socialism is to unite with and lead the people of all ethnic groups in the endeavor to build China into a prosperous, strong, democratic and highly civilized modern socialist state by taking economic development as the central task, adhering to the Four Cardinal Principles (adherence to the socialist road, the people’s democratic dictatorship, the leadership of the Communist Party, and Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought), persisting in reform and opening up, developing the spirit of self-reliance and pioneering enterprises with painstaking efforts.
II. Four basic demands for the building of the Party
First, uphold the Party’s basic line;
Second, adhere to the principle of emancipating he mind and seeking truth from facts;
Third, persist in serving the people wholeheartedly; and
Fourth, uphold democratic centralism.
III. The political and organizational principle of democratic centralism
1. The basic principle of democratic centralism
(1) The individual Party member is subordinate to a Party organization, the minority is subordinate to the majority, the lower level organization is subordinate to the higher level, each organization and all members of the whole Party are subordinate to the Party’s National Congress and the Central Committee.
(2) Leading bodies at various levels of the Party, except for their agencies and for leading Party groups in non-Party organizations, shall all be elected.
(3) The Party’s supreme leading organ is the National Party Congress and the Central Committee it elects. The Party’s leading bodies at all levels in the localities are the Party congresses at these levels and the committees they elect. Party committees at all levels are accountable and report work to the congresses at their respective levels.
(4) Party organizations at a higher level shall frequently listen to the opinions of lower organizations and Party members in general and solve their problems without delay. Lower Party organizations shall ask for instructions from and report on their work to higher organizations, and also be responsible for solving problems independently within the scope of their official duties. Lower and higher organizations shall keep each other informed, and support and supervise each other. Party organizations at all levels shall help Party members to have a better understanding of and more participation in inner-Party affairs.
(5) Party committees at all levels carry out a system that combines collective leadership with divisions of work and personal responsibility. Major issues shall be discussed and decided collectively by the Party committee; and committee members shall earnestly perform their duties in accordance with the collective decisions and divisions of work.
(6) The Party prohibits personality cult in any form. There must be a guarantee for the activities of Party leaders to be placed under the supervision of the Party and people, while at the same time safeguarding the prestige of all leaders representing the interests of the Party and people.
2. Organizational principles
(1) The election of delegates to Party congresses at all levels and of committees is by secret ballot.
No organization or individual shall use any method to force voters to elect or not to elect a certain person.
If anything in violation of the Party Constitution occurs during the election of local Party congresses at various levels and grassroots congresses, a Party committee at the next higher level, after investigation and verification, shall make a decision invalidating the election and adopting appropriate measures; the decision then shall be reported to the Party committee at a still higher level for examination and approval, and its implementation formally declared.
(2) The party Central Committee and local committees at various levels, when necessary, call a representative conference to discuss and decide on major issues needing timely solutions. The number of delegates to a representative conference and the method of election of delegates to a representative conference and the method of electing them shall be decided by the committee which convenes the conference.
(3) Establishment of a new Party organization or dissolution of an existing one must be decided by a Party organization at the next higher level.
(4) The Party Central Committee and local committees at various levels may set up agencies.
(5) When the Party congresses at various levels and grassroots congresses are not in session, the Party organization at the next higher level, when it deems necessary, may transfer or assign responsible members to the leading Party group at a lower level.
(6) When Party leading bodies at various levels make decisions on important issues related to lower organizations, under normal conditions they shall solicit the opinions of the latter. They shall ensure that lower organizations can normally exercise their function and powers. Unless under special conditions, the leading bodies at a higher level shall not interfere in matters which should be handled by lower organizations.
(7) Only the Party Central Committee has the right to decide on major issues of national policy; Party organizations of various departments and localities may put forward their suggestions to the Central Committee, but must not make decisions without authorization or publish their own proposals in public.
(8) Lower Party organizations must firmly carry out the decisions of higher organizations.
Lower organizations may request a change in the decision of the higher organization if they think it does not conform to conditions in their locality or department; if the higher organization insists on its original decision, the lower organizations must carry it out and shall not openly publicize differing opinions, but they have the right to report the matter to the organizations at a still higher level.
(9) The newspapers, magazines and other mass media of Party organizations at various levels must publicize the Party’s line, principles, policies and resolutions.
(10) In discussing and deciding issues, a Party organization must apply the principle of subordinating the minority to the majority. Decisions on important issues shall be put to the vote. Serious consideration shall be given to the different opinions of a few people. If a dispute over an important issue arises and the number of people on both sides is approximately the same, except when in an emergency the opinions of the majority must be carried out, finalizing a decision shall be deferred. Under special circumstances, a report of the case under dispute may be referred to the organization at the next higher level for a ruling.
(11) If an important proposal published by an individual Party member on behalf of a Party organization exceeds the scope of the original decision, the matter shall be submitted to the Party organization for discussion and decision, or instructions shall be sought from the Party organization at the next higher level. No Party member, whether of high or low position, can individually decide on a major issue; if, in an emergency, a decision must be made by an individual, the matter must be promptly reported to the Party organization afterwards.
IV. Organizations of the Party
1. Central organizations of the Party
(1) The National Party Congress and the Central Committee
The central leading organ of the Party is the National Party Congress and the Central Committee it elects. The Central Committee is accountable to and reports its work to the National Congress.
The National Party Congress, held once every five years, is convened by the Central Committee. If the Central Committee deems it necessary, or over one-third of the provincial-level organizations express a demand, the congress may be held ahead of schedule; and if there is no special situation, its convening shall not be postponed.
The number of delegates to the National Party Congress and the method of election are decided by the Central Committee.
The Central Committee is elected for a term of five years. If the National Congress is held ahead of schedule or deferred, its term of office shall be changed accordingly.
The functions and powers of the National Party Congress are:
1) To hear and examine the report of the Central Committee;
2) To hear and examine the report of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection;
3) To discuss and decide on major issues of the Party;
4) To revise the Party Constitution;
5) To elect the Central Committee; and
6) To elect the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.
When the National Congress is not in session, the Central Committee implements the resolutions of the National Congress, leads all the work of the Party, and represents the CPC outside the Party.
Members and alternate members of the Central Committee must have a Party standing of at least five years.
The number of members and alternate members of the Central Committee is decided by the National Congress. If posts of members of the Central Committee fall vacant, the vacancies shall be filled in proper order by alternate members in accordance with the number of votes they gain.
A plenary session of the Central Committee is held at least once a year by the Political Bureau of the Central Committee.
(2) The Political Bureau, its Standing Committee, the General Secretary, the Central Military Commission and the Secretariat
The leading organs of the Central Committee are the Political Bureau, its Standing Committee and general secretary of the Central Committee.
The Political Bureau of the Party Central Committee, the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau and the general secretary of the Central Committee are elected by the plenary session of the Central Committee.
The general secretary of the Central Committee must be elected from among members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee.
When the plenum of the Central Committee is not in session, the Political Bureau of the Central Committee and its Standing Committee exercise the functions and powers of the Central Committee.
The general secretary of the Central Committee is responsible for calling sessions of both the Political Bureau of the Central Committee and its Standing Committee, and is in charge of the work of the Secretariat of the Central Committee.
The central military leading organ of the Party is the Central Military Commission.
Members of the Central Military Commission of the Party are decided on by the Central Committee.
The Secretariat of the Central Committee is the administrative body of the Political Bureau and its Standing Committee. Its members are nominated by the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee and approved by the plenary session of the Central Committee.
Leading bodies and leaders of the Central Committee elected by each Central Committee shall continue to take charge of the day-to-day work of the Party while the next National Congress is in session, until a new central leading body and central leaders are elected by the next Central Committee.
2. Local organizations of the Party
Party congresses of various provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the central government, cities with districts and autonomous prefectures are held once every five years.
Local Party congresses at various levels are called by Party committees at the same level. Under special conditions, they may be held ahead of time or postponed with approval from the committee at the next higher level.
The number of delegates of local Party congresses at various levels and the method of election are decided by the Party committees at the same level and reported to the Party committee at the next higher level for approval.
The functions and powers of local Party congresses at various levels are:
1) To hear and examine the report of the committee at the same level;
2) To hear and examine the report of the discipline inspection commission at the same level;
3) To discuss major issues within the scope of the region and pass resolutions; and
4) To elect Party committees and party discipline inspection commissions at the same level.
When congresses are not in session, local Party committees at various levels carry out directions of the Party organizations at the next higher level and the resolutions of Party congresses at the same level, lead the work of the locality, and report work regularly to the higher Party committee.
Party committees of various provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities under the Central Government, cities divided into districts and autonomous prefectures are elected for a term of five years. Members and alternate members of these committees must have a Party standing of at least five years.
Party committees of counties (banners), autonomous counties, cities without districts and districts under the jurisdiction of a city are elected for a term of five years. Members and alternate members of these committees must have a Party standing of at least three years.
If local Party congresses at various levels are held ahead of time or postponed, the term of office of the committees they elect shall be changed accordingly.
The number of members and alternate members of the local Party committees at various levels shall be decided respectively by the committee at the next higher level. Vacancies of the posts for members of local Party committees at various levels shall be filled in proper order by alternate members in accordance with the number of votes gained.
Plenary sessions of local Party committees at various levels shall be held at least twice a year.
The plenary sessions of local Party committees at various levels elect their standing committees, secretaries and deputy secretaries, and report the results to the Party committee at the next higher level for approval.
The standing committees of local Party committees at various levels exercise the functions and powers of the committees when the plenums of the committees are not in session.
They continue to be in charge of the day-to-day work while the next congress is in session, until the new standing committees are elected.
Regional Party committees and organizations equivalent to regional committees are Party agencies of provinces and autonomous regions within the scope of several counties, autonomous counties and cities. Authorized by provincial and autonomous regional committees, they lead the work of the areas concerned.
3. Grassroots organizations of the Party
A grassroots Party organization shall be set up in enterprises, rural areas, organizations, schools, scientific research institutes, neighborhoods, People’s Liberation Army companies and other basic units on the mainland in which there are three or more full Party members.
The grassroots Party organizations are combat bastions of the Party among grassroots social organizations and the foundation of all the Party’s work and combat effectiveness.
Grassroots Party organizations respectively set up grassroots Party committees, general Party branch committees and Party branch committees in accordance with the requirements of the work and the number of Party members, after approval by the next higher level Party organization. Grassroots Party committees are elected by meetings or congresses of Party members. General Party branch committees and Party branch committees are elected by meetings of Party members.
The grassroots Party committees are elected for a term of three or four years. The general Party branch committees and the Party branch committees are elected for a term of two or three years.
The names of the secretaries and deputy secretaries elected by grassroots Party committees, general branch committees and branch committees shall be submitted to the Party organization at the next higher level for approval.
4. Leading Party groups
A leading Party group can be established in the leading bodies of central and local state organs, people’s organizations, economic and cultural organizations and other non-Party organizations.
The tasks for the leading Party groups are to take as their main responsibility the realization of the Party’s line, principles and policies; discuss and decide on major issues of their own department; unite with non-Party officials and masses in fulfilling the tasks assigned by the Party and the state; and direct the work of the Party organizations of the organs and the work units directly under them.
Members of a leading Party group are appointed by the Party committee that approves the establishment of the leading Party group. The leading Party group consists of a secretary and deputy secretaries.
The leading Party group must follow the leadership of the Party committee which approves its establishment.
5. Discipline inspection organizations of the Party
Discipline inspection organizations of the Party consist of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, local Party commissions for discipline inspection at various levels and the grassroots Party commissions for discipline inspection.
The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection works under the leadership of the Party Central Committee.
The local Party commissions for discipline inspection at various levels and the grassroots Party commissions for discipline inspection work under the dual leadership of the Party committee at the same level and Party commission for discipline inspection at the next higher level.
The term of each Party commission for discipline inspection is the same as that of the Party committee at the same level.
The plenary session of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection elects its standing committee, secretary and deputy secretaries and reports this to the Party Central Committee for approval.
The plenary sessions of local Party commissions for discipline inspection at various levels elect the standing committee and secretary and deputy secretaries, and the results are passed by the Party committee at the same level and reported to the Party committee at the next higher level for approval.
Whether a discipline inspection commission or discipline inspection members for a grassroots Party committee shall be established or put into position is to be decided by a Party organization at the next higher level in light of specific conditions.
A general Party branch committee and a Party branch committee shall include discipline inspection members.
The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection may, if needed, accredit a discipline inspection group or discipline inspectors to central Party and state organs.
Leaders of the discipline inspection group or discipline inspectors may attend, as non-voting members, related conferences organized by Party leaders of the organ concerned.
Their work must be supported by the Party leaders and organizations of the organ concerned.
V. Party members
Members of the CPC are vanguard fighters of the Chinese working class with communist consciousness.
Chinese workers, farmers, soldiers, intellectuals and other revolutionaries at 18 full years of age, who accept the Party Program and Party Constitution, are willing to participate in one Party organization and actively work in it, carry out Party resolutions and pay regular Party dues, may apply for membership in the CPC.
Party members must be admitted through a Party branch according to the principles of admitting members individually only, without exception.
Under special circumstances, the Party Central Committee, and provincial, autonomous regional and municipal Party committees can directly accept Party members.
An applicant must fill in the form for Party membership and have two full Party members as sponsors. The applicant can become a full Party member only when his or her application has been passed by the Party branch meeting and approved by the Party organization at the next higher level, and only after assessment over a probationary period.
Each Party member, regardless of whether his or her post is high or low, must be entered into a Party branch, group or other specific organization, and must participate in the Party’s regular organizational activities.
Leading Party officials must also participate in democratic meetings of Party committees or leading Party groups.
Party members are free to withdraw from the Party. When a Party member asks to withdraw from the Party, following discussion at a general meeting of the Party branch concerned, his or her name must be declared struck from the rolls, and the matter reported to the next higher level Party organization for the record.
When a Party member neglects to perform the duties of a Party member and fails to meet the requirements for a Party member, the Party branch shall educate him or her and require that he or she correct his or her shortcomings within a time limit; if after education he or she still shows no change, the Party branch shall persuade him or her to withdraw from the Party. The matter of persuading a Party member to withdraw shall be discussed and decided by a general meeting of the Party branch concerned and reported to the Party organization at the next higher level for approval. If the Party member persists in refusing to withdraw from the Party after being advised, the matter shall be referred to the Party branch for discussion at a general meeting, a decision taken to have his or her name struck from the rolls, and a report made to the Party organization at the next higher level for approval.
When a Party member has a difference of opinion concerning a Party resolution or policy, he or she may declare reservations on the premise of resolute implementation, and may forward his or her opinion to a higher organization up to the Central Committee.
VI. CPC’s leadership of the country
CPC’s leadership over the country is mainly political, ideological and organizational, as reflected mainly in the following aspects:
First, organize and exercise leadership over the country’s legislative and law enforcement activities.
Second, maintain leadership over the armed forces.
Third, provide leadership and manage the work of officials.
Fourth, organize and mobilize the society, and
Fifth, give importance to ideological and political work
IV. The System of Multi-Party Cooperation an Political Consultation
The essence of the multi-party cooperation and political consultation
The multi-party cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the Communist Party of China is a basic political system in China.
The system means that the CPC is the only party in power in the People's Republic of China while under the precondition of accepting the leadership of the CPC, the eight other political parties participate in the discussion and management of state affairs, in cooperation with the CPC.
Political consultation means that under the leadership of the CPC, all parties, mass organizations and representatives from all walks of life take part in consultations of the country's basic policies and important issues in political, economic, cultural and social affairs before a decision is adopted and in the discussion of major issues in the implementation of the decisions.
Political consultation takes the organizational form of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.
Political consultation is the most important political and organization form of the multi-party and political consultation system.
Cooperative relations between the CPC and other political parties are based on the principle of "long-term coexistence and mutual supervision, treating each other with full sincerity and sharing weal or woe."

II. Political parties participating in the discussion and management of state affairs
This refers to the eight political parties other than the CPC.
These parties are those established before the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, which were then dedicated to the realization of a bourgeois republic in China and supported the CPC in the latter's effort of overthrowing the rule of the Kuomintang. They are independent in organization and enjoy political freedom, organizational independence and legal equality under the Constitution.
1. China Revolutionary Committee of the Kuomintang
Officially founded on January 1, 1948, its main constituents at the time were former Kuomintang members for democracy and other patriotic personages. Their political stand was to overthrow the dictatorial rule of the Kuomintang and realize independence, democracy and peace in China.
Its Constitution revised in November 1988 stipulates that its political program at the present stage is to lead all party members, unite patriots living in China and residing abroad in favor of the unification of the motherland to strive for the unification and rejuvenation of China, under the guidance of the basic line for the primary stage of socialism.
Its members come from mainly four areas: those with relations with the Kuomintang, those with relations with people of all walks of life in Taiwan, those dedicated to the unification of the motherland and others. The party mainly draws members from representative people and middle-level and senior intellectuals.
By the end of 1997, the party had a membership of 54,000 and He Luli is its chairwoman.
2. China Democratic League
First established in November 1939, it took its present name in September 1944. At the time, it was a united political organization consisting of political parties and forces favoring the middle road and democracy.
In 1997 it adopted a constitution which stipulates that its program is to hold high the banner of patriotism and socialism, implement the basic line for the primary stage of socialism, safeguard stability in the society, strengthen services to national unity and strive for the promotion of socialist modernization, establishment and improvement of a market economy, enhancement of political restructuring and socialist spiritual civilization, emancipation and development of productive forces, consolidation and expansion of the united patriotic front and realization of the grand goals of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
China Democratic League is mainly made up by middle-level and senior intellectuals in the fields of culture, education, science and technology. It has a membership of 157,000 and its chairman is Jiang Shusheng.
3. China Democratic National Construction Association
It was established on December 16, 1945. Its political stand at the time was to guarantee the basic political rights and human rights of citizens, protect and develop national industry and commerce and oppose the dictatorial rule of the Kuomintang.
Its present constitution calls for the implementation of the CPC's policy of focusing on economic construction, acceptance of the leadership of the CPC, persisting in the tradition of self-education, adhering to the principle of democratic centralism and carrying out the policy of multi-party cooperation and political consultation. Most of its 90,000 members are representative figures in the economic field. Its chairman is Cheng Siwei.
4. China Association for the Promotion of Democracy
When it was founded on December 30, 1945, it was made up mostly by people engaged in education and publishing and patriotic figures in industry and commerce in Shanghai who stood for promotion of democracy and reform of the political power. It called on the Kuomintang to return the political power to the people, the establishment of a united and constitutional government.
Its program drawn in 1988 stands for the promotion and improvement of socialist democracy, improvement of a socialist legal system, uplifting of the qualifications of the people, development of productive forces and turning China into a prosperous, culturally developed, democratic, strong and modern socialist country.
The association is mainly made up by representative intellectuals in the fields of education, culture, publishing and science. It had a membership of 99,000 at the end of 2005 and its chairman is Xu Jialu.
5. Chinese Peasants' and Workers' Democratic Party
Founded in August 1930, its main political program was to oppose the dictatorial rule of the Kuomintang and establish the power of the people.
Its present program includes the stand to accept the leadership of the CPC, adhere to multi-party cooperation and political consultation, practice democratic centralism and safeguard the rights and interests of party members and associated intellectuals.
It now has a membership of over 80,000 and its chairman is Jiang Zhenghua.
6. China Zhi Gong Dang
China Zhi Gong Dang was founded in San Francisco, October 1925 by overseas Chinese organizations in North America.
According to its constitution, the party is made up mainly by the middle and upper levels of returned overseas Chinese and their relatives. Its job is to assist the CPC and the Chinese government to consolidate and develop political stability and safeguard the rights and interests of party members and associated returned overseas Chinese and their relatives, reflect their opinions and demands and practice democratic centralism.
It had a membership of nearly 16,000 at the end of 1997 and its chairman is Luo Haocai.
7. Jiusan Society
When it was first established in May 1946, its political stand was to carry on the tradition of democracy and science, oppose the civil war and practice democratic politics.
The present program of Jiusan Society stipulates that organizationally, the party draws members from representative middle and senior level intellectuals in the fields of science, technology, higher education and medicine. It stands for the multi-party cooperation and political consultation, democratic centralism and the safeguard of the rights and interest of its members.
It has a membership of 88,000 and its chairman is Han Qide.
8. Taiwan Democratic Self-government League
It was established on November 12, 1947 in Hong Kong. At the time it was a political organization of Taiwan residents which was founded and existed outside Taiwan Province, sought to become free from the rule of the Kuomintang, implement democracy and regional self-government. In March 1949, the league moved its headquarters from Hong Kong to Beijing.
Its present political program stands for patriotism and socialism, uniting with league members and Taiwan compatriots and striving for the acceleration of reform, opening up and socialist modernization drive, safeguarding stability and unity, improvement of socialist democracy and legal system and the realization of the peaceful unification of the motherland and "one country, two systems".
Most of the members are representative and upper level Taiwan compatriots living in large and medium-size cities on the mainland. It has a membership of over 1,800 and its chairman is Lin Wenyi.

III. Major forms of the multi-party cooperative system
1. Participation in the discussion of state affairs
Under this mechanism, members of various non-communist parties take part in the deliberation and implementation of major policies, laws and regulations of the country, take part in the consultation on major political issues and the choice of leaders of the state and take part in the running of state affairs.
Consultation between the CPC and other political parties mainly takes the following forms:
(1) Democratic consultation. Leaders of CPC invite, usually once a year, leaders of other political parties and representative personages without political party affiliation to a meeting at which CPC leaders hear and solicit their opinion on major policies and principles that the CPC puts forward.
(2) High-level talks. CPC leaders invite leaders of other political parties and representative personages without political party affiliation for small-scale meetings at which they exchange opinions on questions of common concern whenever there is a need for such a meeting.
(3) Bimonthly meetings. Chaired by the Central Committee of the CPC, the meetings are attended by people from other political parties and representative personages without political party affiliation. At these meetings, the CPC Central Committee informs the participants of major events, exchanges views with them, relays important documents of the CPC Central Committee and hears the opinion and suggestions of the participants or conducts discussions on specific topics. When necessary, there will be meetings between the bimonthly ones.
(4) Written suggestions or exchange of views in person. Leaders of non-communist political parties and representative figures without political party affiliation may, at any time they wish, submit in writing their suggestions to the CPC Central Committee on major state policies or specific issues or they may see leaders of the CPC Central Committee in person to exchange views.
2. Democratic supervision
Democratic supervision means that the non-communist political parties exercise supervision on the CPC and the government organs under its leadership, within the framework of the multi-party cooperation and political consultation.
The supervision may be conducted in the following manners: putting forward opinions, suggestions and criticisms to the CPC Central Committee at the meetings of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference; making known their suggestions and criticisms on major political, economic and social issues of the state on the basis of investigation; deputies to the NPC and members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference who are members of non-communist political parties may conduct supervision through putting forward bills, proposals and inspection reports; and members of non-communist political parties may exercise their supervisory role by serving as special supervisors, inspectors, auditors and education supervisors of the government.
3. Holding government and judicial positions
All the non-communist political parties have their members holding leading positions in the government and judicial organs at various levels upon recommendation by the CPC.
IV. Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC)
CPPCC has a national committee and regional committees.
1. Nature of CPPCC
The CPPCC is an organization of the united front with wide representation. It is an important organ of multi-party cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the CPC. It is composed of the CPC, other political parties, mass organizations, and representative public personages from all walks of life, representatives of compatriots of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao as well as of returned overseas Chinese and other specially invited people.
2. Function of CPPCC
The major function of the CPPCC is to conduct political consultation and exercise democratic supervision, organize its members from various non-communist political parties, mass organizations and public personages from all walks of life to take part in the discussion and management of state affairs.
(1) Content and forms of political consultation
Political consultation covers socialist material and spiritual construction, the building of a democratic legal system, important policies and planning of the reform and opening up program, reports on the work of the government, national financial and fiscal budget, economic and social development planning, major issues in political life in the country, drafting of major national laws, candidates for the state proposed by the CPC Central Committee, changes in the administrative division at the provincial level, major policies in foreign affairs, major policies in regard to the unification of the motherland, major issues involving people's livelihood, affairs of common interest of the political parties, important affairs of the CPPCC and other important issues in regard to the patriotic united front.
Political consultation takes the forms of plenary sessions, standing committees and meetings of the chairmen of the National Committee of the CPPCC, discussion meetings of Standing Committee members of the CPPCC, special committee meetings of the CPC, consultation meetings participated by people from various political parties, representative public personages without political party affiliation, mass organizations, ethnic minorities and patriotic figures from different walks of life and activities of local people's political consultative conferences at various levels.
(2) Major contents of democratic supervision
Democratic supervision covers such areas as the implementation of the Constitution, laws and regulations of the state, implementation of major policies formulated by the CPC Central Committee and state organs, the implementation of the national economic and social development plans and financial budget, the conduct of duties, law observance, and honesty of state organs and their staff, the execution of decisions and the regulations of the CPPCC on the part of its units and individuals.
Democratic supervision takes the forms of plenary sessions, Standing Committee meetings and meetings of the chairmen of the CPPCC submitting proposals to the CPC Central Committee and the State Council; various special committees of the CPPCC putting forward suggestions and reports; inspection, proposal, exposing and other forms of criticism and suggestion by individual CPPCC members; taking part in investigations organized by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council as well as activities organized by local people's political consultative conferences.
(3) Main contents of taking part in and managing state affairs
This includes organizing investigations and research of issues that the general public is concerned with, causing the attention of the CPC committees and departments of the State Council and which the CPPCC is capable of doing; actively making constructive suggestions to CPC and the government at various levels, maximizing the role of CPPCC members and their specialty to offer suggestions and services to the program of reform, opening up and the modernization drive.
3. Organizational principles of CPPCC
All political parties and mass organizations who support the charter of the CPPCC may sit on the National Committee or local committees, upon agreement by the National Committee or local committees after deliberation.
Individuals, invited by the National Committee or the standing committees of local committees, may also become members of the National Committee or local committees.
The relationship between the National Committee and local committees and between higher level committees and lower level committees is one of guidance.
Local committees have the obligation to observe and carry out national decisions adopted by the National Committee and lower level committees have the obligation to observe and carry out regional decisions adopted by the higher level committees.
All units and individuals taking part in the CPPCC have the right to take part in political consultation, democratic supervision, discussion and management of state affairs, through the meetings, organization and activities of the CPPCC.
Decisions of the plenary session and Standing Committee of the National Committee and local committees will become effective only after the majority of the committee members has voted in their favor.
All participating units and individuals have the obligation to observe and carry out the decisions. In case of different opinions, they may state their reservation on the precondition of firmly implementing them.
Participating units and individuals who have seriously violated the charter of the CPPCC or the decisions of the plenary sessions or Standing Committee shall be disciplined by the National Committee or standing committees of local committees including warning up to stripping them of their qualifications for joining the CPPCC.
4. The National Committee
The number and specific candidacy of the participating units and members of the National Committee are decided by the Standing Committee of the outgoing National Committee of the CPPCC.
During every term of office, when it is necessary to increase or change the number or candidacy of the participating units or members, it is to be decided by the Standing Committee of the present National Committee of the CPPCC.
The present National Committee is composed members of 34 units, i.e., the CPC, China Revolutionary Committee of the Kuomintang, China Democratic League, China Democratic National Construction Association, China Association for the Promotion of Democracy, Chinese Peasants' and Workers' Democratic Party, China Zhi Gong Dang, Jiusan Society, Taiwan Democratic Self-government League, public personages without party affiliation, the Communist League of China, All-China Federation of Trade Unions, All-China Federation of Women, All-China Federation of Youth, All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, China Association of Science and Technology, All-China Friendship Federation of Taiwan Compatriots, All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese, representatives from the cultural and art circles, the fields of science, technology, social science, economics, agriculture, education, physical culture, journalism, publishing, medicine, social welfare, religion, and among ethnic minorities and the circle of friendship with foreign countries, specially invited people from Hong Kong, Macao and other specially invited personage. The present National Committee has 2,196 members, among whom 290 are members of the Standing Committee.
The National Committee serves for a term of five years and holds a plenary session once every year.
The National Committee has a chairman, vice chairmen and secretary-general. It sets up a Standing Committee which presides over the work of the National Committee.
The Standing Committee is composed of the chairman, vice chairmen, secretary-general and members. Candidacy of members to the Standing Committee is proposed by political parties, mass organizations, and people representing various walks of life of the CPPCC, and elected by the plenary session of the National Committee. The chairman of the National Committee presides over the work of the Standing Committee and the vice chairmen and secretary-general assist the chairman in his (her) work.
The meeting of the chairmen is composed of the chairman, vice chairmen and secretary-general and deals with the important aspects of the day-to-day work of the Standing Committee.
5. Local committees
The provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the Central Government, cities divided into districts, counties, autonomous counties, as well as cities not divided into districts and districts under the jurisdiction of cities, where there are conditions for setting up the CPPCC, shall establish proper organizations of the CPPCC.
At present there are more than 3,000 CPPCC local committees at various levels made up by a total membership of over half a million.
Local committees of the CPPCC serve a term of five years.
The composition, election, function, major working organs of local committees and their standing committees should correspond to those of the National Committee.
V. The Central Administrative System
The administrative system refers to a series of regulations and practices in regard to the composition, system, power and activities of the state administrative organs.
The central administrative system in the People's Republic of China includes: the central administrative organs under the system of the National People's Congress and the leadership of the central administrative organs over local administrative organs at various levels.
The central administrative organ is the State Council of the People's Republic of China.
The State Council is the highest administrative organ of the state.
I. Administrative leadership system
1. The administrative power of the State Council over the whole country
The State Council, or the Central People's Government, of the People's Republic of China is the executive body of the highest organ of state power and the highest organ of state administration.
The State Council exercises unified leadership over local state administrative organs at various levels throughout the country, regulates the specific division of power and function of the state administrative organs at the central level and the provincial, autonomous regional and municipal level.
2. The system of leader responsibility
(1) The responsibility of the Premier of the State Council
1) The Premier assumes overall responsibility for the work of the State Council and is responsible to the NPC and its Standing Committee on behalf of the State Council.
The Vice Premiers and State Councilors assist the Premier in his work. Together with the Secretary-general, Ministers and the Auditor-general, they are responsible to the Premier.
2) The Premier has the final decision making power on all major issues in the work of the State Council.
3) The Premier has the power to suggest to the NPC and its Standing Committee to appoint or remove the Vice Premiers, State Councilors, Ministers, the Auditor-general and Secretary-general.
4) Decisions, decrees and administrative rules and regulations promulgated by the State Council, bills and suggestions of appointments and removals submitted by the State Council to the NPC and its Standing Committee are legally valid only after the Premier has signed them.
(2) The responsibility of ministers of the State Council
The ministers assume overall responsibility for the work of the ministries and commissions.
They direct the work of their respective ministries and commissions, convene and preside over ministerial meetings or general and executive meetings of the commissions and sign important reports to the State Council and decrees and directives issued to lower levels.
(3) The responsibility of leaders of local people's governments
Local people's governments at various levels exercise the responsibility system of the provincial governor, autonomous regional chairman, mayor, prefect, county governor, district governor, town and township head.
3. The administrative supervision system
Administrative supervision refers to state administrative organs conducting all-round supervision over state administrative organs and their staff at all levels and making sure if their official performances are in line with the Constitution, laws and administrative orders.
(1) Supervision from the above
Upper administrative organs or leaders have the power to conduct supervision over lower administrative organs and their staff.
Under normal circumstances, upper administrative organs implement administrative supervision through such measures as annulling inappropriate orders and decisions of the lower administrative organs, checking and awarding or penalizing the staff of lower administrative organs, directing, providing guidance, inspecting and urging the work of lower administrative organs.
Upper administrative organs may annul wrong administrative decisions of lower administrative organs by administrative reconsideration.
(2) Auditing
State auditing bodies exercise all-round supervision and appraisal of the financial and economic activities of administrative organs, watch over the spending of state budget, prevent and correct any misconduct in financial and economic activities in the country.
Under the direction of leaders of the government at the corresponding level, the auditing body independently exercises its power or supervision through auditing in accordance with the law, subject to no interference by any other administrative organ or any public organization or individual.
(3) Investigative supervision
Administrative supervision bodies exercise supervision over state administrative organs and their staff through such methods as investigation.
Supervisory bodies have the power to investigate targets of supervision and put forward due suggestions or make due decisions according to the investigation results.
II. The composition, power and function of the State Council
1. The composition of the State Council
The State Council is composed of the Premier, Vice Premiers, Ministers in charge of ministries, Ministers in charge of commissions, the Auditor-general and the Secretary-general.
The Premier is nominated by the President of the People's Republic of China, decided by the NPC, appointed and removed by the President.
The Vice Premiers, State Councilors, Ministers, Auditor-general and Secretary-general of the State Council are nominated by the Premier, decided by the NPC, appointed and removed by the President of the People's Republic of China. When the NPC is not in session, the choice of State Councilors, Ministers, Auditor-general and Secretary-general are decided by the Standing Committee of the NPC according to nomination by the Premier and appointed or removed by the President of the People's Republic of China.
The State Council serves for a term of five years. The Premier, Vice Premiers and State Councilors shall serve no more than two consecutive terms.
The Vice Premiers assist the Premier in his work.
Entrusted by the Premier or the executive meeting of the State Council, State Councilors may take charge of work in certain aspects or specially important tasks. They may also represent the State Council in conducting foreign affairs.
Under the leadership of the Premier, the Secretary-general of the State Council is in charge of the day-to-day work of the state Council.
The Auditor-general is in charge of the supervision of state revenue and expenditure, and other financial and monetary activities.
2. The general and executive meetings of the State Council and the working meeting of the Premier
(1) The general meeting of the State Council
The general meeting of the State Council is attended by all members the State Council is composed of, convened and presided over by the Premier.
The general meeting of the State Council is convened to discuss issues of major importance or matters involving more than one department.
The general meeting is convened once every two months or once every quarter of a year, under normal conditions.
(2) The executive meetings of the State Council
The executive meeting of the State Council is participated by the Premier, Vice Premiers, State Councilors and the Secretary-general, convened and presided over by the Premier.
The executive meetings of the State Council are convened to discuss major issues in the work of the State Council, bills to be submitted to the Standing Committee of the NPC, administrative rules and regulations and important issues submitted by various departments and localities for decision by the State Council.
The executive meeting of the State Council is convened once a month under normal conditions.
(3) The working meeting of the Premier
The working meeting of the Premier is convened by the Premier (or by a Vice Premier entrusted by the Premier) to discuss and deal with major issues in the day-to-day work of the State Council.
The working meeting of the Premier is convened whenever necessary.
3. The functions and powers of the State Council
(1) to adopt administrative measures, enact administrative rules and regulations and issue decisions and orders in accordance with the Constitution and the law;
(2) to submit proposals to the National People's Congress or its Standing Committee;
(4) to formulate the tasks and responsibilities of the ministries and commissions of the State Council, to exercise unified leadership over the work of the ministries and commissions and to direct all other administrative work of a national character that does not fall within the jurisdiction of the ministries and commissions;
(5) to exercise unified leadership over the work of local organs of state administration at various levels throughout the country, and to formulate the detailed division of functions and powers between the Central Government and the organs of state administration of provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government;
(6) to draw up and implement the plan for national economic and social development and the state budget;
(7) to direct and administer economic affairs and urban and rural development;
(8) to direct and administer the affairs of education, science, culture, public health, physical culture and family planning;
(9) to direct and administer civil affairs, public security, judicial administration, supervision and other related matters;
(10) to conduct foreign affairs and conclude treaties and agreements with foreign states;
(11) to direct and administer the building of national defense;
(12) to direct and administer affairs concerning the ethnic groups and to safeguard the equal rights of ethnic minorities and the right to autonomy of the ethnic autonomous areas;
(13) to protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese nationals residing abroad and protect the lawful rights and interests of returned overseas Chinese and of the family members of Chinese nationals residing abroad;
(14) to alter or annul inappropriate orders, directives and regulations issued by the ministries or commissions;
(15) to alter or annul inappropriate decisions and orders issued by local organs of state administration at various levels;
(16) to approve the geographic division of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government, and to approve the establishment and geographic divisions of autonomous prefectures, counties, autonomous counties and cities;
(17) to decided on the imposition of martial law in parts of provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government;
(18) to examine and decide on the size of administrative organs and, in accordance with the law, to appoint or remove administrative officials, train them, appraise their performance and reward or punish them; and
(19) to exercise such other functions and powers as the National People's Congress or its Standing Committee may assign to it.
III. Organs of the State Council
1. Organs the State Council is composed of
Ministries, commissions, the People's Bank of China and administrations are departments that make up the State Council. Under the unified leadership of the State Council, they are in charge of directing and administering the administrative affairs in their respective areas and exercise prescribed state administrative powers.
(1) Macro-control organs
National Development and Reform Commission
State Economic and Trade Commission
Ministry of Finance
People's Bank of China
(2) Special economic administrative organs
Ministry of Railways
Ministry of Transport
Ministry of Construction
Ministry of Agriculture
Ministry of Water Conservancy
Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation
Ministry of Information Industry
Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense
(3) Social security organs
Ministry of Labor and Social Security
Ministry of Personnel
State Family Planning Commission
(4) Natural resource administrative organ
Ministry of Land and Resources
(5) Foreign affairs, internal affairs and security organs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
State Commission of Ethnic Affairs
Ministry of Civil Affairs
Ministry of Justice
Ministry of Public Security
Ministry of State Security
Ministry of National Defense
Ministry of Supervision
National Auditing Office
(6) Education, science, culture and health administrative organs
Ministry of Education
Ministry of Science and Technology
Ministry of Culture
Ministry of Health
2. Working offices of the State Council
General Affairs Office of the State Council
3. Organizations directly under the State Council
These are organs that are in charge of administrative affairs in special areas, under the unified leadership of the State Council.
They are lower than the organs listed under Section 1 in administrative ranking and their institution, dismissal and change are decided by the State Council.
Leaders of these organs are decided by the executive meeting of the State Council, appointed and removed by the Premier.
4. Administrative offices under the State Council
They are offices set up within the State Council to assist the Premier in dealing matters in special areas. Their establishment, merge and dismissal are decided by the State Council and their leaders are appointed and removed by the Premier.
5. State bureaus
State bureaus are relatively independent working organs specially in charge of certain trades and affairs. They are overseen by ministries and commissions of the State Council.
They are not under the direct leadership of the State Council, but receives leadership from ministries or commissions. However they are not bureaus like those within each ministry or commission.
Their major responsibility is to draw up regulations and policies and conduct administration within the trade.
6. Institutions directly under the State Council
They include:
State Administration of Sports
Xinhua News Agency
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Chinese Academy of Engineering
Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Development Research Center of the State Council
China Meteorological Administration
China Intellectual Property Office
7. Coordinating organs and provisional organs of the State Council
These are set up by the State Council in order to deal with special affairs.
These organs normally have special committees or leading groups headed by the Premier, or Vice Premiers, or State Councilors or the Secretary-general.
They in most cases do not have independent working offices while the day-to-day work is placed under permanent ministries, commissions, administrations or other departments.
These organs include:
(1) working organs set up for directing the work in certain special areas;
(2) coordinating organs; and
(3) consulting organs composed of specialists and leaders of departments concerned.
VI. The Local Administrative System
The local administrative system means the systems and practices of establishing administrative regional divisions and setting up local administrative organs in order to facilitate the implementation of local administration.
I. Administrative division
1. China’s administrative divisions
(1) The entire country is divided into provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government;
(2) The provinces and autonomous regions are divided into autonomous prefectures, counties, autonomous counties and cities;
(3) The counties and autonomous counties are divided into townships, ethnic townships and towns;
(4) The municipalities directly under the Central Government and large cities in the provinces and autonomous regions are divided into districts and counties; and
(5) Autonomous prefectures are divided into counties, autonomous counties and cities.
The Central Government may also set up special administrative regions.
2. Levels of China’s administrative divisions
The two-level system: municipalities under the Central Government----districts;
The three-level system: provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government----counties, autonomous counties and cities---townships, ethnic townships and towns;
The four-level system: provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government----cities with districts and autonomous prefectures---counties, autonomous counties and cities---townships, ethnic townships and towns.
II. Types of local governments
1. Governments of ordinary local administration
They include the people’s congresses, people’s governments, courts and procuratorates established in the provinces, municipalities directly under the Central Government, counties, cities, and districts under cities, townships, ethnic townships and towns.
2. Organs of self-government of ethnic autonomous areas
People’s congresses and people’s governments of the autonomous regions, autonomous prefectures and autonomous counties; judicial and procuratorial organs elected by the people’s congresses of autonomous regions, autonomous prefectures and autonomous counties; and the armed forces organized upon approval of the State Council for the purpose of safeguarding local security.
3. Local governments of special administrative regions
The system of governments of special administrative regions is prescribed by laws enacted by the National People’s Congress.
4. Special types of local governments
The setup of governments of special economic zones, development zones, mining industrial zones and nature reserves is different from administrative organs of other local governments.
III. Provincial governments
1. Provincial governments
Provincial governments are first-level local state administrative organs in China. There are 23 provinces in the country.
Provincial governments must accept the unified leadership of the State Council which has the power to decide on the division of responsibilities between the Central Government and provincial administrative organs. The State Council also has the power to annul inappropriate decisions and orders of provincial governments.
Provincial governments implement local laws, regulations and decisions of the provincial people’s congresses and their standing committees, are responsible to and report on their work to provincial people’s congresses and their standing committees. Provincial people’s congresses and their standing committees have the power to supervise the work of provincial governments, change and annul inappropriate decisions of the provincial governments.
Provincial governments have the power to exercise unified leadership over the work of governments at the levels of the cities, counties, townships and towns under their jurisdiction and to exercise unified administration over economic, social and cultural affairs.
2. Agencies of provincial and autonomous regional governments
Provincial and autonomous regional governments may, when they deem it necessary, send out agencies, upon approval of the State Council.
Their agencies are normally called “administrative offices”.
The administrative offices, as agencies of the provincial and autonomous regional governments, are not governments themselves. The regions under their jurisdiction are not administrative divisions either. The basic responsibilities of the administrative offices are to provide guidance and coordinate the work of the counties and cities within the regions, on behalf of provincial or autonomous regional governments.
An administrative office has a commissioner, vice commissioners and advisors, appointed and removed by the provincial or autonomous regional governments.
The commissioners are responsible for the overall work of the administrative offices.
The working meetings of administrative offices are attended by the commissioners, vice commissioners, advisors, assistant advisors, secretaries-general and deputy secretaries-general to discuss major issues in the work of the administrative offices. Final decisions are made by the commissioners after the discussions.
Commissioners have no fixed terms of service. Personnel changes are made whenever necessary in light of the work and according to regulations in regard to officials.
The working organs of administrative offices are normally called bureaus which number from 40 to 50 for each administrative office.
VI. Governments in municipalities and cities
1. Governments of municipalities directly under the Central Government
Governments of municipalities directly under the Central Government are first-level local state administrative organs in China.
In China, there are four municipalities directly under the Central Government, namely Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Chongqing.
Governments of these municipalities must accept the unified leadership of the State Council which has the power to decide on the division of power and functions between the Central Government and state administrative organs of municipalities directly under the Central Government. The State Council also has the power to alter or annul decisions and orders made by governments of municipalities directly under the Central Government.
Governments of municipalities directly under the Central Government implement local laws, regulations and decisions of the people’s congresses and their standing committees of the municipalities, are responsible for and report on their work to the people’s congresses and their standing committees. People’s congresses and their standing committees in the municipalities have the power to supervise the work of the governments of municipalities, change and annul inappropriate decisions and orders of municipal governments.
Municipal governments have the right to exercise unified leadership over the work of the districts, cities, counties, townships and towns and exercise unified administration over the economic, social, and cultural affairs in areas under their respective jurisdictions.
2. City governments with sub-provincial ranking
These refer to governments of relatively large cities whose economic plans are separately listed in the national planning, whose administrative status is lower than that of a full provincial government and which are not administratively controlled by provincial governments. These 15 cities are Shenyang, Dalian, Changchun, Harbin, Jinan, Qingdao, Nanjing, Ningbo, Hangzhou, Xiamen, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Xian and Chengdu.
3. Governments of prefectural-level cities
Profectural-level cities are large and medium-size cities not including sub-provincial level cities. Normally, they are cities with a non-farming population of more than a quarter of a million. Furthermore, the seats of cities have a non-farming population of more than 200,000 each and their industrial production value exceeds 2 billion yuan. They have a relatively advanced tertiary industry whose production value is more than that of the first industry, and makes up more than 35 percent of the GDP in these cities. The revenue in their local budget is beyond 200 million yuan and they have grown into centers of a number of cities or counties.
These governments are responsible and report on their work to the people’s congresses and their standing committees at the same level. They are responsible and report on their work to provincial-level governments and accept the unified leadership of the State council at the same time. They direct the economic, cultural and administrative work of their cities. They also direct the administrative affairs of their entire regions and the work of the counties and county governments in areas under their jurisdiction.
Governments of cities where provincial or autonomous regional governments are located and large cities recognized by the State Council may formulate their administrative regulations in accordance with the law and administrative regulations of the State Council.
4. Prefectural-level cities administering counties and county-level cities
The system of placing counties and county-level cities under the administration of prefectural-level cities means to establish an official local state administrative organ between the province and counties (county-level cities) to form a local administrative mechanism of province----prefectural-level city----county (county-level city)----township (town).
This mechanism requires the prefectural-level city to have the dual functions of administering both rural and urban areas.
Main models of this mechanism:
(1) Merging of prefectures and cities
To merge the administrative office of a prefecture with the government of the prefectural-level city where the office is located to establish a new prefectural-level city government to administer the counties and county-level cities.
(2) Incorporating counties into cities
To incorporate a number of counties and county-level cities in the vicinity of a prefectural-level city into the administration of the latter which previously did not administer the counties.
(3) Elevating the status of counties
To elevate the status of county-level cities or towns into prefectural-level cities, or turn the organs of the administrative office directly into the organs of the prefectural-level city so as to establish a prefectural-level city government to administer counties and county-level cities.
5. Governments of county-level cities
These are city governments established in relatively small areas in conformity with national standards for setting up cities.
County-level cities normally grow from towns within a county or are established in place of originally a county which has been dissolved. These are places with a relatively strong rural administrative color.
Governments of county-level cities are mainly in the following categories:
(1) In areas without an administrative office, they receive leadership directly from provincial or autonomous regional governments;
(2) In areas implementing a system of prefectural-level city administering the county and county-level city or in ethnic self-governing areas with county-level city governments, they receive leadership from the prefectural-level city or the autonomous prefectural government.
Governments of county-level cities administer governments of townships, ethnic townships, and towns. Neighborhood offices may also be established under their leadership.
6. District governments
District governments are urban governments established in districts in municipalities directly under the Central Government, sub-provincial-level cities and prefectural-level cities.
They receive leadership from the governments of municipalities directly under the Central Government, sub-provincial-level cities and prefectural-level cities.
District governments consist of urban district and suburban district governments.
Urban district governments are located within the urban districts and functions as grassroots governments in urban areas. They may have agencies in the form of neighborhood offices.
Suburban district governments, naturally located within suburban areas of cities, administer governments of townships, ethnic townships and towns. They may also establish neighborhood offices.

IV. Rural area governments
1. County governments
County governments are local governments established in rural areas.
They include the following categories:
(1) In areas without administrative offices, county governments receive direct leadership from provincial or autonomous regional governments;
(2) In areas administrative offices have not been and will not be established, and in the four municipalities directly under the Central Government, i.e., Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Chongqing, county governments receive direct leadership from provincial, autonomous regional or municipal governments;
(3) In areas implementing the system of prefectural-level cities administering counties and county-level cities and in ethnic self-governing areas, county governments receive leadership from prefectural-level city or autonomous prefectural governments.
County governments administer the governments of townships, ethnic townships and towns. They may also establish neighborhood offices.
When necessary, county governments may, upon approval of provincial, autonomous regional or municipal governments, set up district offices as their agencies.
2. Governments of townships, ethnic townships and towns
Governments of townships, ethnic townships (both referring to rural areas) and towns (urban centers in rural China) are grassroots governments in rural areas. They receive leadership from governments of counties, autonomous counties, county-level cities and districts.
V. The setup, functions and powers of local governments
1. The composition of local governments
Local governments at various levels exercise the responsibility system of provincial governors, mayors, county governors, and heads of districts, townships and towns.
(1) The composition of provincial and municipal governments
Provinces and municipalities directly under the Central Government have governors, vice governors, mayors, vice mayors, secretaries-general, directors of departments (or bureaus) and commissions.
Provincial governors, vice governors, mayors and vice mayors are elected by the people’s congresses of the provinces and municipalities. Within two months after their election, provincial governors and municipal mayors shall nominate secretaries-generals and directors of departments, bureaus and commissions to peoples’ congresses of the provinces and municipalities for appointment and report to the State Council for the record.
When the people’s congresses in provinces or municipalities are not in session, provincial governors or mayors cannot somehow assume their posts, the standing committees of the people’s congresses shall decide on the acting governors or mayors, selected from among the vice governors or vice mayors to serve until the by-election at the next session of the people’s congresses.
When the people’s congresses in provinces or municipalities are not in session, the appointment or removal of individual vice governors or vice mayors are made by the standing committees of the people’s congresses.
Provincial and municipal governments serve a term of five years.
(2) Composition of governments of prefectural-level cities
Governments of prefectural-level cities compose of mayors, vice mayors, secretaries-general and directors of bureaus and commissions.
Mayors and vice mayors are elected by the people’s congresses of the cities.
When the people’s congresses are not in session, the appointment and removal of individual vice mayors are made by the standing committees of the people’s congresses.
Secretaries-general and directors of bureaus and commissions are nominated by mayors within two months after the election of the mayors for decision by the standing committees of the people’s congresses of the cities and reported to the provincial or autonomous regional governments for the record.
Governments of prefectural-level cities serve a term of five years.
(3) The composition of governments of counties, county-level cities and districts
Governments of counties, county-level cities and districts are composed of county governors, vice governors, mayors, vice mayors, district heads and deputy heads and directors of bureaus or sections.
County governors, vice governors, mayors, vice mayors, district heads and deputy heads are elected by the people’s congresses of the counties, cities and districts.
When the people’s congresses of the counties, cities and districts are not in session, the standing committees of the people’s congresses may decide on the appointment and removal of individual vice governors of counties and vice heads of districts and vice mayors.
Directors of bureaus (sections) of governments of counties, county-level cities and districts are nominated by county and district governors and city mayors to the standing committees of people’s congresses for decision and reported to the government at the next higher level for the record.
Governments of counties, county-level cities and districts serve a term of five years.
(4) Composition of governments of townships, ethnic townships and towns
A township or ethnic township or town government has a head and several deputy heads.
The head of an ethnic township government is to be a citizen of an ethnic minority origin.
Heads and deputy heads of townships, ethnic townships and towns are elected by the people’s congresses in the townships, ethnic townships and towns.
Governments of townships, ethnic townships and towns serve a term of three years.
2. Functions, powers and administrative status of local governments
(1) Functions and powers of local governments
Local people’s governments at and above the county level, within the limits of their authority as prescribed by law, conduct administrative work concerning the economy, education, science, culture, public health, physical culture, urban and rural development, finance, civil affairs, public security, ethnic affairs, judicial administrations, supervision and family planning in their respective administrative areas; issue decisions and orders; appoint or remove administrative functionaries, train and make evaluations of their performance and reward or punish them.
People’s governments of provinces and municipalities directly under the Central Government decide on the establishment and geographic division of townships, ethnic townships and towns.
People’s governments of townships, ethnic townships, and towns carry out the resolutions of the people’s congress at the corresponding level a well as the decisions and orders of the state administrative organs at the next higher level and conduct administrative work in their respective administrative areas.
(2) Administrative status of local governments
Local people’s governments at various levels are responsible and report on their work to people’s congresses at the corresponding levels. Local people’s governments at and above the county level are responsible and report on their work to the standing committees of the people’s congresses at the corresponding levels when the congresses are not in session.
Local people’s governments at various levels are responsible and report on their work to the state administrative organs at the next higher level.
Local people’s governments at various levels throughout the country are state administrative organs under the unified leadership of the State Council and are subordinate to it.
(3) Relationship within local governments
Local people’s governments at and above the county level direct the work of their subordinate departments and of people’s governments at lower levels, and have the power to alter or annul inappropriate decisions of their subordinate departments and of the people’s governments at lower levels.
Auditing bodies are established by local people’s governments at and above the county level. Local auditing bodies at various levels independently exercise their powers of supervision through auditing in accordance with the law and are responsible to the people’s governments at corresponding levels and to the auditing bodies at the next higher level.

VII. The System of the Head of State
The President of the People’s Republic of China is the head of state for China.
I. The position and function of the President
The President represents the People’s Republic of China.
II. The election of the President
1. Qualifications
Citizens 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.
2. The election and removal process
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.
3. Term of the Presidency
The President serves for a term of five years and can serve no more than two consecutive terms.
4. Filling the vacancy of the President
In the event that the office of the President falls vacant, the Vice President succeeds to the office of the President.
In the event that the office of the Vice President falls vacant, the National People’s Congress shall elect a new Vice President to fill the vacancy.
In the event that the offices of both the President and the Vice President fall vacant, the National People’s Congress shall elect a new President and a new Vice President. Prior to such election, the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress shall temporarily act as the President.
III. The basic functions and powers of the President
1. Domestic functions and powers
(1) Promulgating statutes
After laws are adopted by the NPC or its Standing Committee, they are signed by the President to promulgation before they become effective.
The President does not enjoy the power of veto and has to promulgate all laws adopted by the NPC or its Standing Committee.
Laws shall not become effective before being signed for promulgation by the President.
(2) Issuing orders
According to decisions of the NPC or its Standing Committee, the President appoints or removes the Premier, Vice Premiers, State Councilors, Ministers in charge of ministries and commissions, the Auditor-general and Secretary-general of the State Council; confers state medals and titles of honorary; issues orders of special amnesty; proclaims martial law; proclaims a state of war’ and issues mobilization orders.
2. Functions and powers in foreign affairs
(1) Receiving foreign diplomatic representatives
The President receives foreign diplomatic representatives on behalf of the People’s Republic of China.
(2) Appointing and Recalling plenipotentiary representatives abroad
In pursuance of the decisions of the Standing Committee of the NPC, the Presidents appoints or recalls plenipotentiary representatives abroad.
(3) Ratifying or abrogating treaties and important agreements
In pursuance of the decisions of the Standing Committee of the NPC, the President ratifies or abrogates treaties and important agreements concluded with foreign states.
Treaties and agreements concluded with foreign states by the State Council or its organs are promulgated by the President, upon decision of the NPC or its Standing Committee on whether to approve or annul them.

VIII. The System of Civil Servant
The civil servant
1. Concept and scope
Civil servants refer to all the staff, except employees doing what amounts to blue-collar jobs, working in state administrative organs who implement state administrative power and conduct public services according to law. They also include staff in other units which also have state administrative functions and conduct administrative activities.
2. The rights and obligations of civil servants
(1) The rights of civil servants
They shall not be removed, demoted, sacked or administratively penalized without due process of law or not on ground of legal reasons. They have the right to the power necessary to conduct their duties; the right to remuneration for their work and insurance and welfare benefits; the right to take part in training; the right to make suggestions and criticisms; the right to make appeals and charges; the right to resign according to law; and the right to enjoy the Constitution and other rights prescribed by law.
(2) The obligations of civil servants
To abide by the Constitution, laws and regulations; to carry out their obligations according to laws, regulations and policies of the state; to accept the supervision of the masses and work hard to serve the people; to safeguard national security, honor and interests; to be devoted to their duties and follow orders; to maintain state secrets; to be honest and upright; to observe other obligations prescribed by the Constitution and law.
II. The administrative organs of civil servant
The administrative organs of civil servant is composed of the Ministry of Personnel, and bureaus of personnel in various ministries, commissions and offices under the State Council, personnel departments in various organs of local governments at and above the county level and in organs under them.
1. Comprehensive administrative organs
They refer to administrative organs established within governments at all levels, having a multitude of administrative functions, with administrative power not limited to departments at the same level and with matters rather than individual civil servants as the target of their work, and with administrative powers of a macro and indirect nature.
Their major functions are:
(1) Draw up civil servant administrative regulations and standards;
(2) Conduct guidance to personnel departments in the governments at the same level or lower levels;
(3) Conduct organizational coordination on matters involving different departments or areas;
(4) Carry out the right of examination and approval according to division of administrative powers; and
(5) Conduct supervision over the administration of civil servants.
2. Departmental administrative organs
They accept leadership from officials in charge of the departments and are responsible to them. At the same time, they also accept the guidance and supervision of the personnel departments of the governments at the same level and conduct civil servant administrative responsibilities within their respective departments.
Their major functions and powers are:
(1) The right of recruiting;
(2) The right of checking and examining;
(3) The right of conferring awards and meting out punishment;
(4) The right of promotion and demotion;
(5) The right of making appointments and removals;
(6) The right of sacking; and
(7) Other rights of deciding personnel matters.
III. The administration of civil servant
1. Position categories
Posts of civil servants are classified into leading position and non-leading positions.
(1) Positions of civil servants
Leading positions
These positions, consisting of ten categories from the Premier of the State Council to vice section director at a grassroots unit, have the functions and powers of organizing, decision making and giving command.
Non-leading positions
These positions, including those of clerks, researchers and inspectors of various levels, do not have the functions and powers of organizing, decision making and giving command.
(2) Classes
Civil servants are divided into 15 classes with the Premier in the first class and clerks at the 10th to 15th classes.
2. Examination, award and discipline
(1) Examinations
State administrative organs or leaders conduct all-round check up, examination, analysis and appraisal of civil servants under them, in accordance with their administrative power.
Such examinations consist of annual and routine examinations.
(2)Awards
State administrative organs give awards and encouragement to their civil servants who have proved outstanding in their work, made visible contributions and achievements or have performed other merits.
Awards include first-, second- and third-degree merits and the title of honor.
Award winning civil servants may also receive additional reward in the form of a certain amount of bonus, prizes, raise in salary.
(3) Discipline and penalties
Civil servants who have violated discipline are to be penalized.
Administrative penalty includes six types of punishments such as warning, recording a demerit, recording a serious demerit, demotion, stripping one of his position and sacking.
3. Promotion, demotion and withdrawal
(1) Promotion and demotion
1) promotion
This includes promotion based on annual evaluation, on achievements and merits after examination.
Civil servants with outstanding merits and achievements may be promoted by bypassing restrictions on seniority but such promotions must be approved by relevant departments in accordance with regulations.
2) demotion
Demotions are meted out to civil servants who have been proved incompetent or who have been proved incompetent but are inappropriate to transfer to other positions; those who have to take up lower positions as a result of change in the organizational setup or reduction of the leading posts; those who ask for demotion with ample reasons. They shall be permitted to take up lower posts. Demotion is also meted out to those who have committed mistakes and are no longer suitable to remain in their original positions.
(2) Withdrawal
State organs carry out this restrictive measure in order to avoid civil servants making use of their power for private gains.
4. Salary, insurance and welfare benefits
(1) Salary
Civil servants receive salaries according to their positions. Their salaries consist of four parts: official post pay, official class pay, basic pay and seniority pay.
(2) Insurance
The state implements a labor insurance system to provide material aid to civil servants who have temporarily or permanently lost the ability to work.
(3) Welfare benefits
Civil servants enjoy benefits in free medical service, pay during sickness and maternity leave, home-visiting holiday, welfare subsidies and pension and compensation payment.
5. Resign, sacking and retirement
(1) Resign
Civil servants may apply for terminating their employment with state administrative organs in accordance with laws and regulations.
Resigning is not a unilateral decision by the civil servant. It has to be processed according to legally established procedures.
(2) Sacking
State administrative organs may strip a civil servant, who is unsuitable to serve his position, of his power and obligations, thus taking him out of the rank of civil servants.
(3) Retirement
Civil servants who have worked for a certain number of years and reached the age of retirement may leave their posts. They shall receive retirement insurance and pension on a regular basis.

IX. The Election System
The election system here 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.
I. The right to vote and stand for election
1. The right to vote and stand for election
(1) Obtaining the right to vote and stand for election
1) Direct right to vote and stand for election
All citizens of the People’s Republic of China 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.
Those who have been convicted to prison terms, are serving short-term forced labor under detention or have been put under surveillance but have not been stripped of their political rights; those who are in custody, under investigation, being charged and tried but the procuratorate or the court has not decided to suspend their rights of election; those who are on bail, or in residences under surveillance; those who are being reeducated through labor and those who have been punished with detention have the right to vote and stand for election.
2) Indirect right to vote and stand for election
In general local elections, deputies to the people’s congresses at various levels have the right to vote, but those who have the right to stand for election are not restricted to deputies of the people’s congress of the same level.
In the election of deputies in the armed force units equivalent to above the county level, deputies to army men congresses of the same level have the right to vote but those who have the right to stand for election are not restricted to deputies of the army men congresses of the same level.
In the election of deputies in special administration regions, members of electoral meetings have the right to vote but those who have the right to stand for election are not restricted to members of electoral meetings.
The election of deputies among Taiwan compatriots is conducted by consultation of the organizations of standing committees of people’s congresses of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government. Those who have the right to vote are those chosen by the consultations but people who have the right to stand for election are not restricted to those chosen by the consultations.
(2) Suspension of the right to vote and stand for election
During direct elections, those who are under custody, being investigated, charged or tried because of endangering national security or other serious criminal activities are suspended of their right to vote and stand for election during the period of custody, upon decision of the procuratorate or the court.
(3) The stripping of the right to vote and stand for election
Those who are stripped of their political rights according to law do not have the right to vote or stand for election.
2. Recognition of the qualifications of the electorate during direct elections
(1) Registration of voters
The registration of voters is a legal recognition of the voter.
Citizens must register according to law and after verification of their qualifications; they are entered into lists of voters for publicity, before they become voters.
The registration of voters is presided over by the election committee and carried out in constituencies.
Before each election, those who have reached the age of 18 and those who have regained their political rights since the last election shall be registered.
Voters who have moved their residence out of their original constituencies after registration shall be entered in the list of voters in the constituencies they have newly moved into.
Names of voters who have died or been stripped of their political rights shall be struck out of the lists of voters.
Once recognized upon registration, the qualifications of voters remain valid.
(2) The publicity of lists of voters
The lists of voters shall be made public by the election committee 20 days before the day of voting.
(3) Arbitration in case of disputes over the qualifications of voters
Disagreeing opinions for the lists of voters may be made to the election committee.
The election committee shall make a decision on the disagreeing opinion within three days.
Those who cannot accept the ruling of the election committee may appeal to a court five days before the election day and the court should make a judgement before the election day.
The ruling of the court is the final decision.
3. Guarantee of the rights of voters
(1) The guarantee of the voters of their rights
No one may take actions in whatever form at any time to investigate the electoral conduct of the voters.
(2) Secret voting and competitive election
1) Secret voting
All elections take the form of secret ballot.
If the voter is blind or physically disabled to write, he or she may entrust others to fill in the ballot.
2) Competitive election
Election of deputies to people’s congresses at all levels adopts the competitive election method.
II. Organs presiding over the election
1. Organs presiding over the election
Direct elections are presided over by election committees of the same level. Indirect elections are presided over by the standing committees of people’s congresses of the same level.
Election of deputies of the armed forces is presided over by election committees of the corresponding levels.
Election of deputies to the NPC in special administrative regions is presided over by the Standing Committee of the NPC.
The Standing Committee of the NPC presides over the electoral meetings of special administrative regions and the electoral meetings elect a presidium, which shall preside over the electoral meetings.
Election of deputies to the NPC among Taiwan compatriots is presided over by the Standing Committee of the NPC. Standing committees of people’s congresses of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government and the armed forces are responsible to organize consultations to elect deputies.
2. The functions and powers of election committees during direct election
(1) To preside over the election of deputies to people’s congresses at the corresponding levels;
(2) To decide on the date of election;
(3) To conduct registration of voters, examine the qualifications of voters and publicize lists of voters;
(4) To look into appeals of disagreement lodged by voters concerning the lists of voters and make due decisions;
(5) To decide on the division of constituencies and allocate the number of deputies to the constituencies;
(6) To tally and publicize the names of candidates for deputies and according to the opinion of the majority of voters, decide and publicize the official lists of candidates for deputies;
(7) To dispatch staff to preside over ballot casting stations or the election of electoral meetings;
(8) To decide on whether the election is valid and publicize the lists of names of deputies elected; and
(9) To process reports and charges against violations during the election.
III. Allocation of the number of deputies
1. Deputies to local people’s congresses in ordinary administrative regions
The number of deputies to the NPC, and people’s congresses of provinces, autonomous regions, counties and autonomous counties is distributed by the standing committee of the corresponding level according to the principle of one deputy in rural areas representing a population four times that of a deputy in urban areas.
2. Deputies to people’s congresses in ethnic self-government regions
(1) In areas where the population of one ethnic minority makes up 30 percent or more of the total local population, the population a deputy represents equals that represented by any other deputies in the same local people’s congress.
(2) In areas where the population of one ethnic minority makes up more than 15 but under 30 percent of the total local population, the population a deputy represents may be smaller than that represented by other deputies in the same local people’s congress but deputies from this ethnic minority shall be no more than 30 percent of the total number of deputies.
(3) In areas where the population of one ethnic minority makes up less than 15 percent of the total local population, the population a deputy represents may be less than one half of that represented by other deputies in the same local people’s congress. In counties of ethnic self-government where minority population is exceptionally small, the population a deputy represents may be less than half of the total local population, upon decision of the standing committee of the people’s congress of a province or an autonomous region. Other ethnic groups whose populations are exceptionally small may have at least one deputy in the local people’s congress.
(4) Ethnic minorities living in scattered communities shall have their deputies and the population each deputy represents may be smaller than that represented by every other deputy in the local people’s congress.
3. Deputies from the armed forces
The number of deputies of the armed forces in the people’s congresses of where they are stationed is decided by the standing committees of the specific provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the Central Government, cities and counties where the army is stationed.
The number of deputies of the armed forces to the National People’s Congress is decided by the Standing Committee of the NPC and allocated by the supreme election committee of the armed forces.
4. Deputies in special administrative regions and among Taiwan compatriots
The allocation of the number of deputies to the NPC from special administrative regions and among Taiwan compatriots is decided by the Standing Committee of the NPC.
IV. Direct election
Direct election means voters directly elect deputies to the people’s congresses by casting their votes.
Direct elections are applicable to the election of deputies to the people’s congresses of the counties, districts, townships and towns.
1. Division of constituencies
(1) Constituency and voter’s group
A constituency is often divided into several voter’s groups.
(2) Size and type of constituencies
1) The size of constituencies
The size of constituencies is decided according to the principle that a constituency may have one to three deputies.
The population an urban deputy represents shall be more or less the same as those in different constituencies in urban areas. The population a rural deputy represents shall be more or less the same as those in different constituencies in rural areas.
2) Types of constituencies
Urban constituencies may be divided according to residential quarters or according to production units, institutions or work units.
In urban areas, voters of a production (or working) unit or an institution may vote in the constituencies where they work.
During rural election of the county people’s congress, normally several villages constitute a constituency. Villages of exceptionally large populations or townships of exceptionally small populations may stand as a constituency on their own.
During the election of deputies to the people’s congresses of townships and towns, several villager groups may form a constituency. Villagers groups with exceptionally large populations or villages with exceptionally small populations may stand as a constituency on their own.
2. The election process
(1) Naming the candidates
Candidates for deputies to the people’s congresses of the county and township levels are nominated according to constituencies.
Candidates may be nominated jointly or independently by political parties, mass organizations or more than ten voters, but the number of candidates a voter nominates shall not exceed the number of deputies in the corresponding areas.
(2) Casting the ballot
Ballot casting is presided over by the election committee.
Voting stations are established and mobile voting boxes are furnished in the constituencies. Election meetings may be called to cast the vote.
Voters obtain ballots by presenting their ID cards or voter’s cards.
Before ballot casting, staff presiding over the election shall tally and declare the number of voters, examine the ballot box in front of voters and organize voters to choose those to supervise ballot casting and help tally the votes.
The election is valid when more than half of the voters in a constituency have cast their votes. The election has to be held another time if less than this figure has cast votes.
(3) Counting the votes
When the casting of ballot is over, voting supervisors and vote tallying staff as well as the working personnel presiding over the election shall check the number of people who have cast their votes and the total votes received, make a record which is signed by the voting supervisors.
When the votes received equal or are less than the number of voters who have cast their ballot, the election is valid. If the votes received outnumber the people who have cast their ballot, the election is invalid.
When validity of the casting is confirmed, the counting of votes is finished.
When a ballot cast exceeds the number of deputies to be elected, the ballot is invalid. It is valid only when the number of deputies it elects equals or is less than the number of deputies to be elected.
(4) The election of candidates
A candidate wins the election when he or she receives more than half of the votes cast.
When the number of candidates receiving more than half of the votes cast exceeds the number of deputies to be elected, the candidate with the greater number of votes wins the election.
When more than one candidate receives the same amount of votes, they shall stand for another voting and the one with more votes wins the election.
When the number of candidates receiving more than half of the votes is below the number of deputies to be elected, another election shall be held to fill the vacancy.
The list of elected deputies is drawn according to the legally prescribed competitive election principle in light of the number of votes they receive during the first election.
During by-elections, those with more votes win but the votes they receive shall not be less than one-third of the total votes cast.
(5) Confirmation and declaration
When the counting of votes is completed, the election committee of each constituency confirms the validity of the election and makes due declaration.
(6) By-election
When the post of a deputy falls vacant during his or her term of service, a by-election shall be held in his or her constituency to fill the vacancy.
When a deputy is suspended of his or her qualification as a deputy, a by-election shall be held to fill the vacancy.
Candidates standing for election to fill the vacancy during by-elections may be more than or equal the actual number of deputies to be elected.
By-election methods are to be decided by the standing committees of people’s congresses at the provincial level.
V. Indirect election
1. Indirect election
Indirect election means deputies to the people’s congresses at the next higher level are elected by deputies to the people’s congresses at the next lower level.
Indirect elections are applicable to the election of deputies to people’s congresses above the county level and deputies among the armed forces at the same level and deputies to the NPC elected from special administrative regions.
2. Election process
(1) Nominating the candidates
Candidates are nominated according to election units.
Candidates may be nominated by political parties or mass organizations jointly or independently or by more than ten deputies.
(2) Confirming the candidacy
After the lists of candidates are made, voting may be held, so long as the number of candidates conforms to the legally prescribed ratio of competitive election.
If the number of candidates exceeds the legally prescribed ratio of competitive election, a preliminary voting shall be held to finalize the lists of candidates.
The time for nomination and deliberation for candidates when electing, at the people’s congresses at and above the county level, deputies to the people’s congresses at the next higher level shall not be less than two days.
(3) Introduction of the candidates
Presidiums of people’s congresses make introductions of candidates to the deputies.
Political parties, mass organizations and deputies who recommend candidates may make introductions of the candidates they nominate at deputy’s group meetings.
Introduction to candidates must stop on the day of voting.
(4) Casting the ballot
Presidiums of people’s congresses shall preside over the voting.
Voting can only begin when more than half of the deputies are present at the occasion.
(5) Counting of the votes and declaration of election results
When the casting of ballots is completed, voting supervisors, vote counters and working personnel of the presidiums shall check the numbers of voters and votes, make a record which is signed by the voting supervisors.
Presidiums of people’s congresses decide whether the election results are valid and make due declaration.
(6) By-election
When the posts of deputies fall vacant or the qualifications of deputies annulled, by-elections are held to fill the vacancy. When the people’s congresses which make the original election are not in session, the standing committees of such people’s congresses shall conduct the by-election.
By-elections may adopt the competitive election or equal number methods.
Concrete methods of by-elections are to be drawn by standing committees of people’s congresses at the provincial level.
VI. The choice of NPC deputies from special administrative regions and among Taiwan compatriots
1. Deputies from special administrative regions
Election of NPC deputies from special administrative regions is presided over by the Standing Committee of the NPC.
Special administrative regions establish electoral meetings and election is presided over by the presidiums of electoral meetings.
More than ten members of the electoral meetings may jointly nominate NPC candidates.
Election results are announced by the presidiums and reported to the Deputy Qualification Examination Committee of the Standing Committee of the NPC. The Standing Committee of the NPC shall confirm and declare the qualifications of the deputies elected.
2. Deputies from among Taiwan compatriots
The method of electing NPC deputies from among Taiwan compatriots is decided specially according to related resolutions of the NPC.
NPC deputies from among Taiwan compatriots are chosen through consultation by the standing committees of people’s congresses of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government as well as organizations of the armed forces.
VII. Election expenditure
Expenses for the election of the NPC and local people’s congresses at various levels are to be provided from the national treasury.
VIII. Punishment of violations
Administrative or criminal penalties shall be meted out to those who disrupt election, prevent voters and deputies from making free use of the rights to vote and stand for election by means of violence, intimidation, cheating and bribery; those who fabricate election documents, make false reports on votes or commit other behaviors in violation of the law; those who suppress or retaliate people who report on or expose those whose conduct during the election violates the law or people who propose the removal of deputies

X. The System of Self-government of Ethnic Autonomous Areas
Under unified national leadership, self-government is exercised in areas heavily resided with ethnic minorities. Organs of self-government in these areas administer the right of self-government.
In principle, the administrative status of areas where self-government of ethnic autonomy is exercised is decided according to the geographical size and population of the areas. Autonomous regions enjoy the same status as provinces, autonomous prefectures enjoy the same status as prefectural-level cities and autonomous counties enjoy equal status as counties.
I. Organs of self-government of ethnic autonomous areas and their status
1. Organs of self-government of ethnic autonomous areas
The organs of self-government of ethnic autonomous areas are the people’s congresses, people’s governments, people’s courts and people’s procuratorates of autonomous regions, autonomous prefectures and autonomous counties.
The composition and work of organs of self-government of ethnic autonomous areas are governed by self-government regulations of ethnic autonomous areas or by separately drawn regulations, in accordance with the Constitution and law.
2. Administrative status of organs of self-government of ethnic autonomous areas
The people’s congress system is implemented in areas of ethnic autonomy.
People’s governments in areas of ethnic autonomy are responsible and report on their work to people’s congresses of corresponding levels and the state administrative organs of the higher level. When the people’s congresses are not in session, the people’s governments are responsible and report on their work to the standing committees of people’s congresses of corresponding levels.
All people’s governments in areas of ethnic autonomy are state administrative organs under the unified leadership of the State Council and are subordinate to the State Council.
The chairman of an autonomous region, the prefect of an autonomous prefecture, and the governor of an autonomous county are responsible for the work of the people’s governments of their respective levels.
II. The rights of organs of self-government of ethnic autonomous areas
1. Ethnic characteristics
(1) The chairman of an autonomous region, the prefect of an autonomous prefecture or the governor of an autonomous county shall be a citizen of the ethnic group exercising regional autonomy in the area concerned. The chairman or vice chairman of the standing committee of an ethnic autonomous area shall be a citizen of the ethnic group exercising regional autonomy in the area concerned.
(2) In the people’s congresses of ethnic autonomous areas, apart from representatives of the ethnic group exercising regional autonomy in the area concerned, other ethnic groups, particularly ethnic minorities, residing in the same area shall have appropriate representations. Ethnic groups with relatively small populations may receive preferential treatment in the allocation of the number of deputies according to law.
(3) In the people’s government and their working organs in ethnic autonomous areas, ethnic minority officials should be placed as many as possible. Ethnic minority officials basically conforming to the requirements should be given priority in official appointment.
When the ethnic group exercising regional autonomy makes up more than half of the total local population, there should be an equal ratio of officials from the ethnic group. Those whose populations are less than half of the total local population shall enjoy a ratio higher than their ethnic populations.
2. The right of self-government
(1) Law making
The people’s congresses of ethnic autonomous areas have the power to enact regulations on the exercise of autonomy and other separate regulations in the light of the political, economic and cultural characteristics of the ethnic group or ethnic groups in the areas concerned.
Regulations on the exercise of autonomy deal with basic questions in exercising ethnic autonomy. Separate regulations of autonomous regions deal with issues in individual aspects concerning the exercise of ethnic autonomy.
Regulations on the exercise of autonomy and separate regulations of autonomous regions on the exercise of autonomy may contain specifications different from state laws and policies.
Regulations on the exercise of autonomy of autonomous regions and separate regulations of autonomous regions shall be submitted to the Standing Committee of the NPC for approval before they go into effect.
Regulations on the exercise of autonomy of autonomous prefectures and counties and their separate regulations shall be submitted to standing committees of people’s congresses of provinces or autonomous regions for approval before they go into effect. They shall also be submitted to the Standing Committee of the NPC for the record.
(2) Flexible executive rights
When decisions, orders and goals issued by state organs of higher levels are inappropriate for the actual conditions of ethnic autonomous areas, organs of self-government may carry them out in a flexible manner or not carry them out, upon approval of state organs of higher levels.
(3) Power of autonomy in administering finances
Organs of self-government of ethnic autonomous areas have a relatively greater degree of the power of autonomy in administering the finances of their areas. They may enjoy preferential treatment of the state.
All revenues accruing to the ethnic autonomous areas under the financial system of the state shall be managed and used by the organs of self-government of those areas on their own.
Regulations concerning the revenues and expenditures in ethnic autonomous areas are made by the State Council according to the principle of providing preferential treatment to ethnic autonomous areas.
Extra reserve funds may be set up in the spending of financial budget of ethnic autonomous areas according to state regulations. The reserve funds in the budget of these areas may occupy a percentage higher than in other areas.
(4) The self-government right concerning languages
Organs of self-government of ethnic autonomous areas have a larger degree of power in administering cultural affairs.
In performing their functions, organs of self-government of ethnic autonomous areas, in accordance with the regulations on the exercise of autonomy in those areas, employ the spoken and written language or languages in common use in the locality.
In areas several languages are used in performing their functions, organs of self-governments may use the language of the ethnic group exercising regional autonomous in the areas.
(5) The right to organize public security forces
Organs of self-government in ethnic autonomous areas, in accordance with the national military system and actual needs in their localities and upon approval of the State Council, may organize public security forces to safeguard local public order

XI. Special Administrative Regions
The state may establish special administrative regions when necessary. The systems to be instituted in special administrative regions shall be prescribed by law enacted by the National People’s Congress in the light of specific conditions.
I. Legal and administrative positions of special administrative regions
1. Special administrative regions are local administrative regions of the People’s Republic of China
The Basic Laws of special administrative regions shall be drawn by the National People’s Congress.
Legislative councils in special administrative regions may, according to specification in the Basic Laws and established procedures, draw up regional laws but such laws must be reported to the National People’s Congress for the record.
The chief executives of special administrative regions are elected or selected through consultation locally and appointed by the Central Government.
Special administrative regions do not exercise the rights of state sovereignty. Foreign affairs in special administrative regions are administered by the Central Government. Defense affairs in the regions fall under the responsibility of the Central Government.
The National People’s Congress has the right to declare the state of war in special administrations regions of Hong Kong and Macao. The Central Government may issue orders specifying the implementation of national laws in special administrative regions.
When deeming that the laws drawn by legislature councils in special administrative regions do not conform to the articles in the Basic Laws, the National People’s Congress may recall the laws, but not make revisions of them. Under such circumstances, the laws immediately go out of effect.
Governments of special administrative regions shall, on their own initiative, forbid any acts of treason, split of the country, instigation of rebellion, subversion of the Central Government and stealing of state secrets, forbid foreign political organizations or groups to conduct political activities in special administrative regions, forbid political organizations and groups in the special administrative regions to establish contact with foreign political organizations and groups.
2. High degree of self-government in special administrative regions
Special administrative regions may exercise social, economic, political and cultural systems different from those on the mainland regions of the People’s Republic of China.
Laws drawn by the National People’s Congress and its Standing Committee may not be enforced in special administrative regions, except those which concern national defense, foreign affairs and involve national unification and territorial integrity and which do not concern the scope of self-government in special administrative regions.
The Central Government and its organs, provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government shall not interfere in the affairs of self-government by special administrative regions according to law.
Legislative councils and government organs of special administrative regions are to be composed of local residents.
Legislative councils of special administrative regions may enact, abrogate and revise laws so long as such laws do not contradict the Basic Laws for the special administrative regions.
Special administrative regions enjoy the power of final adjudication.
Revenues of special administrative regions shall not be turned over to the Central Government which does not collect taxes in special administrative regions either.
Special administrative regions may, in their own name, maintain and develop economic and culture ties with foreign countries, regions and international organizations, conclude bilateral or multi-lateral agreements on economics, culture, science and technology, join various non-governmental international organizations and independently issue travel documents into and out of special administrative regions.
II. The political system in special administrative regions
1. The chief executive
(1) The status and qualifications of the chief executive
The chief executive of a special administrative region is the leader of the region and represents the region.
The chief executive of a special administrative region is responsible to the Central Government and the special administrative regions.
The chief executive of a special administrative region must be a permanent citizen of the special administrative region, who has reached full 40 years in age, resided in the special administrative region for an accumulative period of 20 years and has no rights of abode in foreign countries.
The chief executive of a special administration region is selected by election or consultation and appointed by the Central Government.
The chief executive of a special administration region serves for a term of five years and may serve a second term.
Under one or more of the following conditions, the chief executive must region:
1) Being unable to perform his or her functions because of serious illness or other reasons;
2) Having twice refused to sign laws enacted by the legislative council so as to dismiss the legislative council, still refusing to sign the law when the reelected legislative council has passed the original bill in dispute with a two-thirds majority; and/or
3) Dismissing the legislative council when the latter refuses to pass the financial budget or other important bills, and the reelected legislative council continues its refusal to pass the bills in dispute.
When the chief executive is temporarily unable to perform his or her functions, secretaries of various departments of the government of the special administrative region may take turns to serve as the acting chief executive.
(2) The functions and powers of the chief executive
1) To exercise leadership over the government of the special administrative region;
2) To be responsible for the implementation of the Basic Law and other statutes;
3) To sign acts adopted by the legislative council and promulgate the laws;
4) To sign the decision on financial budget adopted by the legislative council and send the financial budget and final accounting to the Central Government for the record;
5) To decide on policies of the government and promulgate administrative orders;
6) To nominate and report to the Central Government for appointment major officials such as the directors and vice directors of various departments of the government;
7) To appoint judges of the courts at various levels and public servants according to legally prescribed procedures;
8) To carry out orders the Central Government issues concerning affairs stipulated by the Basic Law;
9) To conduct foreign affairs and other affairs delegated by the Central Government on behalf of the special administrative region;
10) To approve decisions on financial revenues and expenditures to be submitted to the legislative council;
11) To decide whether government officials or other personnel engaged in government affairs should testify and provide evidence to the legislative council, upon consideration of security and public interests;
12) To offer amnesty or reduce punishment of criminals; and
13) To deal with petitions and appeals.
2. Administrative organs
(1) Administrative organs of special administrative regions
The administrative organ of a special administrative region is the government of the special administrative region.
The chief executive is the highest leader of the government of a special administrative region.
The government of a special administrative region is made up of departments, bureaus, offices and commissions.
Major officials of the government of a special administrative region shall be permanent Chinese citizens who have lived in the special administrative region for an accumulative period of 15 years.
(2) The functions and powers of administrative regions
The administrative organ of a special administrative region exercises the following functions and powers:
1) To formulate and implement policies;
2) To administer various administrative affairs;
3) To conduct foreign affairs delegated by the Central Government;
4) To draw up and put forward financial budget and final accounting; to propose bills, draft laws and auxiliary regulations; and
5) To send officials to sit in sessions of the legislative council and speak on behalf of the administrative organ.
The administrative organ is responsible to the legislative council:
1) The administrative organ implements laws enacted by the legislative council;
2) It makes report on the government to the legislative council on fixed date;
3) It answers inquires of members of the legislative council; and
4) Its acts of taxation and public expenditure must be approved by the legislative council.
3. The legislative council
(1) The position and powers of the legislative council
The legislative council of a special administrative region is the law making body for the special administrative region.
The legislative council also exercises the following power apart from making laws:
1) To examine and evaluate the financial budget;
2) To approve taxation and public expenditure;
3) To hear and debate the report by the chief executive on the work of the government;
4) To make inquires on the work of the administrative organ;
5) To impeach the chief executive according to legal process if the chief executive has committed serious violations of law or dereliction of duty; and
6) To agree on the appointment and removal of judges of the court of final appeal and the chief judge of the high court.
(2) The creation and term of office of the legislative council
The legislative council is made up by Chinese citizens without right of abode in foreign countries who live permanently in the special administrative region.
Non-Chinese permanent residents of a special administrative region and permanent residents of a special administrative region with the right of abode in foreign countries may also serve as members of the legislative council but they shall not make up more than 20 percent of the total number of legislative council members.
The creation of the legislative council includes direct election and indirect election. Members of the legislative council are elected directly by electorates and indirectly by functional organizations and election committees. Members elected in both ways together constitute the legislative council.
The legislative council serves a term of four years except the first legislative council of a special administrative region which serves two years.
4. Judicial organs
The judicial organs that existed before the special administrative region was established can continue to exist. The only change in the judicial organs is brought about by the creation of the court of final appeal.


State Structure
The Party in Power
The Communist Party: Headed by the Central Committee when in session and the Political Bureau and its Standing Committee when not in session. The plenary session of the Central Committee elect the Political Bureau and Standing Committee.
The Military
Central Military Commission: The highest state military organ
Headed by a chairman and consists of vice chairmen and members who are elected for five-year terms.
The Head of State
President: Ability to propagate laws, appoint premier, vice premiers, state councilors and other positions, and declare state of war among other duties.
The Organ of State Power
The National People’s Congress: The organ of supreme power
The Standing Committee: the permanent in-office organ
both elected for 5 yr. terms and exercise the power of legislation, election, appointment, dismissal, et al.
The State Administration
The Central People’s Government (State Council) and local people’s governments
The State Trial Organ
The people’s courts, the Supreme People’s Court, local people’s courts and special people’s courts.
The State Prosecution Organ
The people’s procuratorates: legal supervision
The prosecution system includes the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, local people’s procuratorates and special people’s procuratorates.
The Political Consultative Organ
The Chinese People’s Consultative Conference: an organization under the Communist Party of China
Social Organizations
Mass non-governmental organizations that influence political life: All-China Federation of Trade Unions, Communist Youth League of China and the All-China Women’s Federation.
CPC Leaders
Members of the Political Bureau
Members of the Political Bureau
Members of the Secretariat of the Central Committee
Members of the CPC Central Committee
Alternate Members of the CPC Central Committee
Leaders of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection
Members of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection

Climate of China
Administrative Divisions of China
Population and Nationality
Political System and State Structure
Resources of China
China's Economy
China's Foreign relations
China's Education
China's Social Security
China's Transportation system

 

 

 


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