What Type Of Government Does China Have?

The Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

The People’s Republic of China has been ruled by the Communist Party since 1949 when it won the Chinese Civil War by overthrowing the Nationalist government. Under the Constitution, the Communist party has the complete political authority and governs according to democratic centralism. This governmental system allows for open discussion about policy decisions, but all members of the government are required to uphold collective decisions once a vote is made. Several smaller political parties comprise the United Front, although, they do not hold power or independence from the Communist party.

The Politburo Standing Committee controls the Communist party and the military; it has between 4 and 9 members. The majority of governmental power, however, is concentrated in one position, the Paramount Leader. This leader holds several other titles as well: the General Secretary of the Communist Party, General Secretary of the Central Committee, Chairman of the Central Military Commission, and President of the country. The government is further divided into 4 branches: the legislative, the executive, the judicial, and the military.

Legislative Branch Of The Government of China

The legislative branch of the government of China consists of the highest department of the Communist party, the National People’s Congress. This body plays a role in debating policy proposals and mediating discussions among its 2,987 members. Representatives are elected for 5-year terms and meet once a year. Amendments to the constitution are considered after proposed by at least 20% of its members and are approved by a two-thirds vote. The Congress also writes and amends laws concerning civil affairs, state issues, and criminal acts. Additionally, it is responsible for electing the members of the Standing Committee, the President and Vice President of the country, and the Premier of the State Council. Additionally, the Congress reviews and approves the National Economic and Social Development Plan and oversees its proper administration.

Executive Branch Of The Government of China

The executive branch is made up of the State Council, the Premier, and the President. The President serves as a ceremonial head of state for a 5-year term and has little power within the government. The Premier acts as a Prime Minister and is head of the 50-member Council, each member the head of a ministry or government agency. These members manage the provincial governments and meet once every 6 months. The State Council must answer to the National People’s Congress and ensure that its legislative decisions are carried out.

Judicial Branch Of The Government of China

The Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate are part of the judicial branch of the Chinese government. The Supreme Court is the highest in the land, and the National People’s Congress appoints its 340 judges. These judges oversee the following courts: economic, criminal, civil, administrative, and special courts. The Chief Grand Justice also serves as the President over the Supreme Court. The Supreme People’s Procuratorate carries out investigation and prosecution of crimes. It is managed by the Office of the Procurator-General.

Military Branch Of The Government of China

The Central Military Commission consists of 11 members and is responsible for controlling the People’s Liberation Army, the People’s Liberation Army militia, and the People’s Armed Police. It does this by creating military policy and ensuring that it is carried out by the lower offices. Additionally, this Commission makes decisions about deployment of its armed forces and budget spending. The head of this Commission is the Chairman, who acts as the Commander-in-Chief of the military. The National People’s Congress elects the Chairman of the country.


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