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Political System

Theoretically, the Communist Party of China and the government of the People’s Republic of China are two separate entities. However, the Communist Party is currently active in all government bodies and institutions. The government structure can be viewed as a pyramid whereby the higher a position, the more power an authority is accorded. For example, current president Jiang Zemin holds the position of both Communist Party Secretary and chairman of the Central Military Commission, which is a very influential position.

The Government Structure

National People’s Congress
This is the highest legislative body for the country. It consists of eight committees: Law, Nationalities, Internal Affairs and Justice, Education, Science, Culture and Health, Foreign Affairs, Overseas Chinese, Environment Protection, and Finance and Economy.

State Council
The State Council is the executive body of the Chinese government and is responsible for formulating rules, making policy decisions, and coordinating the work of various state bureaus.

Central Military Commission
The Central Military Commission is the highest policy-making body in the People’s Liberation Army and the country’s top military command authority.

Supreme People’s Court
The Supreme People’s Court is the highest judicial body in China. This body is responsible for advising provincial and municipal courts, and handles cases that extend beyond a single province or members of state bodies. Headed by a president, it reports to the National People’s Congress.

Supreme People’s Procuratorate
The highest legal supervisory body, it oversees the activities of other state bureaus and officials, acting like the government’s police department.

State Level Corporations
State Level Corporations are national corporations run by the central government. While these corporations were established as commercial enterprises, they also maintain an administrative role in supervising their particular sector.

President and Vice President
The president, in accordance with decisions taken by the National People’s Congress, appoints and removes the premier, the vice premiers, state councilors, ministers, and other high ranking officials. The vice president assists in the presidential work. If the office of the president falls vacant, the vice president will then succeed to the position of president.

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