The Government of Mainland China


On paper the National People's Congress (NPC) of the People's Republic is the highest organ of state power and includes delegates from 23 provinces, 4 municipalities, 5 autonomous regions and 2 special administrative regions (SAR). The NPC convenes once a year and when it is not in session, the Standing Committee of the NPC takes on its administrative powers. Both the NPC and its Standing committee have a term of office of five years. The NPC’s powers include the rights of legislation, supervision, election, and removal of key state officials (up to and including the president of the PRC). The NPC has in the past built up a reputation of being a rubber stamping organisation, expected to pass the legislation put before it by the Party. However, more recently the NPC has grown in influence and has been more able to show its disapproval of legislation that it views negatively.

The State Council of the People's Republic of China, namely the Central People's Government acts as the executive branch of the government. It is composed of a premier, vice-premiers, State councillors, ministers in charge of ministries and commissions, the auditor-general and the secretary-general. The number of ministries under the State Council varies in number, but under the current administration there are around 27.

The president nominates the premier of the State and this nomination is reviewed by the NPC. The other members of the State Council are nominated by the premier, reviewed by the NPC or its Standing Committee, and appointed and removed by the president. In the State Council, a single term of each office is five years, and incumbents cannot be reappointed after two successive terms.