State Council of the People's Republic of China

State Council of the People's Republic of China
State Council of the
People's Republic of China
Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó Guówùyuàn
National Emblem of the People's Republic of China.svg
Emblem of the People's Republic of China
Agency overview
Formed 27 September 1954
Preceding agency Government Administration Council of the Central People's Government
Jurisdiction Government of the People's Republic of China
Headquarters Zhongnanhai, Beijing
Agency executives Wen Jiabao, Premier
Li Keqiang
Hui Liangyu
Zhang Dejiang
Wang Qishan, Vice-Premiers
People's Republic of China

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The State Council of the People's Republic of China (simplified Chinese: 国务院; traditional Chinese: 國務院; pinyin: Guówùyuàn), which is largely synonymous with the Central People's Government (Chinese: 中央人民政府) after 1954, is the chief administrative authority of the People's Republic of China. [1] It is chaired by the Premier and includes the heads of each governmental department and agency.[2] In recent times, the council has had 35 members: the premier, four vice-premiers, five standing committee members (of which two are also ministers), and 25 additional ministers.[3] In the politics of the People's Republic of China, the Central People's Government forms one of three interlocking branches of power, the others being the Communist Party of China and the People's Liberation Army. The State Council directly oversees the various subordinate People's Governments in the provinces, and in practice maintains an interlocking membership with the top levels of the Communist Party of China creating a fused center of power.



The State Council meets once every six months. Between meetings it is guided by a standing committee which meets weekly. The standing committee includes the premier, four vice premiers, and five other state councilors (one of whom serves as Secretary General of the State Council, and two of whom concurrently serve as ministers).

The vice-premiers and state councilors are nominated by the premier, and appointed by the president with National People's Congress' (NPC) approval. The premier is nominated and appointed by the president with NPC approval. Incumbents may serve two successive five-year terms.

Each vice premier oversees certain areas of administration. Each State Councilor performs duties as designated by the Premier. The secretary-general heads the General Office which handles the day-to-day work of the State Council. The secretary-general has relatively little power and should not be confused with the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China.

Each ministry supervises one sector. Commissions outrank ministries and set policies for and coordinate the related activities of different administrative organs. Offices deal with matters of ongoing concern. Bureaus and administrations rank below ministries.

In addition to the 27 ministries, there are 38 centrally administered government organizations that report directly to the state council. The heads of these organizations attend full meetings of the state committee on an irregular basis.

Although the State Council is formally responsible to the NPC and its Standing Committee in conducting a wide range of government functions both at the national and at the local levels, in practice the NPC's authority is rather limited, although it not completely non-existent. The State Council acts according by virtue of the authority of the NPC, and there has been at least one case where the NPC has outright rejected an initiative of the State Council and a few cases where the State Council has withdrawn or greatly modified a proposal in response to NPC opposition.

The State Council and the Communist Party of China are also tightly interlocked. Most of the members of the State Council are high level party members. Although, as party members, they are supposed to follow party instructions, because they tend to be senior members of the party they also have large amounts of influence over what those instructions are. This results in a system which is unlike the Soviet practice in which the Party effectively controlled the state. Rather the party and state are fused at this level of government. The members of the State Council derive their authority from being members of the state, while as members of the Party they coordinate their activities and determine key decisions such as the naming of personnel.

Although there were attempts to separate the party and state in the late 1980s under Zhao Ziyang and have the Party in charge of formulating policy and the State Council executing policy, these efforts were largely abandoned in the early 1990s.

As the chief administrative organ of government, its main functions are to formulate administrative measures, issue decisions and orders, and monitor their implementation; draft legislative bills for submission to the NPC or its Standing Committee; and prepare the economic plan and the state budget for deliberation and approval by the NPC. The State Council is the functional center of state power and clearinghouse for government initiatives at all levels. With the government's emphasis on economic modernization, the State Council clearly acquired additional importance and influence.

The State Council controls the Ministry for National Defense but does not control the People's Liberation Army, which is instead controlled by the Central Military Commission.

Principal officers

Wen I and II Cabinet
Office Head Tenure
Premier Wen Jiabao 2003–
First Vice Premier (Financial Affairs) Huang Ju
Li Keqiang
Vice Premier (Foreign Affairs and Commerce) Wu Yi
Wang Qishan
Vice Premier (Economy) Zeng Peiyan
Zhang Dejiang
Vice Premier (Agriculture) Hui Liangyu 2003–
Secretary General Hua Jianmin
Ma Kai
Finance Minister Jin Renqing
Xie Xuren
Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing
Yang Jiechi
Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan
Liang Guanglie
Minister of Education Zhou Ji
Yuan Guiren
Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai
Chen Deming
Health Minister Zhang Wenkang
Wu Yi
Gao Qiang
Chen Zhu
Minister of National Development
and Reform Commission
Ma Kai
Zhang Ping
Minister of Railways Liu Zhijun 2003–
Minister of Civil Affairs Li Xueju 2003–
Minister of Labour Tian Chengping 2005–
Governor of the People's Bank of China Zhou Xiaochuan 2005–

Organizational structure

General Office of the State Council

Ministries and Commissions under the State Council

  1. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  2. Ministry of National Defense
  3. National Development and Reform Commission
  4. Ministry of Education
  5. Ministry of Science and Technology
  6. State Ethnic Affairs Commission
  7. Ministry of Public Security
  8. Ministry of State Security
  9. Ministry of Supervision
  10. Ministry of Civil Affairs
  11. Ministry of Justice
  12. Ministry of Finance
  13. Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security
  14. Ministry of Land and Resources
  15. Ministry of Environmental Protection
  16. Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Construction
  17. Ministry of Railways
  18. Ministry of Transport
  19. Ministry of Industry and Information Technology
  20. Ministry of Water Resources
  21. Ministry of Agriculture
  22. Ministry of Commerce
  23. Ministry of Culture
  24. Ministry of Health
  25. National Population and Family Planning Commission
  26. People's Bank of China
  27. National Audit Office

Special Organization directly under the State Council

  • State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC)

Organizations directly under the State Council

  1. General Administration of Customs
  2. State Administration of Taxation
  3. State Administration for Industry and Commerce
  4. General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine
  5. State Administration of Radio, Film and Television
  6. General Administration of Press and Publication (National Copyright Administration)
  7. State General Administration of Sports
  8. National Bureau of Statistics
  9. State Forestry Administration
  10. State Administration of Work Safety
  11. State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO)
  12. National Tourism Administration
  13. State Administration for Religious Affairs
  14. Counselor's Office of the State Council
  15. Government Offices Administration of the State Council
  16. National Bureau of Corruption Prevention

Administrative Offices under the State Council

  1. Overseas Chinese Affairs Office
  2. Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office
  3. Legislative Affairs Office
  4. State Council Research Office

Institutions directly under the State Council

  1. Xinhua News Agency
  2. Chinese Academy of Sciences
  3. Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
  4. Chinese Academy of Engineering
  5. Development Research Center
  6. National School of Administration
  7. China Earthquake Administration
  8. China Meteorological Administration
  9. China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC)
  10. China Securities Regulatory Commission
  11. China Insurance Regulatory Commission
  12. State Electricity Regulatory Commission
  13. National Council for Social Security Fund
  14. National Natural Science Foundation
  15. Taiwan Affairs Office (CPC institution)
  16. State Council Information Office (CPC institution)
  17. State Archives Administration (CPC institution)

State Administrations and Bureaus under the Ministries and Commissions

  1. State Bureau for Letters and Calls
  2. State Administration of Grain
  3. National Energy Administration
  4. State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence
  5. State Tobacco Monopoly Administration (China National Tobacco Corporation)
  6. State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs
  7. State Bureau of Civil Servants
  8. State Oceanic Administration
  9. Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC)
  10. State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping
  11. State Post Bureau
  12. State Administration of Cultural Heritage
  13. State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA)
  14. State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine
  15. State Administration of Foreign Exchange
  16. State Administration of Coal Mine Safety
  17. National Administration for the Protection of State Secrets (CPC institution)
  18. State Cryptography Administration (CPC institution)
  19. China National Space Administration
  20. China Atomic Energy Authority
  21. State Language Commission
  22. National Nuclear Safety Administration


External links

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