People’s Republic of China called a Party-state country is famous for its unique political structure

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There is a close and interlocking relationship between the state’s institution and the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s); however, theoretically, their structures consist of different parts. Political structure of state is mainly composed of National People’s Congress (NPC), Standing Committee of the NPC, the State Council and Provincial People’s Congress while that of the CCP are Standing Committee, Politburo, Central Committee and National Party Congress.

This paper is going to discuss the two main problems of the existing political system in China. Moreover, solutions suggested by the Central Government will be highlighted. Finally, evaluation will also be made. In part (a) Interlocking system of the state and the CCP and part (b) Corruption and Dictatorship of CCP members are going to be discussed.

(a) The Interlocking System of the State and the CCP

The Chinese Communist Party controls and directs the machinery of state through an interlocking system of party personnel and a structure parallel to that of the state government. In reality, China is sorted as a Party-state country. It is often surprised by the Chinese constitution, which stipulates the CCP is “the core of leadership of the whole Chinese people.” and “the working class exercises leadership over the state through its vanguard, the Communist Party of China.” (7)

Take the State Council, the nation’s highest executive organ, as an example. The state bureaucracy under the State Council as if it were an independent power base competing with the party. Indeed, it is the case that ‘all the forty-five ministers approved by the Eighth NPC were members of the CCP’s Central Committee demonstrates that the State Council is not only interlocked with the party but is also controlled by it. Conflicts that do occur are not primarily between the government and the party but rather are intraparty conflicts between high-rank party members.’ (7)

The following diagram shows how the Party controls the Government in the political system:

Actually, the state structure and the party are not truly parallel entities, since they interlock from top to bottom. In each state bureaucracy, there is always the presence of the party cell, which provides direction for the state organ and helps the CCP closely monitor how the government executes its directives. By and large, government is a “rubber stamp” of the party. The government must ask for guide and report the policy works from and to the party. Consequently, political parties will lose its essential functions when the government is only on behalf of one party.


Typically, political parties act two main roles as ‘a link between the government and the people and a monitor of a government. ‘The government and the people are two separate entities; the former governs while the latter is governed. The political parties aggregate and transmit the interests of people into the decision-making processes. Government then recognizes the demands of society and becomes responsive to the citizens when making public policies and allocating resources. In order words, the political parties are a kind of medium through which people exercise their political power and have a chance to control the government.’ (8) That implies when the government acts as a ‘rubber stamp’ of the CCP, people lose the civil rights to participate in policy-making even though their interest will be exploited after the implementation of the policy. Social unrest and endless riots may result.

In addition, the political party can monitor the government by raising questions in legislature in order to give more information about the policies. Alternative policies can also be suggested. As the CCP has the final say, policies must be in favor of the party; however, China should not only serve the interest of the CCP but that of the whole population. Otherwise, social progression must be hindered. For example, although free press plays an important role for social development, it must be prohibited by the Central government when the issue opposes the CCP. Despite the fact that in 1978’s constitution, the right to “speak out freely, air their views fully, hold great debates, and write big-character posters” was permitted., ‘after a short flurry of wall posters put up by the young dissidents during the “democracy wall” movement in 1978-79 under the guarantees of the 1978 constitution, China’s pragmatic reformers led by Deng Xiaoping saw these rights being used by weapons by ultra-leftists to advance their aims. The wall posters are viewed by the present leaders as instruments that may be used by dissenters to incite “anarchism” and “factionalism”…The rights stated in 1978 constitution were deleted from the 1982 constitution’ (9)

Nevertheless, Central government has ‘taken action’ to improve the situation so as to increase the efficiency in the political system recently.

Solutions by the Central Government:

It is suggested that party apparatus, which overlaps with the government one, should be separated so that the government acts independent of the party. For instance, the entangled relationship between the Central Political Bureau of the CCP and the State Council should be changed. That is all power is re-vested in the State Council while the Central Political Bureau should step back.

* First, in order to “listen to the voice from the mass”, the Central government has carried out a Meeting system & Document system which is using face-to-face meetings extensively since Peasant are not well-educated. The effect of this policy is obvious successful when the farmers can express their need orally.

* Second, a Democratic centralism is carried out. That is before an issue is decided, consultations should occur with all pertinent people. It is an attempt to enjoy the advantages of disciplined dictatorship without sacrificing free discussions and the airing of views.

* Third, the government makes use of Think-tank. These think-tanks derive their power primarily from the direct access they enjoy to the premier. They work hard to cultivate direct ties with units at all levels of the national administration, to bring the resulting data, to support policy matters and to improve the information flows from the top and in some instances lower-level bodies in the provinces and cities made similar improvements.


After reviewing the measures suggested by the Central, I am glad that China has turned over a new leaf.

The Central government has struck for improvement of the country with more and more concern about its people.

Nonetheless, some points I would like to mention that not only should the party apparatus overlapping with the government one be separated but also the high-ranking party members should not be the high-ranking government officers at the same time such as ‘the chief staff for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is usually a member of the Standing Committee of the Military Affairs Committee (MAC).

It also leads to the problem of time lag and inefficiency which in turn cannot implement the policy and make response to people in need. This problem gets worse when natural disaster happening.

The final suggestion I would like to make is as stated by Dr. Sun Yatsen in the warlord period from 1916 to 1936, ‘it is a high time to experience a period of political tutelage to prepare the people for democratic government.’ if China has to stand outstanding in the World. It is because the society can become prosperous when the need from its people can be satisfied.

(b) Corruption & Dictatorship of CCP members

As mentioned in part (a), CCP as a monopolized party in China. We can conclude that the CCP is the source of all political power and has the exclusive right to legitimize and control all other political organizations. It alone determines the social, economic, and political goals to maintain a fair and just society. “The attainment of these goals is pursued through careful recruitment for members and their placement in party organs that supervise and control all other institutions and groups in society. All other institutions in China are controlled by the elites, who are themselves leaders of the party hierarchy.” (1) As stated in the constitution of the Communist Party of China (1982), the party member should obey the first basic principle:

“Individual party members are subordinated to the party organization, the minority is subordinated to the majority, the lower party organizations are subordinated to the higher party organizations, and all the constituent organizations and members of the Party are subordinated to the National Congress and the Central Committee of the Party.”

Although the CCP highly controls its member from the lowest level of party organization to the highest one (i.e. Party cells, Party members and cadres, Organizations in Central and, local and grassroots (3.4 million grassroots units), many party members engage in the corrupt practice.

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