The primary organs of state power are the National People's Congress (NPC), the President, and the State Council. Members of the State Council include Premier, a variable number of vice premiers, state councilors (protocol equal of vice premiers but with narrower portfolios), and ministers and heads of State Council commissions.
Under the Chinese Constitution, the NPC is the highest organ of state power in China. It meets annually for about 2 weeks to review and approve major new policy directions, laws, the budget, and major personnel changes. These initiatives are presented to the NPC for consideration by the State Council after previous endorsement by the Communist Party's Central Committee.
Although the NPC generally approves State Council policy and personnel recommendations, various NPC committees hold active debate in closed sessions, and changes may be made to accommodate alternate views.
When the NPC is not in session, its permanent organ, the Standing Committee, exercises state power.
The president, as the head of the state, promulgates laws, appoints the premier, vice premiers, state councilors, ministers of various ministries and state commissions, the auditor-general, and the secretary-general of the State Council, according to decisions of the National People's Congress and its standing committee.
The state administrative organs of China include the central and local administrative organs. The central administrative organ is the Central People's Government, better known as the State Council. Local administrative organs are local people's governments at four levels: the provinces (autonomous regions and centrally administered municipalities), cities and prefectures, counties and townships.
The Supreme People's Court is the highest trial organ in the country and exercises its right of trial independently. It is also the highest supervising organ over the trial practices of local people's courts and special people's courts at various levels. It reports its work to the National People's Congress and its Standing Committee. The right of appointment and removal of the president and vice presidents as well as members of the trial committee of the Supreme People's Court lies with the National People's Congress.
The Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference is an organization under the leadership of the Communist Party of China and an organ for various other political parties, mass organizations and personages of various social circles to take part in the running of the state.
Chinese Communist Party
The 58 million member CCP, authoritarian in structure and ideology, continues to dominate government and society. Central leaders must increasingly build consensus for new policies among party members, local and regional leaders, influential non-party members, and the population at large.
The influence of people and organizations outside the formal party structure has tended to increase, particularly in the economic realm. This phenomenon is apparent today in the rapidly developing coastal region. Nevertheless, in all important government, economic, and cultural institutions in China, party committees work to see that party and state policy guidance is followed.