The administrative system refers to a series of regulations and
practices in regard to the composition, system, power and
activities of the state administrative organs.
The central administrative system in the People's Republic of China
includes: the central administrative organs under the system of the
National People's Congress and the leadership of the central
administrative organs over local administrative organs at various
The central administrative organ is the State Council of the
People's Republic of China.
The State Council is the highest administrative organ of the
I. Administrative leadership system
1. The administrative power of the State Council over the whole
The State Council, or the Central People's Government, of the
People's Republic of China is the executive body of the highest
organ of state power and the highest organ of state
The State Council exercises unified leadership over local state
administrative organs at various levels throughout the country,
regulates the specific division of power and function of the state
administrative organs at the central level and the provincial,
autonomous regional and municipal level.
2. The system of leader responsibility
(1) The responsibility of the Premier of the State
1) The Premier assumes overall responsibility for the work of the
State Council and is responsible to the NPC and its Standing
Committee on behalf of the State Council.
The Vice Premiers and State Councilors assist the Premier in his
work. Together with the Secretary-general, Ministers and the
Auditor-general, they are responsible to the Premier.
2) The Premier has the final decision making power on all major
issues in the work of the State Council.
3) The Premier has the power to suggest to the NPC and its Standing
Committee to appoint or remove the Vice Premiers, State Councilors,
Ministers, the Auditor-general and Secretary-general.
4) Decisions, decrees and administrative rules and regulations
promulgated by the State Council, bills and suggestions of
appointments and removals submitted by the State Council to the NPC
and its Standing Committee are legally valid only after the Premier
has signed them.
(2) The responsibility of ministers of the State Council
The ministers assume overall responsibility for the work of the
ministries and commissions.
They direct the work of their respective ministries and
commissions, convene and preside over ministerial meetings or
general and executive meetings of the commissions and sign
important reports to the State Council and decrees and directives
issued to lower levels.
(3) The responsibility of leaders of local people's
Local people's governments at various levels exercise the
responsibility system of the provincial governor, autonomous
regional chairman, mayor, prefect, county governor, district
governor, town and township head.
3. The administrative supervision system
Administrative supervision refers to state administrative organs
conducting all-round supervision over state administrative organs
and their staff at all levels and making sure if their official
performances are in line with the Constitution, laws and
(1) Supervision from the above
Upper administrative organs or leaders have the power to conduct
supervision over lower administrative organs and their staff.
Under normal circumstances, upper administrative organs implement
administrative supervision through such measures as annulling
inappropriate orders and decisions of the lower administrative
organs, checking and awarding or penalizing the staff of lower
administrative organs, directing, providing guidance, inspecting
and urging the work of lower administrative organs.
Upper administrative organs may annul wrong administrative
decisions of lower administrative organs by administrative
State auditing bodies exercise all-round supervision and
appraisal of the financial and economic activities of
administrative organs, watch over the spending of state budget,
prevent and correct any misconduct in financial and economic
activities in the country.
Under the direction of leaders of the government at the
corresponding level, the auditing body independently exercises its
power or supervision through auditing in accordance with the law,
subject to no interference by any other administrative organ or any
public organization or individual.
(3) Investigative supervision
Administrative supervision bodies exercise supervision over
state administrative organs and their staff through such methods as
Supervisory bodies have the power to investigate targets of
supervision and put forward due suggestions or make due decisions
according to the investigation results.
II. The composition, power and function of the State
1. The composition of the State Council
The State Council is composed of the Premier, Vice Premiers,
Ministers in charge of ministries, Ministers in charge of
commissions, the Auditor-general and the Secretary-general.
The Premier is nominated by the President of the People's Republic
of China, decided by the NPC, appointed and removed by the
The Vice Premiers, State Councilors, Ministers, Auditor-general and
Secretary-general of the State Council are nominated by the
Premier, decided by the NPC, appointed and removed by the President
of the People's Republic of China. When the NPC is not in session,
the choice of State Councilors, Ministers, Auditor-general and
Secretary-general are decided by the Standing Committee of the NPC
according to nomination by the Premier and appointed or removed by
the President of the People's Republic of China.
The State Council serves for a term of five years. The Premier,
Vice Premiers and State Councilors shall serve no more than two
The Vice Premiers assist the Premier in his work.
Entrusted by the Premier or the executive meeting of the State
Council, State Councilors may take charge of work in certain
aspects or specially important tasks. They may also represent the
State Council in conducting foreign affairs.
Under the leadership of the Premier, the Secretary-general of the
State Council is in charge of the day-to-day work of the state
The Auditor-general is in charge of the supervision of state
revenue and expenditure, and other financial and monetary
2. The general and executive meetings of the State Council and
the working meeting of the Premier
(1) The general meeting of the State Council
The general meeting of the State Council is attended by all
members the State Council is composed of, convened and presided
over by the Premier.
The general meeting of the State Council is convened to discuss
issues of major importance or matters involving more than one
The general meeting is convened once every two months or once every
quarter of a year, under normal conditions.
(2) The executive meetings of the State Council
The executive meeting of the State Council is participated by
the Premier, Vice Premiers, State Councilors and the
Secretary-general, convened and presided over by the Premier.
The executive meetings of the State Council are convened to discuss
major issues in the work of the State Council, bills to be
submitted to the Standing Committee of the NPC, administrative
rules and regulations and important issues submitted by various
departments and localities for decision by the State Council.
The executive meeting of the State Council is convened once a month
under normal conditions.
(3) The working meeting of the Premier
The working meeting of the Premier is convened by the Premier
(or by a Vice Premier entrusted by the Premier) to discuss and deal
with major issues in the day-to-day work of the State
The working meeting of the Premier is convened whenever
3. The functions and powers of the State Council
(1) to adopt administrative measures, enact administrative rules
and regulations and issue decisions and orders in accordance with
the Constitution and the law;
(2) to submit proposals to the National People's Congress or its
(4) to formulate the tasks and responsibilities of the ministries
and commissions of the State Council, to exercise unified
leadership over the work of the ministries and commissions and to
direct all other administrative work of a national character that
does not fall within the jurisdiction of the ministries and
(5) to exercise unified leadership over the work of local organs of
state administration at various levels throughout the country, and
to formulate the detailed division of functions and powers between
the Central Government and the organs of state administration of
provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under
the Central Government;
(6) to draw up and implement the plan for national economic and
social development and the state budget;
(7) to direct and administer economic affairs and urban and rural
(8) to direct and administer the affairs of education, science,
culture, public health, physical culture and family planning;
(9) to direct and administer civil affairs, public security,
judicial administration, supervision and other related
(10) to conduct foreign affairs and conclude treaties and
agreements with foreign states;
(11) to direct and administer the building of national
(12) to direct and administer affairs concerning the ethnic groups
and to safeguard the equal rights of ethnic minorities and the
right to autonomy of the ethnic autonomous areas;
(13) to protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese
nationals residing abroad and protect the lawful rights and
interests of returned overseas Chinese and of the family members of
Chinese nationals residing abroad;
(14) to alter or annul inappropriate orders, directives and
regulations issued by the ministries or commissions;
(15) to alter or annul inappropriate decisions and orders issued by
local organs of state administration at various levels;
(16) to approve the geographic division of provinces, autonomous
regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government,
and to approve the establishment and geographic divisions of
autonomous prefectures, counties, autonomous counties and
(17) to decided on the imposition of martial law in parts of
provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under
the Central Government;
(18) to examine and decide on the size of administrative organs
and, in accordance with the law, to appoint or remove
administrative officials, train them, appraise their performance
and reward or punish them; and
(19) to exercise such other functions and powers as the National
People's Congress or its Standing Committee may assign to it.
III. Organs of the State Council
1. Organs the State Council is composed of
Ministries, commissions, the People's Bank of China and
administrations are departments that make up the State Council.
Under the unified leadership of the State Council, they are in
charge of directing and administering the administrative affairs in
their respective areas and exercise prescribed state administrative
(1) Macro-control organs
National Development and Reform Commission
State Economic and Trade Commission
Ministry of Finance
People's Bank of China
(2) Special economic administrative organs
Ministry of Railways
Ministry of Transport
Ministry of Construction
Ministry of Agriculture
Ministry of Water Conservancy
Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation
Ministry of Information Industry
Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National
(3) Social security organs
Ministry of Labor and Social Security
Ministry of Personnel
State Family Planning Commission
(4) Natural resource administrative organ
Ministry of Land and Resources
(5) Foreign affairs, internal affairs and security
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
State Commission of Ethnic Affairs
Ministry of Civil Affairs
Ministry of Justice
Ministry of Public Security
Ministry of State Security
Ministry of National Defense
Ministry of Supervision
National Auditing Office
(6) Education, science, culture and health administrative
Ministry of Education
Ministry of Science and Technology
Ministry of Culture
Ministry of Health
2. Working offices of the State Council
General Affairs Office of the State Council
3. Organizations directly under the State Council
These are organs that are in charge of administrative affairs in
special areas, under the unified leadership of the State
They are lower than the organs listed under Section 1 in
administrative ranking and their institution, dismissal and change
are decided by the State Council.
Leaders of these organs are decided by the executive meeting of the
State Council, appointed and removed by the Premier.
4. Administrative offices under the State Council
They are offices set up within the State Council to assist the
Premier in dealing matters in special areas. Their establishment,
merge and dismissal are decided by the State Council and their
leaders are appointed and removed by the Premier.
5. State bureaus
State bureaus are relatively independent working organs
specially in charge of certain trades and affairs. They are
overseen by ministries and commissions of the State Council.
They are not under the direct leadership of the State Council, but
receives leadership from ministries or commissions. However they
are not bureaus like those within each ministry or
Their major responsibility is to draw up regulations and policies
and conduct administration within the trade.
6. Institutions directly under the State Council
State Administration of Sports
Xinhua News Agency
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Chinese Academy of Engineering
Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Development Research Center of the State Council
China Meteorological Administration
China Intellectual Property Office
7. Coordinating organs and provisional organs of the State
These are set up by the State Council in order to deal with
These organs normally have special committees or leading groups
headed by the Premier, or Vice Premiers, or State Councilors or the
They in most cases do not have independent working offices while
the day-to-day work is placed under permanent ministries,
commissions, administrations or other departments.
These organs include:
(1) working organs set up for directing the work in certain special
(2) coordinating organs; and
(3) consulting organs composed of specialists and leaders of