The essence of the multi-party cooperation and political
The multi-party cooperation
and political consultation under the leadership of the
Communist Party of China is a basic political system
The system means that the CPC is the only party in power
in the People¡¯s Republic of China while under the precondition
of accepting the leadership of the CPC, the eight other
political parties participate in the discussion and
management of state affairs, in cooperation with the
Political consultation means that under the leadership
of the CPC, all parties, mass organizations and representatives
from all walks of life take part in consultations of
the country¡¯s basic policies and important issues in
political, economic, cultural and social affairs before
a decision is adopted and in the discussion of major
issues in the implementation of the decisions.
Political consultation takes the organizational form
of the Chinese People¡¯s Political Consultative Conference.
Political consultation is the most important political
and organization form of the multi-party and political
Cooperative relations between the CPC and other political
parties are based on the principle of ¡°long-term coexistence
and mutual supervision, treating each other with full
sincerity and sharing weal or woe.¡±
II. Political parties participating in the discussion
and management of state affairs
This refers to the eight political parties other than
These parties are those established before the founding
of the People¡¯s Republic of China in 1949, which were
then dedicated to the realization of a bourgeois republic
in China and supported the CPC in the latter¡¯s effort
of overthrowing the rule of the Kuomintang. They are
independent in organization and enjoy political freedom,
organizational independence and legal equality under
1. China Revolutionary Committee of the Kuomintang
Officially founded on January
1, 1948, its main constituents at the time were former
Kuomintang members for democracy and other patriotic
personages. Their political stand was to overthrow the
dictatorial rule of the Kuomintang and realize independence,
democracy and peace in China.
Its Constitution revised in November 1988 stipulates
that its political program at the present stage is to
lead all party members, unite patriots living in China
and residing abroad in favor of the unification of the
motherland to strive for the unification and rejuvenation
of China, under the guidance of the basic line for the
primary stage of socialism.
Its members come from mainly four areas: those with
relations with the Kuomintang, those with relations
with people of all walks of life in Taiwan, those dedicated
to the unification of the motherland and others. The
party mainly draws members from representative people
and middle-level and senior intellectuals.
The party has a membership of 60,000 and He Luli is
2. China Democratic League
First established in November
1939, it took its present name in September 1944. At
the time, it was a united political organization consisting
of political parties and forces favoring the middle
road and democracy.
In 1997 it adopted a constitution which stipulates that
its program is to hold high the banner of patriotism
and socialism, implement the basic line for the primary
stage of socialism, safeguard stability in the society,
strengthen services to national unity and strive for
the promotion of socialist modernization, establishment
and improvement of a market economy, enhancement of
political restructuring and socialist spiritual civilization,
emancipation and development of productive forces, consolidation
and expansion of the united patriotic front and realization
of the grand goals of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
China Democratic League is mainly made up by middle-level
and senior intellectuals in the fields of culture, education,
science and technology. It has a membership of 144,000
and its chairman is Ding Shisun.
3. China Democratic National Construction Association
It was established on December
16, 1945. Its political stand at the time was to guarantee
the basic political rights and human rights of citizens,
protect and develop national industry and commerce and
oppose the dictatorial rule of the Kuomintang.
Its present constitution calls for the implementation
of the CPC¡¯s policy of focusing on economic construction,
acceptance of the leadership of the CPC, persisting
in the tradition of self-education, adhering to the
principle of democratic centralism and carrying out
the policy of multi-party cooperation and political
consultation. Most of its 78,000 members are representative
figures in the economic field. Its chairman is Cheng
4. China Association for the Promotion of Democracy
When it was founded on December
30, 1945, it was made up mostly by people engaged in
education and publishing and patriotic figures in industry
and commerce in Shanghai who stood for promotion of
democracy and reform of the political power. It called
on the Kuomintang to return the political power to the
people, the establishment of a united and constitutional
Its program drawn in 1988 stands for the promotion and
improvement of socialist democracy, improvement of a
socialist legal system, uplifting of the qualifications
of the people, development of productive forces and
turning China into a prosperous, culturally developed,
democratic, strong and modern socialist country.
The association is mainly made up by representative
intellectuals in the fields of education, culture, publishing
and science. It has a membership of 73,000 and its chairman
is Xu Jialu.
5. Chinese Peasants¡¯ and Workers¡¯ Democratic Party
Founded in August 1930, its
main political program was to oppose the dictatorial
rule of the Kuomintang and establish the power of the
Its present program includes the stand to accept the
leadership of the CPC, adhere to multi-party cooperation
and political consultation, practice democratic centralism
and safeguard the rights and interests of party members
and associated intellectuals.
It now has a membership of 73,000 and its chairman is
6. China Zhi Gong Dang
China Zhi Gong Dang was founded
in San Francisco, October 1925 by overseas Chinese organizations
in North America.
According to its constitution, the party is made up
mainly by the middle and upper levels of returned overseas
Chinese and their relatives. Its job is to assist the
CPC and the Chinese government, consolidate and develop
political stability, safeguard the rights and interests
of party members and associated returned overseas Chinese
and their relatives, reflect their opinions and demands
and practice democratic centralism.
It has a membership of nearly 18,000 and its chairman
is Luo Haocai.
7. Jiusan Society
When it was first established
in May 1946, its political stand was to carry on the
tradition of democracy and science, oppose the civil
war and practice democratic politics.
The present program of Jiusan Society stipulates that
organizationally, the party draws members from representative
middle and senior level intellectuals in the fields
of science, technology, higher education and medicine.
It stands for the multi-party cooperation and political
consultation, democratic centralism and the safeguard
of the rights and interest of its members.
It has a membership of 78,000 and its chairman is Wu
8. Taiwan Democratic Self-government League
It was established on November
12, 1947 in Hong Kong. At the time it was a political
organization of Taiwan residents which was founded and
existed outside Taiwan Province, sought to become free
from the rule of the Kuomintang, implement democracy
and regional self-government. In March 1949, the league
moved its headquarters from Hong Kong to Beijing.
Its present political program stands for patriotism
and socialism, uniting with league members and Taiwan
compatriots and striving for the acceleration of reform,
opening up and socialist modernization drive, safeguarding
stability and unity, improvement of socialist democracy
and legal system and the realization of the peaceful
unification of the motherland and ¡°one country, two
Most of the members are representative and upper level
Taiwan compatriots living in large and medium-size cities
on the mainland. It has a membership of over 1,800 and
its chairman is Zhang Kehui.
III. Major forms of the multi-party cooperative system
1. Participation in the discussion of state affairs
Under this mechanism, members
of various non-communist parties take part in the deliberation
and implementation of major policies, laws and regulations
of the country, take part in the consultation on major
political issues and the choice of leaders of the state
and take part in the running of state affairs.
Consultation between the CPC and other political parties
mainly takes the following forms:
(1) Democratic consultation. Leaders of CPC invite,
usually once a year, leaders of other political parties
and representative personages without political party
affiliation to a meeting at which CPC leaders hear and
solicit their opinion on major policies and principles
that the CPC puts forward.
(2) High-level talks. CPC leaders invite leaders of
other political parties and representative personages
without political party affiliation for small-scale
meetings at which they exchange opinions on questions
of common concern whenever there is a need for such
(3) Bimonthly meetings. Chaired by the Central Committee
of the CPC, the meetings are attended by people from
other political parties and representative personages
without political party affiliation. At these meetings,
the CPC Central Committee informs the participants of
major events, exchanges views with them, relays important
documents of the CPC Central Committee and hears the
opinion and suggestions of the participants or conducts
discussions on specific topics. When necessary, there
will be meetings between the bimonthly ones.
(4) Written suggestions or exchange of views in person.
Leaders of non-communist political parties and representative
figures without political party affiliation may, at
any time they wish, submit in writing their suggestions
to the CPC Central Committee on major state policies
or specific issues or they may see leaders of the CPC
Central Committee in person to exchange views.
2. Democratic supervision
Democratic supervision means
that the non-communist political parties exercise supervision
on the CPC and the government organs under its leadership,
within the framework of the multi-party cooperation
and political consultation.
The supervision may be conducted in the following manners:
putting forward opinions, suggestions and criticisms
to the CPC Central Committee at the meetings of the
Chinese People¡¯s Political Consultative Conference;
making known their suggestions and criticisms on major
political, economic and social issues of the state on
the basis of investigation; deputies to the NPC and
members of the Chinese People¡¯s Political Consultative
Conference who are members of non-communist political
parties may conduct supervision through putting forward
bills, proposals and inspection reports; and members
of non-communist political parties may exercise their
supervisory role by serving as special supervisors,
inspectors, auditors and education supervisors of the
3. Holding government and judicial positions
All the non-communist political
parties have their members holding leading positions
in the government and judicial organs at various levels
upon recommendation by the CPC.
IV. Chinese People¡¯s Political Consultative Conference
CPPCC has a national committee and regional committees.
1. Nature of CPPCC
The CPPCC is an organization
of the united front with wide representation. It is
an important organ of multi-party cooperation and political
consultation under the leadership of the CPC. It is
composed of the CPC, other political parties, mass organizations,
and representative public personages from all walks
of life, representatives of compatriots of Taiwan, Hong
Kong and Macao as well as of returned overseas Chinese
and other specially invited people.
2. Function of CPPCC
The major function of the CPPCC
is to conduct political consultation and exercise democratic
supervision, organize its members from various non-communist
political parties, mass organizations and public personages
from all walks of life to take part in the discussion
and management of state affairs.
(1) Content and forms of political consultation
Political consultation covers
socialist material and spiritual construction, the building
of a democratic legal system, important policies and
planning of the reform and opening up program, reports
on the work of the government, national financial and
fiscal budget, economic and social development planning,
major issues in political life in the country, drafting
of major national laws, candidates for the state proposed
by the CPC Central Committee, changes in the administrative
division at the provincial level, major policies in
foreign affairs, major policies in regard to the unification
of the motherland, major issues involving people¡¯s livelihood,
affairs of common interest of the political parties,
important affairs of the CPPCC and other important issues
in regard to the patriotic united front.
Political consultation takes the forms of plenary sessions,
standing committees and meetings of the chairmen of
the National Committee of the CPPCC, discussion meetings
of Standing Committee members of the CPPCC, special
committee meetings of the CPC, consultation meetings
participated by people from various political parties,
representative public personages without political party
affiliation, mass organizations, ethnic minorities and
patriotic figures from different walks of life and activities
of local people¡¯s political consultative conferences
at various levels.
(2) Major contents of democratic supervision
Democratic supervision covers
such areas as the implementation of the Constitution,
laws and regulations of the state, implementation of
major policies formulated by the CPC Central Committee
and state organs, the implementation of the national
economic and social development plans and financial
budget, the conduct of duties, law observance, and honesty
of state organs and their staff, the execution of decisions
and the regulations of the CPPCC on the part of its
units and individuals.
Democratic supervision takes the forms of plenary sessions,
Standing Committee meetings and meetings of the chairmen
of the CPPCC submitting proposals to the CPC Central
Committee and the State Council; various special committees
of the CPPCC putting forward suggestions and reports;
inspection, proposal, exposing and other forms of criticism
and suggestion by individual CPPCC members; taking part
in investigations organized by the CPC Central Committee
and the State Council as well as activities organized
by local people¡¯s political consultative conferences.
(3) Main contents of taking part in and managing state
This includes organizing investigations
and research of issues that the general public is concerned
with, causing the attention of the CPC committees and
departments of the State Council and which the CPPCC
is capable of doing; actively making constructive suggestions
to CPC and the government at various levels, maximizing
the role of CPPCC members and their specialty to offer
suggestions and services to the program of reform, opening
up and the modernization drive.
3. Organizational principles of CPPCC
All political parties and mass
organizations who support the charter of the CPPCC may
sit on the National Committee or local committees, upon
agreement by the National Committee or local committees
Individuals, invited by the National Committee or the
standing committees of local committees, may also become
members of the National Committee or local committees.
The relationship between the National Committee and
local committees and between higher level committees
and lower level committees is one of guidance.
Local committees have the obligation to observe and
carry out national decisions adopted by the National
Committee and lower level committees have the obligation
to observe and carry out regional decisions adopted
by the higher level committees.
All units and individuals taking part in the CPPCC have
the right to take part in political consultation, democratic
supervision, discussion and management of state affairs,
through the meetings, organization and activities of
Decisions of the plenary session and Standing Committee
of the National Committee and local committees will
become effective only after the majority of the committee
members has voted in their favor.
All participating units and individuals have the obligation
to observe and carry out the decisions. In case of different
opinions, they may state their reservation on the precondition
of firmly implementing them.
Participating units and individuals who have seriously
violated the charter of the CPPCC or the decisions of
the plenary sessions or Standing Committee shall be
disciplined by the National Committee or standing committees
of local committees including warning up to stripping
them of their qualifications for joining the CPPCC.
4. The National Committee
The number and specific candidacy
of the participating units and members of the National
Committee are decided by the Standing Committee of the
outgoing National Committee of the CPPCC.
During every term of office, when it is necessary to
increase or change the number or candidacy of the participating
units or members, it is to be decided by the Standing
Committee of the present National Committee of the CPPCC.
The present National Committee is composed members of
34 units, i.e., the CPC, China Revolutionary Committee
of the Kuomintang, China Democratic League, China Democratic
National Construction Association, China Association
for the Promotion of Democracy, Chinese Peasants¡¯ and
Workers¡¯ Democratic Party, China Zhi Gong Dang, Jiusan
Society, Taiwan Democratic Self-government League, public
personages without party affiliation, the Communist
League of China, All-China Federation of Trade Unions,
All-China Federation of Women, All-China Federation
of Youth, All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce,
China Association of Science and Technology, All-China
Friendship Federation of Taiwan Compatriots, All-China
Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese, representatives
from the cultural and art circles, the fields of science,
technology, social science, economics, agriculture,
education, physical culture, journalism, publishing,
medicine, social welfare, religion, and among ethnic
minorities and the circle of friendship with foreign
countries, specially invited people from Hong Kong,
Macao and other specially invited personage. The present
National Committee has 2,196 members, among whom 290
are members of the Standing Committee.
The National Committee serves for a term of five years
and holds a plenary session once every year.
The National Committee has a chairman, vice chairmen
and secretary-general. It sets up a Standing Committee
which presides over the work of the National Committee.
The Standing Committee is composed of the chairman,
vice chairmen, secretary-general and members. Candidacy
of members to the Standing Committee is proposed by
political parties, mass organizations, and people representing
various walks of life of the CPPCC, and elected by the
plenary session of the National Committee. The chairman
of the National Committee presides over the work of
the Standing Committee and the vice chairmen and secretary-general
assist the chairman in his (her) work.
The meeting of the chairmen is composed of the chairman,
vice chairmen and secretary-general and deals with the
important aspects of the day-to-day work of the Standing
5. Local committees
The provinces, autonomous regions,
municipalities directly under the Central Government,
cities divided into districts, counties, autonomous
counties, as well as cities not divided into districts
and districts under the jurisdiction of cities, where
there are conditions for setting up the CPPCC, shall
establish proper organizations of the CPPCC.
At present there are more than 3,000 CPPCC local committees
at various levels made up by a total membership of over
half a million.
Local committees of the CPPCC serve a term of five years.
The composition, election, function, major working organs
of local committees and their standing committees should
correspond to those of the National Committee.