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 levels.
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 state.
I. Administrative leadership system
1. The administrative power of the State Council over the whole country
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 administration.
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 Council
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 governments
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 administrative orders.
(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 reconsideration.
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 investigation.
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 Council
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 President.
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 consecutive terms.
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 Council.
The Auditor-general is in charge of the supervision of state revenue and expenditure, and other financial and monetary activities.
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 department.
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 Council.
The working meeting of the Premier is convened whenever necessary.
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 Standing Committee;
(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 commissions;
(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 development;
(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 matters;
(10) to conduct foreign affairs and conclude treaties and agreements with foreign states;
(11) to direct and administer the building of national defense;
(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 cities;
(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 of 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 powers.
(1) Macro-control organs
State Development and Reform Commission
Ministry of Finance
People’s Bank of China
(2) Special economic administrative organs
Ministry of Railways
Ministry of Communications
Ministry of Construction
Ministry of Agriculture
Ministry of Water Resources
Ministry of Commerce
Ministry of Information Industry
Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense
(3) Social security organs
Ministry of Labor and Social Security
Ministry of Personnel
State Population and Family Planning Commission
(4) Natural resource administrative organ
Ministry of Land and Resources
(5) Foreign affairs, internal affairs and security organs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
State Ethnic Affairs Commission
Ministry of Civil Affairs
Ministry of Justice
Ministry of Public Security
Ministry of State Security
Ministry of National Defense
Ministry of Supervision
National Audit Office
(6) Education, science, culture and health administrative organs
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 Council.
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.
These organizations are:
(1) General Administration of Customs
(2) State Administration of Taxation
(3) State Environmental Protection Administration
(4) General Administration of Civil Aviation of China
(5) State Administration of Radio, Film and Television
(6) State General Administration of Sports
(7) National Bureau of Statistics
(8) State Administration of Industry and Commerce
(9) General Administration of Press and Publication
(10) State Forestry Administration
(11) State Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision and Quarantine
(12) State Food and Drug Supervision Administration
(13) State Intellectual Property Office
(14) National Tourism Administration
(15) State Administration of Religious Affairs
(16) Counselors’ Office of the State Council
(17) Government Offices Administration of the State Council
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.
(1) Foreign Affairs Office of the State Council
(2) Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council
(3) Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council
(4) Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council
(5) Research Office of the State Council
(6) Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council
(7) Information Office of the State Council
5. 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 of the State Council
(6) National School of Administration
(7) China Seismological Bureau
(8) China Meteorological Administration
(9) China Securities Regulatory Commission
(10) China Insurance Regulatory Commission
(11) China Commission for Managing State Properties
(12) China Banking Regulatory Commission
(13) National Social Securities Fund Council
(14) National Natural Science Foundation of China
6. 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 commission.
Their major responsibility is to draw up regulations and policies and conduct administration within the trade.
7. Coordinating organs and provisional organs of the State Council
These are set up by the State Council in order to deal with special affairs.
These organs normally have special committees or leading groups headed by the Premier, or Vice Premiers, or State Councilors or the Secretary-general.
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 areas;
(2) coordinating organs; and
(3) consulting organs composed of specialists and leaders of departments concerned.