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State Council of the People's Republic of China
中华人民共和国国务院
Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó Guówùyuàn
Agency overview
Formed 27 September 1954
Preceding agency Government Administration Council of the Central People's Government
Jurisdiction Government of the People's Republic of China
Headquarters Zhongnanhai, Beijing
Agency executives Wen Jiabao, Premier
Li Keqiang
Hui Liangyu
Zhang Dejiang
Wang Qishan
, Vice-Premiers
Website
http://english.gov.cn
People's Republic of China

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
the People's Republic of China


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The State Council (simplified Chinese: 国务院traditional Chinese: 國務院pinyin: Guówùyuàn), which is largely synonymous with the Central People's Government (Chinese: 中央人民政府) after 1954, is the chief administrative authority (Cabinet) of the People's Republic of China. It is chaired by the Premier and includes the heads of each governmental department and agency. There are about 50 members in the Council. In the politics of the People's Republic of China, the Central People's Government forms one of three interlocking branches of power, the others being the Communist Party of China and the People's Liberation Army. The State Council directly oversees the various subordinate People's Governments in the provinces, and in practice maintains an interlocking membership with the top levels of the Communist Party of China creating a fused center of power.

Contents

Organization

Standing Committee members of the State Council include the premier, four vice-premiers, five state councilors, and the secretary-general. The State Council meets once a month. Its standing committee meets twice a week.

The vice-premiers and state councilors are nominated by the premier, and appointed by the president with National People's Congress' (NPC) approval. The premier is nominated and appointed by the president with NPC approval. Incumbents may serve two successive five-year terms.

Each vice premier oversees certain areas of administration. Each State Councilor performs duties as designated by the Premier. The secretary-general heads the General Office which handles the day-to-day work of the State Council. The secretary-general has relatively little power and should not be confused with the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China.

Each ministry supervises one sector. Commissions outrank ministries and set policies for and coordinate the related activities of different administrative organs. Offices deal with matters of ongoing concern. Bureaus and administrations rank below ministries.

Although formally responsible to the NPC and its Standing Committee in conducting a wide range of government functions both at the national and at the local levels, in practice the NPC's actual authority is rather limited, although it is not completely non-existent. The State Council acts according by virtue of the authority of the NPC, and there have been at least one case where the NPC has outright rejected an initiative of the State Council and a few cases where the State Council has withdrawn or greatly modified a proposal in response to NPC opposition.

The State Council and the Communist Party of China are also tightly interlocked. Most of the members of the State Council are high level party members. Although, as party members, they are supposed to follow party instructions, because they tend to be senior members of the party they also have large amounts of influence over what those instructions are. This results in a system which is unlike the Soviet practice in which the Party effectively controlled the state. Rather the party and state are fused at this level of government. The members of the State Council derive their authority from being members of the state, while as members of the Party they coordinate their activities and determine key decisions such as the naming of personnel.

Although there were attempts to separate the party and state in the late 1980s under Zhao Ziyang and have the Party in charge of formulating policy and the State Council executing policy, these efforts were largely abandoned in the early 1990s.

As the chief administrative organ of government, its main functions are to formulate administrative measures, issue decisions and orders, and monitor their implementation; draft legislative bills for submission to the NPC or its Standing Committee; and prepare the economic plan and the state budget for deliberation and approval by the NPC. The State Council is the functional center of state power and clearinghouse for government initiatives at all levels. With the government's emphasis on economic modernization, the State Council clearly acquired additional importance and influence.

Despite the inclusion of the Ministry for National Defense in the State Council, it does not control the People's Liberation Army which functions independently of the state council.

Principal officers

Position Name Term
Premier Wen Jiabao 2003–
Executive Vice Premier (Financial Affairs) Huang Ju
Li Keqiang
2003–2007
2008–
Vice Premier (Foreign Affairs and Commerce) Wu Yi
Wang Qishan
2003–2008
2008–
Vice Premier (Economy) Zeng Peiyan
Zhang Dejiang
2002–2008
2008–
Vice Premier (Agriculture) Hui Liangyu 2003–
Secretary General Hua Jianmin 2003–
Finance Minister Jin Renqing
Xie Xuren
2003–2007
2007–
Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing
Yang Jiechi
2003–2007
2007–
Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan
Liang Guanglie
2003–2007
2007–
Minister of Education Zhou Ji 2003–
Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai
Chen Deming
2004–2007
2007–
Health Minister Chen Zhu
Gao Qiang
Wu Yi
Zhang Wenkang
2007–
2005–2007
2003–2005
1998–2003
Minister of National Development
and Reform Commission
Ma Kai
Zhang Ping
2003–2008
2008–
Minister of Railways Liu Zhijun 2003–
Minister of Civil Affairs Li Xueju 2003–
Minister of Labour Tian Chengping 2005–
Governor of
the People's Bank of China
Zhou Xiaochuan 2005–

Ministries and commissions of the State Council

Special commissions directly under the State Council

Bureaus and administrations under the State Council

State Food and Drug Administration

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Offices

Institutions

Bureaus supervised by commissions and ministries

External links


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