China’s political system: 5 pillar agencies
Position holders as of March 2018. Portfolios of senior leaders are included where these are significant or directly relevant to Tibet. Prepared by the International Tibet Network
Politburo Standing Committee
China’s paramount authority (7 members)
1. Xi Jinping Secretary General
2. Li Keqiang Premier of the State Council
3. Li Zhanshu – Chair of National People’s Congress.
4. Wang Yang – Chair of National People’s Political Consultative Conference
5. Wang Huning T – Head of Secretariat of the Central Committee
6. Zhao Leji T – Head of Central Commission for Disciplinary Inspection
7. Han Zheng – Executive Vice Premier
(7 Standing Committee Members + 18 others)
Ding Xuexiang 6th Chief of Staff , Wang Chen, Liu He, Sun Chunlan, Li Xi Party Secretary of Guangdong, Li Qiang Party Secretary of Shanghai, Yang Jiechi China’s most senior diplomat, Yang Xiaodu T Head of the new National Supervisory Commission, Chen Xi Head of Organization Department and Central Party School, Hu Chunhua, 6th T, Chen Min’er 6th Party Secretary of Chongqing, Chen Quanguo, T Party Secretary of Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, Guo Shengkun Head of Politics and Law Commission, Huang Kunming Head of Propaganda Department, Cai Qi Party Secretary of Beijing, Xu Qiliang & Zhang Youxia – Generals.
Central Committee (204 members and 172 Alternate Members)
The Central Committee includes Politburo Members, Ministers, Military & Provincial leaders and some Business leaders. Important Party bodies including United Front, Politics & Law Commission, Discipline Inspection, Propaganda and Organization Departments technically come under Secretariat. On the Secretariat are: Wang Huning, Ding Xuexiang, Yang Xiaodu T, Chen Xi and Guo Shengkun. The 19th Central Committee includes two Tibetan leaders: Che Dalha T and Lobsang Gyaltsen T.
Party Congress (2,000+ members)
Meets once every 5 years (most recently in November 2012 when the leadership changed to the 5th generation); Party Congress delegates nominally “elect” the Central Committee and Politburo.
State Council Cabinet (10 members)
Li Keqiang – Premier
Han Zheng, Sun Chunlan T, Liu He and Hu Chunhua T – Vice Premiers
State Councilors (with portfolios where known):
Xiao Jie (also Secretary General of the State Council), General Wei Fenghe, (Defence), Wang Yi (Foreign Affairs), Zhao Kezhi (Security) and Wang Yong
Ministers/Bureau Heads (40)
Wang Yi – Minister of Foreign Affairs
Fu Zhenghua – Minister of Justice
Zhao Kezhi – Public Security Minister; responsible for Public Security Bureau (PSB), also shares oversight of PAP with Central Military Commission – see right.
General Wei Fenghe – Defence Minister
Chen Wenqing – State Security Minister
He Lifeng – Minister, National Development & Reform Commission & Nur Bekri 6th – Deputy Director.
Liu Kun – Finance Minister,
Lu Hao 6th – Minister of Natural Resources,
Li Ganjie – Minister of Environmental Protection (+ others)
NB the following, which were under the State Council, were reported in March 2018 as moving to report to the United Front Work Department (right), Wang Zuo’an – Minister, State Administration for Religious Affairs; Bagatur – Minister, State Ethnic Affairs Commission
Among many other bodies under the State Council are Xinhua, the Information Office and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
National People’s Congress (approx 3,000 members)
Li Zhanshu Chair
The National People’s Congress (NPC) meets annually in March (not to be confused with the Party Congress which meets only once every 5 years – see left). The NPC is technically China’s legislative body and nominally elects the State President, the Premier of the State Council and the Head of the Judiciary; the President of the Supreme People’s Court [Zhou Qiang 6th ].
Provincial-level Governors (34 including:)
Che Dalha Tibet Autonomous Region
Hao Peng T Qinghai
Zakir Shohrat (Acting) Xinjiang
Other Local Leaders
Lobsang Gyaltsen Chair of Standing Committee of Tibet People’s Congress, Tibet Autonomous Region
Shi Jun Chief of Public Security, Sichuan Province
Liu Zuoming Party Secretary, Ngaba (Aba) Prefecture
Wu Zegang Governor, Ngaba (Aba) Prefecture
Note: Most senior Party Members have multiple roles and also hold senior Government as well as Party positions.
There are Party bodies, each with their own Party Secretary, in all prefectures, counties, towns, townships, military units, work (government) units, universities, schools, factories and media etc. Party Secretaries are always superior to their non-Party counterparts.
Xi Jinping Chair
Vice Chairs: Generals Xu Qiliang and Zhang Youxia- also Politburo Members
(and 4 further Generals)
Note: There are 2 Central Military Commissions – one Party and one State – with identical memberships.
People’s Liberation Army
(PLA, green uniforms)
There are 7 Military Regions including:
Chengdu Military Region (SW) which encompasses Sichuan, Yunnan and eastern TAR.
Lanzhou Military Region (NW) which encompasses Qinghai, Gansu, Xinjiang and western TAR.
People’s Armed Police
(PAP, blue uniforms)
Authority over the PAP is shared between the Central Military Commission and the Ministry of Public Security.
The United Front
United Front Work Department (UFWD)
You Quan T Director
Zhang Yijiong Deputy Director T,
also Lin Zhimin and You Lantian.
Sithar 7th Bureau Head
UFWD is responsible for relations with non-party entities including ethnic minorities. The 7th Bureau was established in 2005 to handle Tibetan affairs. The UFWD comes under the Party’s Central Committee but it is higher than most Party offices. It is directed by Party leaders, but also influences them.
In March 2018 it was reported that the State Administration for Religious Affairs and State Ethnic Affairs Commission would report to UFWD in future.
Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (2,200 members)
Wang Yang Chair
Zhang Qingli T, Vice Chair who is also Secretary General. 23 other Vice Chairs including Liu Qibao, Tung Chee Hwa, Batar/Bagatur and Tibetan tulku Pagbalha Geleg Namgyai (Phagpa-la Gelek Namgyal).
Zhu Weiqun Chairman of the Religious and Ethnic Affairs Committee.
Meets annually to “advise” the National People’s Congress. Membership has broadened to include business and religious leaders (eg Gyaltsen Norbu), scholars and celebrities.
The Mass Organisations
Communist Youth League
Unclear who is Secretary (formerly Qin Yizhi T who was demoted in September 2017.
Note: The Communist Youth League was previously fertile recruiting ground for future Party Leaders, but its influence has waned and in 2016 became subject to shrinkage and controls.
Wang Dongming T Chairman, All-China Federation of Trade Unions
Xiao Wunan T Asia Pacific Exchange & Cooperation Foundation
Hu Jintao Former Party Secretary
Wu Bangguo Former PSC
Wen Jiabao Former Premier
Jia Qinglin Former PSC
Li Changchun Former PSC
He Guoqiang Former PSC
Zhou Yongkang Disgraced former PSC
Bo Xilai Jailed former Politburo
Ling Jihua Disgraced former UFWD Head
Xi Zhongxun Father of Xi Jinping
T Denotes an individual who has previously served in Tibetan areas (eg Tibet Autonomous Region, Sichuan), been involved in United Front Work or potentially on a Tibet Leading Small Group.
6th Denotes 6th Generation rising stars, potentially in senior Party positions in 2022.
Grey: Denotes relatively limited power/influence
Blue: Denotes individuals or positions that could be involved in a Tibet Work Leading Small Group, based on the pre-2012 structure of this Group (Note: A Leading Small Group (LSG) is a Party consulting body which provides a mechanism for decision-makers to exchange views and develop recommendations for the Politburo and State Council; examples include Foreign Affairs, Propaganda and Thought, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. Xi Jinping established and oversees LSGs on Comprehensively Deepening Reform and the National Security Commission. In July 2015 a LSG on United Front Work was established, but there are no details on who is in charge and it is not clear how this relates to a Tibet LSG.