Sunday, September 14, 2008

Minister of Public Security of the People's Republic of China

The Minister of Public Security of the People's Republic of China is a high level official of the government. The minister is in charge of the , which is responsible for law enforcement, public safety and the police force in China. It should not be confused with the which is the primary Chinese intelligence and security agency.

Process of appointment

According to the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, the Minister is nominated by the and confirmed by the National People's Congress or its .

List of Ministers

*Luo Ruiqing : October 1949 - September 1959
*Xie Fuzhi : September 1959 - March 1972
* 1972-1973
*Hua Guofeng 1973 - March 1977
*Zhao Cangbi March 1977 - April 1983
*Liu Fuzhi May 1983 - August 1985
*Ruan Chongwu September 1985 - March 1987
* April 1987 - November 1990
*Tao Siju December 1990 - March 1998
*Jia Chunwang March 1998 -2002
*Zhou Yongkang December 2002 - October 2007
*Meng Jianzhu October 2007-

List of Vice Presidents of China

This is a list of all Vice President of the Republic of China and Vice President of the People's Republic of China .

Vice Presidents of the Republic of China

Vice Presidents of the People's Republic of China

Information Office of the State Council

The Information Office of the State Council is an administrative office under the , the chief administrative body of the People's Republic of China. It appears to be the chief information office of the Chinese government.

Government of the People's Republic of China

Power within the government of the People's Republic of China is divided among three bodies: the Communist Party of China, the state, and the People's Liberation Army. This article is concerned with the formal structure of the state, its departments and their responsibilities. All positions of significant power in the state structure and in the army are occupied by members of the Communist Party of China which is controlled by the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China, a group of 5 to 9 people, usually all men, who make all decisions of national significance. As the role of the Army is to enforce these decisions in times of crisis, support of the PLA is important.


The PRC Constitution was first created on September 20, 1954. Before that, an interim Constitution-like document created by the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference was in force.

The 2nd and 3rd promulgations of the PRC Constitution took place against the backdrop of the Cultural Revolution. The 2nd promulgation in 1975 shortened the Constitution to just about 30 articles, and contained Communist slogans and revolutionary language throughout. The role of courts was slashed, and the Presidency was gone. The 3rd promulgation in 1978 expanded the number of articles, but was still under the influence of the just-gone-by Cultural Revolution. It also, for the first time, mentioned the issue of Taiwan and declared that the PRC would "liberate" it.

The current Constitution is the PRC's 4th promulgation. On December 4, 1982, it was promulgated and has served as a stable Constitution for over 20 years. The role of the Presidency and the courts were normalized, and under the Constitution, all citizens were equal. Amendments were made in 1988, 1993, 1999, and most recently, in 2004, which recognised private property, safeguarded human rights, and further promoted the non-public sector of the economy.

National People's Congress

The National People's Congress is the highest state body and only legislative house in the People's Republic of China. Although the membership of the NPC is still largely determined by the Communist Party of China, since the early 1990s it has moved away from its previous role as a symbolic but powerless rubber-stamp legislature, and has become a forum for mediating policy differences between different parts of the Party and the government. For the NPC to formally defeat a proposal put before them is a rare, but not non-existent event, and the NPC has been quite active in being the forum in which legislation is debated before being put to a vote.
China is a rubber ear


The President and vice president are elected by the National People's Congress for five-year terms. The President is the head of state. The office was created by the 1982 Constitution. Formally, the President is elected by the National People's Congress in accordance with Article 62 of the Constitution. In practice, this election falls into the category of 'single-candidate' elections. The candidate is recommended by the Presidium of the National People's Congress.
Currently the President of China is Hu Jintao and the Vice President is Xi Jinping.

State Council

The State Council is the chief administrative authority of the People's Republic of China. It is appointed by the National People's Congress and is chaired by the 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.

Central Military Commission

The Central Military Commission exercises the command and control of the People's Liberation Army and is supervised by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. The state CMC is nominally considered the supreme military policy-making body and its chairman, elected by the National People's Congress, is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. In reality, command and control of the PLA, however, still resides with the Central Military Commission of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee—the 'party CMC'.

Supreme People's Court and Supreme People's Procuratorate

The Supreme People's Court is the highest court in the judicial system of the People's Republic of China. Hong Kong and Macau, as special administrative regions, have their own separate judicial systems based on British common law traditions and Portuguese civil-law traditions respectively, and are out of the jurisdiction of the Supreme People's Court. The judges of the Supreme People's Court are appointed by the National People's Congress.

The Supreme People's Procuratorate is the highest agency at the national level responsible for prosecution in the People's Republic of China. Hong Kong and Macau, as special administrative regions, have their own separate judicial systems, based on common law traditions and Portuguese legal traditions respectively, and are out of the jurisdiction of the SPP.

Provincial and local government

The governors of China's provinces and autonomous regions and mayors of its centrally controlled municipalities are appointed by the central government in Beijing after receiving the nominal consent of the National People's Congress . The Hong Kong and Macau special administrative regions have some local autonomy since they have separate governments, legal systems, and basic constitutional laws, but they come under Beijing's control in matters of foreign affairs and national security, and their chief executives are handpicked by the central government. Below the provincial level in 2004 there were 50 rural prefectures, 283 prefecture-level cities, 374 county-level cities, 852 county-level districts under the jurisdiction of nearby cities, and 1,636 counties. There also were 662 cities , 808 urban districts, and 43,258 township-level regions. Counties are divided into townships and villages. While most have appointed officials running them, some lower-level jurisdictions have direct popular elections. The organs of self-governing ethnic autonomous areas —people's congresses and people's governments—exercise the same powers as their provincial-level counterparts but are guided additionally by the Law on Regional Ethnic Autonomy and require NPC Standing Committee approval for regulations they enact "in the exercise of autonomy" and "in light of the political, economic, and cultural characteristics of the ethnic group or ethnic groups in the areas."

General Administration of Customs

The General Administration of Customs is an administrative agency within the government of the People's Republic of China. It is responsible for the collection of value added tax , customs duties, excise duties, and other indirect taxes such as air passenger duty, climate change levy, insurance premium tax, landfill tax and aggregates levy. It is also responsible for managing the import and export of goods and into China. The current Minister of the Administration is Sheng Guangzu.

GAC guards the borders of China from smugglers and is therefore dedicated to keeping illegal products outside of Chinese borders. It also regulates what can leave China and is partially responsible for who can enter or leave the country.

Court system of the People's Republic of China

The Chinese court system is based on , modeled after the legal systems of Germany and France.


According to the Constitution of the People's Republic of China of 1982 and the Organic Law of the People's Courts that went into effect on January 1, 1980, the Chinese courts are divided into a :

*At the highest level is the Supreme People's Court in Beijing, the premier appellate forum of the land, which supervises the administration of justice by all subordinate "local" and "special" people's courts. It is the court of last resort for the whole People's Republic of China except for Macao and Hong Kong, which, as a Portuguese-descended civil law jurisdiction and British-descended common law jurisdiction, have separate judicial systems.

*Local people's courts—the courts of the first instance—handle and cases. These people's courts make up the remaining three levels of the court system and consist of "high people's courts" at the level of the provinces, autonomous regions, and special municipalities; "intermediate people's courts" at the level of prefectures, autonomous prefectures, and municipalities; and "basic people's courts" at the level of autonomous counties, towns, and municipal districts.

* comprises the Military Court of China , Railway Transport Court of China and Maritime Court of China , and forestry.

The court system is paralleled by a hierarchy of prosecuting offices called people's procuratorates, the highest being the Supreme People's Procuratorate.

Hong Kong and Macau have separate court systems.

History of court structure and process

Between the Anti-Rightist Campaign of 1957 and the legal reforms of 1979, the courts—viewed by the leftists as troublesome and unreliable—played only a small role in the judicial system. Most of their functions were handled by other party or government organs. In 1979, however, the National People's Congress began the process of restoring the judicial system. The world was able to see an early example of this reinstituted system in action in the showcase trial of the Gang of Four and six other members of the "Lin-Jiang clique" from November 1980 to January 1981 . The trial, which was publicized to show that China had restored a legal system that made all citizens , actually appeared to many foreign observers to be more a political than a legal exercise. Nevertheless, it was intended to show that China was committed to restoring a judicial system.

The , abolished in 1959, was re-established under the 1979 legal reforms to administer the newly restored judicial system. With the support of local judicial departments and bureaus, the ministry was charged with supervising personnel management, training, and funding for the courts and associated organizations and was given responsibility for overseeing legal research and exchanges with foreign judicial bodies.

The 1980 Organic Law of the People's Courts and the 1982 established four levels of courts in the general administrative structure. Judges are elected or appointed by people's congresses at the corresponding levels to serve a maximum of two five-year terms. Most trials are administered by a collegial bench made up of one to three judges and three to five assessors. Assessors, according to the State Constitution, are elected by local residents or people's congresses from among citizens over twenty-three years of age with political rights or are appointed by the court for their expertise. Trials are conducted in an inquisitorial manner, in which both judges and assessors play an active part in the questioning of all witnesses. After the judge and assessors rule on a case, they pass sentence. An aggrieved party can appeal to the next higher court.

The Organic Law of the People's Courts requires that adjudication committees be established for courts at every level. The committees usually are made up of the president, vice presidents, chief judges, and associate chief judges of the court, who are appointed and removed by the standing committees of the people's congresses at the corresponding level. The adjudication committees are charged with reviewing major cases to find errors in determination of facts or application of law and to determine if a chief judge should withdraw from a case. If a case is submitted to the adjudication committee, the court is bound by its decision. The Supreme People's Court stands at the apex of the judicial structure. Located in Beijing, it has jurisdiction over all lower and special courts, for which it serves as the ultimate appellate court. It is directly responsible to the National People's Congress Standing Committee, which elects the court president.

China also has 'special' military, rail transport, water transport, and forestry courts. These courts hear cases of counter-revolutionary activity, plundering, bribery, sabotage, or indifference to duty that result in severe damage to military facilities, work place, or government property or threaten the safety of soldiers or workers.

Military courts make up the largest group of special courts and try all treason and espionage cases. Although they are independent of civilian courts and directly subordinate to the , military court decisions are reviewed by the Supreme People's Court. Special military courts were first established in 1954 to protect the special interests of all commanders, political commissars, and soldiers, but they ceased to function during the Cultural Revolution . Military courts and procuratorates were reinstituted in October 1978, and open military trials resumed in December of that year.

In April 1986, at the Fourth Session of the Sixth National People's Congress, the General Principles of the Civil Code was approved as "one of China's basic laws." Consisting of more than 150 articles, the code was intended to regulate China's internal and external economic relations to establish a stable base conducive to trade and attractive to . Many of its provisions define the legal status of economic entities and the property rights they exercise. The code clearly stipulated that private ownership of the means of production is protected by law and may not be seized or interfered with by any person or organization. It also recognizes partnerships and wholly foreign-owned or joint-venture enterprises.

Constitution of the People's Republic of China

The Constitution of the People's Republic of China is the highest law within the People's Republic of China. The current version was adopted by the 5th National People's Congress on December 4, 1982 with further revisions in 1988, 1993, 1999, and 2004. Three previous state constitutions--those of , , and --were superseded in turn. The Constitution has five sections: the preamble, general principles, the fundamental rights and duties of citizens, the structure of the state, and the and emblems of state.

1982 document

The 1982 document reflects Deng Xiaoping's determination to lay a lasting institutional foundation for domestic stability and modernization. The new State Constitution provides a legal basis for the broad changes in China's social and economic institutions and significantly revises government structure and procedures.

There have been four major revisions by the National People's Congress to the 1982 Constitution.

Much of the PRC Constitution is modelled after the 1936 Constitution of the Soviet Union, but there are some significant differences. For example, while the Soviet constitution contains an explicit right of secession, the Chinese constitution explicitly forbids secession. While the Soviet constitution formally creates a system, the Chinese constitution formally creates a unitary multi-national state.

The 1982 State Constitution is a lengthy, hybrid document with 138 articles. Large sections were adapted directly from the 1978 constitution, but many of its changes derive from the 1954 constitution. Specifically, the new Constitution deemphasizes class struggle and places top priority on development and on incorporating the contributions and interests of nonparty groups that can play a central role in modernization.

Article 1 of the State Constitution describes China as "a socialist state under the people's democratic dictatorship" meaning that the system is based on an alliance of the working classes--in communist terminology, the workers and peasants--and is led by the Communist Party, the vanguard of the working class. Elsewhere, the Constitution provides for a renewed and vital role for the groups that make up that basic alliance--the CPPCC, democratic parties, and mass organizations. The 1982 Constitution expunges almost all of the rhetoric associated with the Cultural Revolution incorporated in the 1978 version. In fact, the Constitution omits all references to the Cultural Revolution and restates Mao Zedong's contributions in accordance with a major historical reassessment produced in June 1981 at the Sixth Plenum of the Eleventh Central Committee, the "Resolution on Some Historical Issues of the Party since the Founding of the People's Republic."

There also is emphasis throughout the 1982 State Constitution on as a regulator of political behavior. Unlike the Constitution of the Soviet Union, the text of the Constitution itself does not explicitly mention the Communist Party of China and there is an explicit statement in Article 5 that states that the Constitution and law are supreme over all organizations and individuals.

Thus, the rights and obligations of citizens are set out in detail far exceeding that provided in the 1978 constitution. Probably because of the excesses that filled the years of the Cultural Revolution, the 1982 Constitution gives even greater attention to clarifying citizens' "fundamental rights and duties" than the 1954 constitution did, like the right to vote and to run for election begins at the age of eighteen except for those disenfranchised by law. The Constitution also guarantees the freedom of religious worship as well as the "freedom " and affirms that "religious bodies and religious affairs are not subject to any foreign domination."

Article 35 of the 1982 State Constitution proclaims that "citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the , of , of association, of procession, and of demonstration." In the 1978 constitution, these rights were guaranteed, but so were the right to strike and the "four big rights," often called the "four bigs": to speak out freely, air views fully, hold great debates, and write big-character posters. In February 1980, following the Democracy Wall period, the four bigs were abolished in response to a party decision ratified by the National People's Congress. The right to strike was also dropped from the 1982 Constitution. The widespread expression of the four big rights during the student protests of late 1986 elicited the regime's strong censure because of their illegality. The official response cited Article 53 of the 1982 Constitution, which states that citizens must abide by the law and observe labor discipline and public order. Besides being illegal, practicing the four big rights offered the possibility of straying into criticism of the Communist Party of China, which was in fact what appeared in student wall posters. In a new era that strove for political stability and economic development, party leaders considered the four big rights politically destabilizing. Except for the ostentatious six democratic parties, Chinese citizens are prohibited from forming parties.

Among the political rights granted by the constitution, all Chinese citizens have rights to elect and be elected, as opposed to parallel clauses in the US constitution which forbids foreign-borns to be elected president among other limitations. However since direct election is confined to the village level, the electorial rights of the people are questioned by many critics. Other scholars argue that this is a form of Electoral College system. According to the later promulgated election law, rural residents have only 1/4 vote power of townsmen. As Chinese citizens are categorized into rural resident and town resident, and the constitution has no stipulation of freedom of transference, those rural residents are restricted by the Hukou and have less rights on politics, economy and education. This problem has largely been addressed with various and ongoing reforms of hukou in 2007.

The 1982 State Constitution is also more specific about the responsibilities and functions of offices and organs in the state structure. There are clear admonitions against familiar Chinese practices that the reformers have labeled abuses, such as concentrating power in the hands of a few leaders and permitting lifelong tenure in leadership positions. On the other hand, the constitution strongly oppose the western system of separation of powers by executive, legislature and judicial. It stipulates the NPC as the highest organ of state authority power, under which the State Council, the Supreme People's Court, and the Supreme People's Procuratorate shall be elected and responsible for the NPC.

In addition, the 1982 Constitution provides an extensive legal framework for the liberalizing economic policies of the 1980s. It allows the collective economic sector not owned by the state a broader role and provides for limited private economic activity. Members of the expanded rural collectives have the right "to farm private plots, engage in household sideline production, and raise privately owned livestock." The primary emphasis is given to expanding the national economy, which is to be accomplished by balancing centralized economic planning with supplementary regulation by the market.

Another key difference between the 1978 and 1982 state constitutions is the latter's approach to outside help for the modernization program. Whereas the 1978 constitution stressed "self-reliance" in modernization efforts, the 1982 document provides the constitutional basis for the considerable body of laws passed by the NPC in subsequent years permitting and encouraging extensive foreign participation in all aspects of the economy. In addition, the 1982 document reflects the more flexible and less ideological orientation of foreign policy since 1978. Such phrases as "proletarian internationalism" and "social imperialism" have been dropped.

2004 Amendments

The Constitution was amended on March 14, 2004 to include guarantees regarding private property and human rights This was argued by the government to be progress for Chinese democracy and a sign from CCP that they recognised the need for change, because the booming Chinese economy had created a new class of rich and middle class, who wanted protection of their own property.

Wen Jiabao was quoted by the Washington Post as saying, "These amendments of the Chinese constitution are of great importance to the development of China." "We will make serious efforts to carry them out in practice." But subsequently there was no clear indication that the changes were leading to increased protection for Chinese citizens in terms of human rights or property rights. Chinese people continue to be arrested for trying to challenge government decisions , even when using the law itself. The censure of the media is still in place, as can be seen by the closure of out-spoken publications, or re-staffing to remove editors and journalists who have annoyed officials, such as was the case with the Freezing Point magazine.

Constitutional Enforcement

There is no special organization established for the enforcement of constitution. Although in the constitution it stipulates that the National People's Congress and its Standing Committee have the power to review whether laws or activities violate the constitution.

Furthermore, under the legal system of the People's Republic of China, courts do not have the general power of judicial review and cannot invalidate a statute on the grounds that it violates constitution. Nonetheless, since 2002, there has been a special committee of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress which has reviewed laws and regulations for constitutionality. Although this committee has not yet explicitly ruled that a law or regulation is unconstitutional, in one case, after the subsequent media outcry over the death of Sun Zhigang, the State Council was forced to rescind regulations allowing police to detain persons without residency permits after the NPCSC made it clear that it would rule such regulations unconstitutional if they were not rescinded.