China: Political forces at a glance

Content Type
Country Data and Maps
Institution
Economist Intelligence Unit
Abstract
No abstract is available.
Topic
Politics, Summary, Background, Political forces at a glance
Political Geography
China

Political outlook: Political forces at a glance

The People's Republic of China is a one-party state that was formed in 1949 along Leninist lines by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which has remained in power ever since. Political rivalry is confined to internal competition within the CCP, with senior figures maintaining the outward appearance of unity. All genuine opposition is outlawed. Social and political organisations that support the CCP's rule meet in a largely powerless advisory body, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). Overt dissent occasionally surfaces at annual plenary sessions of the National People's Congress (NPC, China's legislature), but the political outcome always favours the CCP line. The People's Liberation Army remains politically powerful. Opposition to CCP rule is fragmented and scattered. China's current leader, Xi Jinping, holds a trinity of titles as CCP general secretary, Central Military Commission chairman and state president. After assuming these titles in 2012-13, he was reappointed to them in 2017-18 and, following the abolition of presidential term limits in early 2018, is set to hold on to them beyond the expiry of the current terms in 2022-23. Mr Xi holds top rank on the seven-member politburo standing committee (the CCP's top decision-making body), with the premier, Li Keqiang, ranking second.

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