Communist Party's Enhanced Executive Authority in China

Image of the full text of the report to the 20th National Congress, highlighting the Communist Party's enhanced executive authority in China.
Communist Party's Enhanced Executive Authority in China

In a significant move on March 13, 2023, China’s parliament revised the State Council Organic Law, granting the Communist Party more executive control over the State Council, China’s cabinet. This amendment, the first since 1982, marks a continued erosion of the State Council’s executive authority, transferring more power to the Party.

The amended law emphasizes the Party Central Committee’s authority and Xi Jinping Thought, consolidating the Party’s control over the State Council. Legal experts view this as a significant shift in executive authority reorganization, deepening reform of party and state institutions.

The cancellation of the premier’s post-parliament news conference, a departure from tradition, underscores the diminishing role of the State Council and the premier in China’s governance structure. Since taking power in 2012, President Xi Jinping has consolidated power, weakening the State Council’s authority.

A sweeping government reorganization in 2022 created a new Party entity overseeing some ministries, further clarifying that executive decision-making power lies within the Party. Since then, the State Council holds fewer weekly meetings, emphasizing the Party’s control over governance.

Overall, these changes reflect the Party’s increasing control over state organs and decision-making processes, signaling a deepening of Xi Jinping’s consolidation of power.

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