[3Rights Column] Ten Powers Unified in One Party (12) The Totalitarian Rule of The Chinese Communist Party – The Administrative Chapter

Author: Mr. 3 Rights

Proofreading : Giovanni


Summary: The CCP controls the administration by controlling personnel arrangements. The CCP also seizes government power by establishing various leadership groups within the party. Xi Jinping set up more than a dozen leadership groups and self-appointed as the group leader. Li Keqiang is the least powerful premier the CCP has ever had.


The earliest exposition on government by the CCP was the political report “ On Coalition Government” by Mao Zedong at the Seventh Communist Party Congress in April 1945, when the CCP was still out of power. At the time, the CCP called for the abolition of the one-party rule of the Kuomingdang, the establishment of a multi-party democratic government, and the nationalization of the military etc.  After three years of civil war and seeing the imminent seizure of power in the mainland, in September 1949 the CCP coaxed all parties to formulate provisional constitutional document – Common Program, stipulating the principles of general election and nationalization of the military. In the first government, there were non-Communists Song Qingling, Zhang Lan, Li Jishen, Huang Yanpei, etc. who served as deputies or ministers of the government and so on, seemingly establishing a democratic government. However, the CCP refused to give up military power and the idea of nationalized military on the pretext of military control and the Korean War. When the CCP formulated its first constitution in 1954, it emphasized adherence to the leadership of the CCP, and the subsequent Anti-Right Activities and Cultural Revolution largely cleared the non-communists in the government and achieved full control of the government by the CCP party. In fact, when the CCP took the new name of the country, it removed the word “democracy” from the original name “ Chinese People’s Democratic Republic” on the pretext that it was too long. The irony is that there is no republic without democracy. (or The irony is How can there be a republic without democracy?)


The CCP’s control over the government is mainly in the areas of personnel and functions. In terms of personnel, the CCP has a top leadership body, the Standing Committee of the Central Politburo, which generally consists of seven members and is led by the top-ranking General Secretary of the CCP. The Premier is only ranked 2nd or 3rd, and an Executive Vice Premier is ranked last. Major government matters are decided by the Standing Committee of the CCP, and the Premier is only responsible for their implementation. At the local level, the CCP has established the Party Committee as the highest leading body in each agency, and the chief executive is only the deputy secretary of the Party Committee, under the leadership of the Party Secretary and the Standing Committee of the Party Committee. The CCP also sets up party organizations within administrative agencies, and the CCP will appoint some non-Communist persons to deputy (or even full) positions in administrative departments for window-dressing purposes, but their power is greatly restricted because they are not in the CCP party organization. For state-owned enterprises, the CCP also pretends to set up so-called boards of directors and general managers, but the CCP also sets up party committees, and whoever serves as the secretary of the party committee is the most powerful CEO, regardless of whether he is the chairman or the general manager. In the CCP system, the power of an administrative official is mainly determined by his or her position in the CCP. There is a joke that Municipal Party Secretary of a city in Communist China took the mayor to a western country to discuss cooperation. The business card of the Municipal Party Secretary is printed with secretary (in English, Municipal Party Secretary and secretary are synonymous), while the business card of the mayor is printed with mayor. Westerners think that the secretary is only the secretary of the mayor, so they mainly negotiate with the mayor and leave the secretary aside. During the negotiation, they found that the mayor often asked the secretary for advice and looked at the secretary’s eyes, and felt very puzzled until the meeting was almost over.


The CCP established the Organization Department and the Discipline Inspection Committee in the party committees at all levels. The Organization Department is responsible for the assessment, nomination and transfer of the administrative heads of the agencies under its jurisdiction. The Organization Department comes up with a plan for the selection of the main heads of the administrative agencies and submits it to the Party Committee for decision, which is actually a division of power among the main leaders of the Party Committee. And then the Organization Department submits it to the National People’s Congress, which is also controlled by the CCP, to carry out the so-called election or appointment procedures according to the Party’s intentions. If the head of the administration breaks the law, or if the party leaders think it is necessary to purge, the Discipline Inspection Commission will use the “double designation” method to investigate and collect evidence according to the intention of the party committee or the party secretary, and then hand over to the judiciary to carry out legal procedures.


The CCP’s central government is apparently fully functional, but in fact it is centralized in one party. The CCP uses various leadership groups to seize powers that should be exercised by the government at any time. This kind of organization, similar to the “Central Cultural Revolution Group,” is highly arbitrary, and is an important means for the CCP to replace the government with the party, and for the party rule and the rule of man to prevail over the rule of law. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the State Council is actually led by the CCP’s Central Foreign Affairs Leading Group, the Ministry of Public Security is led by the CCP’s Political and Legal Affairs Committee, and the Ministry of State Security is led by the CCP’s National Security Committee. The Communist Party’s military is led by the Communist Party’s Central Military Commission, and that the Ministry of National Defense is merely a house of cards for the purpose of military engagement with other countries. The CCP is unwilling to let the international community know that the CCP’s military is only the party force, not the national defense force. The Ministry of National Defense does not have any military authority, and the CCP’s military requires a directive from the chairman of the military commission to even move a platoon of troops, and the minister of national defense cannot command a single soldier, except for his secretary. The public security agencies of the local governments of the CCP are also under the direct leadership of the local party committees and party secretaries, and the local chief executive cannot directly command the public security departments.


In the era when Li Peng was the Premier, the economic authority was still in the State Council, so it was also called the economic cabinet. By the time Zhu Rongji became premier, Jiang Zemin himself was the head of the Central Leading Group of Finance and Economics, and Zhu Rongji no longer even had economic authority. When Wen Jiabao became premier, he was the head of the Central Leading Group of Finance and Economics, and Wen’s cabinet could also be called the economic cabinet. But now Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang teamed up, Xi Jinping not only personally serves as the head of the Central Leading Group of Finance and Economics, but also set up more than ten leading groups and served as the head of the group. Li Keqiang, the second-ranking figure in the party, but he almost has no power and completely becomes a decoration, the most non-existent Premier in the history of the Chinese Communist Party.


In particular, it should be noted that the Central Bank, the Ministry of Land and Resources and the Ministry of Finance are important departments in government finance and economics. These three departments are also fully controlled by the CCP, which thus controls currency issuance, foreign exchange, land, and the national treasury, making the CCP treasury pass through the Party treasury, effectively controlling the wealth of the entire population.


The CCP also has a National President and Vice President, but their importance depends on their status within the CCP. When Mao and Liu served as National Presidents, they had real power because of their high status within the Party. Later, when Li Xiannian and Yang Shangkun served as National President, they were honorary positions because of their low status within the Party. Starting with Jiang Zemin, the CCP has had the party leader serve as president only for the diplomatic needs of the party leader to visit the U.S. It’s not as if the Communist Party leader is visiting the United States as the General Secretary of the Communist Party, right? From a legal perspective, the CCP’s president is a head of state with no real power.

Western democracies have presidential and cabinet systems of government. In a presidential system, the president is both the head of state and the head of government and commander- in- chief of the military. In a cabinet system, the prime minister is the head of government and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. There is a separate head of state. But the Chinese Communist Party is neither a presidential system nor a cabinet system. The CCP is a one-party dictatorship and the Party governs everything.

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