List of political parties in the People's Republic of China
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The People's Republic of China (PRC) is formally a multi-party state under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in a United Front similar to the popular fronts of former Communist-era Eastern European countries such as the National Front of Democratic Germany.
Under the one country, two systems scheme, the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, which were previously colonies of European powers, operate under a different political system to the rest of the PRC. Currently, both Hong Kong and Macau possess multi-party systems.
Relationships with the Communist Party
In practice, only one political party, the CPC, holds effective power at the national level. Its dominance is such that China is effectively a single-party state. Eight minor parties also participate in the political system. However, they have limited power on a national level and are almost completely subservient to the CPC; they must accept the "leading role" of the CPC as a condition of being allowed to exist. The PRC political system allows for the participation of some non-communist party members and minor parties in the National People's Congress (NPC), but they are vetted by the CPC.
Although opposition parties are not formally banned in mainland China (the PRC), the CPC maintains control over the political system in several ways.
Firstly, only the people's congresses up to the county level are subject to direct popular vote. Above the county level, one people's congress appoints the members of the next higher congress. This means that although independent members can theoretically, and occasionally in practice, get elected to the lowest level of congress, it is impossible for them to organize to the point where they can elect members to the next higher people's congress without the approval of the CPC or to exercise oversight over executive positions at the lowest level in the hierarchy. This lack of effective power also discourages outsiders from contesting the people's congress elections even at the lowest level.
Second, although PRC law has no formal provision for banning a non-religious organization, it also has no provision which would give non-CPC political parties any corporate status. This means that a hypothetical opposition party would have no legal means to collect funds or own property in the name of the party. More importantly, PRC law also has a wide range of offenses which can and have been used against the leaders of efforts to form an opposition party such as the China Democracy Party and against members of organizations that the CPC sees as threatening its power. These include the crimes of subversion, sedition, and releasing state secrets. Moreover, the control that the Party has over the legislative and judicial processes means that the Party can author legislation that targets a particular group.
Thirdly, Article 1 of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China defines socialism as "the basic system" of the country, and explicitly forbids "sabotage of the socialist system by any individual or organization."
Registered minor parties
- Revolutionary Committee of the Kuomintang (Chinese: 中国国民党革命委员会 or Chinese: 民革). Formed by leftist members of the Kuomintang (KMT) who did not escape to Taiwan. 53,000 members. It is considered "second" in status to the Communist Party of China. Thus it has 30% of the seats in the People's Political Consultative Conference. (Chinese nationalism, Three Principles of the People)
- China Democratic League (Chinese: 中国民主同盟 or Chinese: 民盟). Originally a league of pro-democracy parties. Formed by 130,000 members, mainly middle-level and senior intellectuals. (Patriotism, Socialism)
- China Democratic National Construction Association (Chinese: 中国民主建国会 or Chinese: 民建). Entrepreneurs from the manufacturing, financial or commercial industries, in both private and state sectors. Formed by 69,000 members (Market socialism)
- China Association for Promoting Democracy (Chinese: 中国民主促进会 or Chinese: 民进). Intellectuals, mostly in the education, technology and publishing sectors. Some 65,000 members. (Social democracy)
- Chinese Peasants' and Workers' Democratic Party (Chinese: 中国农工民主党 or Chinese: 农工党). Most of its 65,000 members work in the fields of public health, culture and education, science and technology. (Socialism)
- Zhigongdang of China (Chinese: 中国致公党). Returned overseas Chinese, relatives of overseas Chinese, and noted figures and scholars who have overseas ties, with 15,000 members. (Chinese federalism, Reunification of China)
- Jiusan Society (Chinese: 九三学社). Most of its 68,000 members are high- and medium level intellectuals in the fields of science, technology, education, culture and medicine. (Socialism)
- Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League (Chinese: 台湾民主自治同盟 or Chinese: 台盟). 1,600 people, most of whom are prominent people that are from Taiwan or are of Taiwanese heritage, but now reside on the Mainland. (Taiwanization, One country, two systems)
The following parties have been and are actively suppressed in the People's Republic of China. Due to censorship and suppression, they most likely have their headquarters outside the Chinese mainland.
- The Democracy Party of China (Chinese: 中国民主党) was founded by participants of the 1978 Chinese Democracy Wall Movement and the 1989 Democracy Movement. Founded in 1998, it was declared illegal that same year. (Democracy, Liberalism, Anti-communism)
- The New Democracy Party of China (Chinese: 中国新民党) was founded by Guo Quan in Nanjing at the end of 2007.
- Union of Chinese Nationalists (Chinese: 中国泛蓝联盟) aspires to the ideals of the Pan-Blue coalition on Taiwan. As such, its values include establishing a liberal democracy in accordance with the Three Principles of the People. The group originated from an internet forum discussion in August 2004 and was declared to be an illegal organization in September 2006.
- Zhixiandang (Chinese: 至宪党) "The constitution is the supreme authority". Founded by the supporters of Bo Xilai in 2013, and banned in December of that year.
- Chinese political parties
- List of political parties
- List of political parties in the Republic of China before and after 1949
- List of political parties in Hong Kong
- List of political parties in Macau
- Buckley, Roger. (1997) Hong Kong: The Road to 1997. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-46979-1
- Gittings, John. The Changing Face of China: From Mao to Market. (2005). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-280612-2
- Goldsmith, Jack L. Wu, Tim. (2006). Who Controls the Internet?: Illusions of a Borderless World. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-515266-2
- Constitution of the People's Republic of China, English version
- "Chinese Pan-Blue Alliance Members Arrested". Epoch Times. 2008-02-18.
- Moore, Malcolm. "Former teacher names Bo Xilai chairman of 'new political party'". Telegraph. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
- Benjamin Kang Lim and Ben Blanchard (9 November 2013). "Bo Xilai supporters launch new political party in China". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). Retrieved 10 November 2013.
- List of Democratic Parties - People's Daily
- Profile of Democratic Parties - Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference