12th National People's Congress

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Chinese Congressional election, 2012–13

← 2007–08 October 2012 – February 2013 2017–18 →

All 2,987 seats to the National People's Congress
  Majority party Minority party
  Xi Jinping Sanya2013.jpg
Leader Xi Jinping
Party Communist Minority
Alliance United Front United Front (China)
Leader's seat Shanghai At-large
Last election 2,099 888
Seats won 2,157 830
Seat change 0

Chairman before election

Wu Bangguo
Communist

Chairman-elect

Zhang Dejiang
Communist

12th National People's Congress

The 12th National People's Congress was elected in national congressional conferences from October 2012 to February 2013 and was in session from 2013 to 2018. It succeeded the 11th National People's Congress. It held five plenary sessions in this period, occurring around early March every year. It was succeeded by the communing of the 13th National People's Congress.[1]

It is China's national legislature, that is, formulates and revises criminal, civil, state agency and other basic laws. Due to China is a multi-party cooperation and political consultation system led by the Communist Party of China, the National People's Congress and the National Party Congress of China Communist Party together form the political system of China, which determines the country's top leaderships. From the National People's Congress, the highest national legislature, the governance discourse of China's political system can be identified, and it is also an important indicator for evaluating its influence on political power.

Definition[edit]

The Highest National Legislature[edit]

The National People's Congress is China's parliament and the highest legislative body. The National People's Congress and its Standing Committee centrally implant state power over the government, courts, and prosecutors. It can exercise the right of amending the constitution and oversee its implementation. The National People's Congress owns the right in national legislature, including formulating and amending national, civil, and criminal laws.[2]

The National People's Congress[edit]

As the highest authority of state power in China, the members of the National People's Congress are elected from candidates of provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities, special administrative regions, and the People's Liberation Army.[3] Representative nominations come mainly from political parties, mass groups and individuals. Among them, nominations from the Chinese Communist Party account for the largest proportion.[4]

Although the Chinese Communist Party claims that it only plays a supervisory role in the government governance, most of the senior positions belong to the party, and the management issues involved are specific things that actually need to be implemented under the governance discourse. Not to mention the appointments to key positions in these government agencies, whether central or local, are arranged by the Chinese Communist Party.[5] It seems that the simple dichotomy rule cannot be used to generalize China's political system, because the members of the Chinese Communist Party seem to be generally better trained with basic education fundament and progressive values, as they have shown those excellent characteristics in some empirical research studies, thus being well qualified for promoting the development of socialization and democratization in China.[6] Nonetheless, the government department system still annually conducts public civil service examinations for all the people to select officials.

According to the Constitution, the NPC has the power to appoint and dismiss the heads of government, including the president, vice-president, prime minister, ministers, chairman of the Central Military Commission (commander- in-chief of the army), chairman of the Supreme People's Assembly, and grand justice.[7] It has the power to amend the constitution and oversee its implementation. It also has the power to approve the budget and the economic and social development plan in the country. The legislative power is included in formulating and revising civil law, criminal law and national laws. In addition, other issues of war and peace are also the responsibility of the NPC.

The serving term for each NPC changes in every 5 years and it usually holds a conference once a year. The Standing Committee of NPC is composed of the chairman, vice-chairman, secretary-general, and other members, and is responsible for and reports to the work of the National People's Congress. Deputies to the National People's Congress appoint its committee members through elections, but they cannot hold key positions in the central government.[8]

Functions[edit]

Legislature[edit]

China has a unicameral legal system. As a unicameral legislature, the National People's Congress exercises state power uniformly. The National People's Congress and its Standing Committee centrally implant state power over the government, courts and prosecutors.

China's government system is a combination of legislative power and executive power. Based on the Chinese constitution, all powers of the state belong to the people. All authorities (including administrative and judicial authorities) report their duties to the National People's Congress, the country's highest authority.[9]

The NPC is an active legislature, and although China is still constitutionally leading by the Chinese Communist Party, the party has begun to reduce its ideological and political interference with legislation.[10] As a result, the National People's Congress is playing an increasingly important role in China's political agenda. China believes that its legislature is unicameral and should formulate its legal system according to its own country's unique national conditions. Therefore, "Chinese characteristics" has always been a proposition that has repeatedly emphasized, involving many aspects of the political fields in the country. For example, the party system is considered by the Chinese government to be a legal system in which multiple parties work together and achieve common governance through political consultation.[11] At the same time, according to the multi-group characteristics of its 56 ethnic groups, Chinese government implements the self-governance system of the ethnic group in many ethnic minority areas, allowing them to have certain local governance power.[12] However, in general, the central government still maintains the highest and absolute right to speak and govern.

China believes that its legislature is unicameral and should formulate its legal system according to its own country's unique national conditions. Therefore, "Chinese characteristics" has always been a proposition that has repeatedly emphasized, involving many aspects of the political fields in the country. For example, the party system is considered by the Chinese government to be a legal system in which multiple parties work together and achieve common governance through political consultation.[13] At the same time, according to the multi-group characteristics of its 56 ethnic groups, Chinese government implements the self-governance system of the ethnic group in many ethnic minority areas, allowing them to have certain local governance power.[14] However, in general, the central government still maintains the highest and absolute right to speak and govern.

History of Use[edit]

Top Leadership Change[edit]

At the 12th National People's Congress, China has formed a new government, with a new leadership transition. The conference mainly involves two aspects. One is the personnel change at the helm. The newly appointed president was Xi Jinping under the title of Secretary General, while Li Keqiang was appointed as prime minister. With these new positions, a new leadership team was formed. Among them, the internal cabinet was consisted of 23 ministers, nine of whom were newly appointed.

Another aspect is to make some structural changes.[15] The former Ministry of Railways (MOR) was reformed into a national railway office, under the supervision of the Ministry of Transportation, and a new state-owned enterprise, China Railway Transportation Corporation, was established to manage its commercial operations.[16] In addition, the number of central ministerial-level agencies has been reduced to 25.

Current Use in Legislature[edit]

China's New-Type Think Tanks[edit]

China's new-type Think Tanks are composed of full-time and professional researchers to provide a more comprehensive group of experts. Generally speaking, there are mainly three types, including official think tanks (government agencies), semi-official think tanks (established by government agencies and managed by state-approved personnel), and private think tanks (mostly privately funded). As far as the application of the Think Tanks, a list of more than 100 “entrusted subjects” compiled by various government departments is chosen by think tanks. Think tanks may conduct their original research independently, but they need permission to publish research result of commissioned topics.[17] It is said that for Chinese political culture, the interests of the government and the public are complied. China hopes to pass the global ideology and global values to China's policy circle through new think tanks, so as to realize international decision-making that adapts to China's national conditions.[18]

However, some voices are skeptical of the role Chinese think tanks can play because they are always dependent on government support and thus cannot operate independently in a monitored intellectual condition. The continued dominance of public policy research in China by state-run research institutions may be a major constraint.[19] There has been debates over the source of funding for China Think Tanks with the topics on whether or not donations need to be facilitated to achieve a diversified free market. After all, many of the funders will come from foreign companies or foundations, which raises a concern that Chinese Think Tanks will be westernized to lose the Chinese characteristics.[20]

Relatively speaking, the proportion of private Think Tanks is very small, and most of the financial support comes from the guidance of policy makers by providing information and making requests. Chinese government rewards Think Tanks experts with outstanding originality, practicality and content of their annual papers, and commend Think Tanks researchers or research teams who have made outstanding contributions to the country and society. These government incentives seem to be proved to be of little value because they are merely summaries of some international news or academic research and expositions of national policy and business reports, so they are not original and of low quality.[21]

The good side is that the proportion of private Think Tanks has increased significantly in recent years, and the China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), as an academic database in China, provides more and more high-quality academic research literature.[22] No matter what kind of controversy, Chinese Think Tanks are regarded as the center of China's international economic exchanges, and its principle is to promote the progress of academic research. Therefore, the development of Chinese think tanks is conducive to improving the degree of scientific, democratized, and legalized government decision-making, and to reserve talents, innovate ideas and provide information for the country's economic and social development.

Evaluation of Use[edit]

governance discourse of one-party state[edit]

The Chinese Communist Party is the most important source of power in the governance of the Chinese government, and the members of its central committee are the highest power center. In the description of China’s party system, the government always illustrates the importance of the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party emphasizing it involves cooperation and political consultation with multiple parties. In theory, all NPC deputies could be appointed to ministers or other key positions at the helm. Actually, the CCP members dominate all important positions in the government and military.[23] Under the multi-party cooperation and political consultation system led by the Communist Party, the Chinese Communist Party members have showed a tendency to outperform public values in many fields, such as gender equality, political pluralism, and openness to international exchanges.[24]

The issue of democracy and the rule of law has emerged in the Chinese legal system since the 80s of twenty century.[25] This can be seen from the promulgation of many standardized and systematic laws and the more diversified NPC's independent governance discourse power being independently owned without interfere of the Chinese Communist Party. It reflects the role of the NPC in reducing its political tools. In other words, the Chinese Communist Party gradually reduced its ideological control over the NPC. The political concept of a harmonious society under the leadership of Hu Jintao has upgraded the political proposition of the rule of law to a new height.

However, with the operation of the new leadership of the 12th NPC, this idea of democratic rule of law is being questioned as there is a tendency to regress to a dictatorship, which was manifested in 2018 when the term limits for the country's top leader were formally removed through a constitutional amendment.[26] Nonetheless, on the political agenda in general, the 12th NPC is seen as increasingly manifesting its role in helping China move towards a healthy rules-based legal system.

Currently, as a sign of the new leadership since the 12th National People's Congress, the chairman, Xi Jinping, is considered to usher in a new era of Chinese governance. The top leader has displayed his image as a close-knit and friendly leader in various political events, and also showed his tenacious belief in reform, such as the "Chinese Dream" frequently promoted as a political platform and his commitment to the radical reconstruction of the Ministry of Railways, as well as his determination to acquire a greater voice in the international political system.[27]

Delegates[edit]

The 1st session[edit]

The first session was held in March 2013. All top national posts were up for election and were filled.

The 2nd session[edit]

The second session was held in March 2014.

The 3rd session[edit]

The third session was held in March 2015.

The 4th session[edit]

The fourth session was held in March 2016.

The 5th session[edit]

The fifth session was held in March 2017.

Election results[edit]

NPCSC Chairman Election NPCSC Secretary-general Election
Candidates For Against Abstain Candidates For Against Abstain
Zhang Dejiang 2,952 5 4 Wang Chen 2,923 30 7
Zhang Ping 1 0 0
Presidential Election Vice-Presidential Election
Candidates For Against Abstain Candidates For Against Abstain
Xi Jinping 2,952 1 3 Li Yuanchao 2,839 80 37
Liu Yunshan 2 0 0
Li Hongzhong 1 0 0
Wang Yang 1 0 0
Yuan Chunqing 1 0 0
Pan Yiyang 1 0 0
CMC Chairmanship Election Premierial Election
Candidates For Against Abstain Candidates For Against Abstain
Xi Jinping 2,955 1 3 Li Keqiang 2,940 3 6
Supreme Court President Election Procurator-general Election
Candidates For Against Abstain Candidates For Against Abstain
Zhou Qiang 2908 26 23 Cao Jianming 2,933 18 5
Wu Aiying 2 0 0
Wang Shengjun 1 0 0 Chen Yunlong 1 0 0
Qi Qi 1 0 0 Cai Xueen 1 0 0
Summary of the October 2012–February 2013 National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China election results
Parties Seats
Chinese Communist Party (中国共产党) 2,157
United Front, independents 830
Total 2,987

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Electoral Calendar - international elections world elections". Archived from the original on 26 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-12.
  2. ^ Poon, Czarina (March 2013). "The Nature of a Communist-Based Legal System and the Post-18th Party Congress Implications". Legal Information Management. 13 (1): 3–10. doi:10.1017/s1472669613000030. ISSN 1472-6696. S2CID 145053591.
  3. ^ Joseph, William A. (2019). Politics in China: An Introduction. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-087070-6.
  4. ^ Joseph, William A. (2019). Politics in China: An Introduction. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-087070-6.
  5. ^ Hamlin, Alan (2021-03-21). "Kevin Vallier: Must politics be war? Restoring our trust in the open society. Oxford University Press, New York, NY, 2019, 243p, USD 90.00 (hardback)". Public Choice. 188 (3–4): 587–590. doi:10.1007/s11127-021-00899-6. ISSN 0048-5829.
  6. ^ Ji, Chengyuan; Jiang, Junyan (2020-09). "Enlightened One-Party Rule? Ideological Differences between Chinese Communist Party Members and the Mass Public". Political Research Quarterly. 73 (3): 651–666. doi:10.1177/1065912919850342. ISSN 1065-9129. {{cite journal}}: Check date values in: |date= (help)
  7. ^ Joseph, William A. (2019). Politics in China: An Introduction. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-087070-6.
  8. ^ Joseph, William A. (2019). Politics in China: An Introduction. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-087070-6.
  9. ^ Poon, Czarina (March 2013). "The Nature of a Communist-Based Legal System and the Post-18th Party Congress Implications". Legal Information Management. 13 (1): 3–10. doi:10.1017/s1472669613000030. ISSN 1472-6696. S2CID 145053591.
  10. ^ Deng, Hui-Wen; Cheung, Kwok Wah (2019-05-07). "Exploring changes of governance discourse of the National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China". Social Transformations in Chinese Societies. 15 (1): 2–20. doi:10.1108/stics-09-2018-0014. ISSN 1871-2673. S2CID 159347662.
  11. ^ Poon, Czarina (2013-03). "The Nature of a Communist-Based Legal System and the Post-18th Party Congress Implications". Legal Information Management. 13 (1): 3–10. doi:10.1017/s1472669613000030. ISSN 1472-6696. {{cite journal}}: Check date values in: |date= (help)
  12. ^ Poon, Czarina (2013-03). "The Nature of a Communist-Based Legal System and the Post-18th Party Congress Implications". Legal Information Management. 13 (1): 3–10. doi:10.1017/s1472669613000030. ISSN 1472-6696. {{cite journal}}: Check date values in: |date= (help)
  13. ^ Poon, Czarina (2013-03). "The Nature of a Communist-Based Legal System and the Post-18th Party Congress Implications". Legal Information Management. 13 (1): 3–10. doi:10.1017/s1472669613000030. ISSN 1472-6696. {{cite journal}}: Check date values in: |date= (help)
  14. ^ Poon, Czarina (2013-03). "The Nature of a Communist-Based Legal System and the Post-18th Party Congress Implications". Legal Information Management. 13 (1): 3–10. doi:10.1017/s1472669613000030. ISSN 1472-6696. {{cite journal}}: Check date values in: |date= (help)
  15. ^ Brødsgaard, Kjeld Erik; Grünberg, Nis (2014-05-23). "Leadership Changes and Structural Reform After the 18th Party Congress in China". The Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies. 31 (1): 81–94. doi:10.22439/cjas.v31i1.4324. ISSN 1395-4199.
  16. ^ Brødsgaard, Kjeld Erik; Grünberg, Nis (2014-05-23). "Leadership Changes and Structural Reform After the 18th Party Congress in China". The Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies. 31 (1): 81–94. doi:10.22439/cjas.v31i1.4324. ISSN 1395-4199.
  17. ^ Hayward, Jane (2018-03-01). "The Rise of China's New-Type Think Tanks and the Internationalization of the State". Pacific Affairs. 91 (1): 27–47. doi:10.5509/201891127. ISSN 0030-851X.
  18. ^ Hayward, Jane (2018-03-01). "The Rise of China's New-Type Think Tanks and the Internationalization of the State". Pacific Affairs. 91 (1): 27–47. doi:10.5509/201891127. ISSN 0030-851X.
  19. ^ Wuthnow, Joel; Chen, Dingding (June 2021). "China's 'New-Type' Private Think Tanks: Is 'New' Better?". Journal of Chinese Political Science. 26 (2): 373–391. doi:10.1007/s11366-020-09675-7. ISSN 1080-6954. S2CID 220509452.
  20. ^ Hayward, Jane (2018-03-01). "The Rise of China's New-Type Think Tanks and the Internationalization of the State". Pacific Affairs. 91 (1): 27–47. doi:10.5509/201891127. ISSN 0030-851X.
  21. ^ Wuthnow, Joel; Chen, Dingding (2021-06). "China's 'New-Type' Private Think Tanks: Is 'New' Better?". Journal of Chinese Political Science. 26 (2): 373–391. doi:10.1007/s11366-020-09675-7. ISSN 1080-6954. {{cite journal}}: Check date values in: |date= (help)
  22. ^ Wuthnow, Joel; Chen, Dingding (2021-06). "China's 'New-Type' Private Think Tanks: Is 'New' Better?". Journal of Chinese Political Science. 26 (2): 373–391. doi:10.1007/s11366-020-09675-7. ISSN 1080-6954. {{cite journal}}: Check date values in: |date= (help)
  23. ^ Poon, Czarina (March 2013). "The Nature of a Communist-Based Legal System and the Post-18th Party Congress Implications". Legal Information Management. 13 (1): 3–10. doi:10.1017/s1472669613000030. ISSN 1472-6696. S2CID 145053591.
  24. ^ Ji, Chengyuan; Jiang, Junyan (September 2020). "Enlightened One-Party Rule? Ideological Differences between Chinese Communist Party Members and the Mass Public". Political Research Quarterly. 73 (3): 651–666. doi:10.1177/1065912919850342. ISSN 1065-9129. S2CID 181735905.
  25. ^ Deng, Hui-Wen; Cheung, Kwok Wah (2019-05-07). "Exploring changes of governance discourse of the National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China". Social Transformations in Chinese Societies. 15 (1): 2–20. doi:10.1108/stics-09-2018-0014. ISSN 1871-2673.
  26. ^ Deng, Hui-Wen; Cheung, Kwok Wah (2019-05-07). "Exploring changes of governance discourse of the National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China". Social Transformations in Chinese Societies. 15 (1): 2–20. doi:10.1108/stics-09-2018-0014. ISSN 1871-2673.
  27. ^ Brødsgaard, Kjeld Erik; Grünberg, Nis (2014-05-23). "Leadership Changes and Structural Reform After the 18th Party Congress in China". The Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies. 31 (1): 81–94. doi:10.22439/cjas.v31i1.4324. ISSN 1395-4199.

External links[edit]