Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission

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Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China
AbbreviationChinese: 中央政法委; pinyin: Zhōngyāng Zhèngfǎwěi; lit. 'Central Poli-Legal Commission')
PredecessorCentral Leading Group for Political and Legal Affairs
FormationMarch 6, 1990
FounderCCP Central Committee
TypeCommission directly reporting to the Central Committee
Legal statusActive
Mainland China
Official language
Standard Chinese
Guo Shengkun
Deputy Head
Zhao Kezhi
(Other) Members
Chen Yixin
Parent organization
CCP Central Committee
CPC Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission
Simplified Chinese中共中央政法委员会
Traditional Chinese中共中央政法委員會
Literal meaningChinese-Communist Central Politics-Law Commission
Literal meaningCentral Poli-Legal Commission

The Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China (Chinese: 中共中央政法委员会), commonly referred to as Zhongyang Zhengfawei (中央政法委, literally "Central Poli-Legal Commission") in Chinese, is the organization under the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) responsible for political and legal affairs. In practice the organization oversees all legal enforcement authorities, including the police force, making it a very powerful organ.

All the CCP committees of provinces, municipalities, counties and autonomous regions establish respective politics and law commissions.

The commission is headed by a secretary who is usually a CCP Politburo member.


The commission was preceded by a Politics and Law Leading Group (政法领导小组; Zhèngfǎ Lǐngdǎo Xiǎozǔ) which was set up in 1958, with Peng Zhen as its leader. During the Cultural Revolution it was led by Ji Dengkui, who served as group leader until 24 January 1980, when the commission was established, with Peng Zhen back as its secretary.

In 1988, the commission was downgraded to a small leading group (领导小组). This was part of the result of efforts by reformist Zhao Ziyang to separate the CCP from state institutions. The Small Leading Group on Political and Legal Affairs focused on a narrower set of policy and research concerns, and did not take as active a role intervening in cases or issuing directives, resulting in a degree of increased independence of the judiciary. The crisis precipitated by the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests resulted in a reversal of these reforms, and the Small Group was reverted to its Commission status, with the goal of maintaining stability through tighter control of public security and legal systems.[1]

After the 18th National Congress of the CCP in 2012, Meng Jianzhu replaced Zhou Yongkang as the head of the commission. However, Meng, unlike Zhou, was not elected to the 18th Politburo Standing Committee.[2] The apparent downgrading of the post followed Zhou's connection with the Wang Lijun incident, which has discredited Chongqing politician Bo Xilai's method of using the internal security apparatus for political ends. As a result, the independence of the judiciary in China increased.[3] Reforms under Xi Jinping emphasizing simultaneous need for rule of law and stability have subsequently affected the commission. The commission now has a more policy-and-research oriented focus, although the CCP still maintains control over the legal system.[1]

In May 2021, the commission was criticized for posting an image on Sina Weibo of a rocket launch in China next to a photo of mass cremations in India as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.[4]

List of heads[edit]

Leaders of the Central Political and Law Group[edit]

  1. Peng Zhen (1958)
  2. Luo Ruiqing (1958–1960)
  3. Xie Fuzhi (1960–1966)
  4. Ji Dengkui (1969–1980)

Secretaries of the Central Politics and Legal Affairs Commission[edit]

  1. Peng Zhen (1980–1982)
  2. Chen Pixian (1982–1985)
  3. Qiao Shi (1985–1992)
  4. Ren Jianxin (1992–1998)
  5. Luo Gan (1998–2007)
  6. Zhou Yongkang (2007–2012)
  7. Meng Jianzhu (2012–2017)
  8. Guo Shengkun (2017–)

Current composition[edit]

Deputy Secretary
  1. Chief Justice Zhou Qiang, President of the Supreme People's Court (sub-national-leader-level)
  2. Chief Prosecutor Zhang Jun, Procurator-General of the Supreme People's Procuratorate (sub-national-leader-level)
  3. Chen Yixin, Secretary-General of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission (minister-level)
  4. Chen Wenqing, Minister of State Security
  5. Tang Yijun, Minister of Justice
  6. PLA Lieutenant General Wang Renhua [zh], Secretary of the Political and Legal Affairs Commission of the Central Military Commission
  7. PAP General Wang Chunning, Commander of the People's Armed Police


  1. ^ a b Yang, Dali L. (2017-01-02). "China's Troubled Quest for Order: Leadership, Organization and the Contradictions of the Stability Maintenance Regime". Journal of Contemporary China. 26 (103): 35–53. doi:10.1080/10670564.2016.1206279. ISSN 1067-0564. S2CID 157182950.
  2. ^ "China leaders reassert control over security portfolio". BBC News. 2012-11-21. Archived from the original on 2012-11-22. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
  3. ^ Page, Jeremy (2012-11-21). "China Reins In New Security Boss's Clout". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Archived from the original on 2013-06-09. Retrieved 2021-05-02.
  4. ^ "Backlash after China Weibo post mocks India Covid crisis". BBC News. 2021-05-02. Archived from the original on 2021-05-02. Retrieved 2021-05-02.