List of political parties in China

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China, officially the People's Republic of China, 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 China. Currently, both Hong Kong and Macau possess multi-party systems.[1]

Relationships with the Communist Party[edit]

In practice, only one political party, the CPC, holds effective power at the national level. Its dominance is such that China is effectively a one-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 Chinese 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 China, 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 Chinese 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, Chinese 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.[2][3] 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 China defines socialism as "the basic system" of the country, and explicitly forbids "sabotage of the socialist system by any individual or organization."[4]


Current existing[edit]

English name
Chinese name
Date founded Existed Location founded Member features
(generally considered)
Members Current leader Official website
Communist Party of China
(ruling party)
1 July 1921 96 years, 164 days Shanghai, China People who believe Marxism-Leninism, Maoist and Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, and have the will to develop socialist society to make the communist society come true 88,760,000 Secretary General Xi Jinping [5]
The Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang
1 January 1948 69 years, 345 days British Hong Kong Intellectuals who have relationships with Kuomintang (before 1949), RCCK or Taiwan
Major in science and law
101,865 Chairman Wan Exiang [6]
China Democratic League
19 March 1941 76 years, 268 days Chongqing, China Intellectuals who major in cultural education and science technology 274,000 Chairman Zhang Baowen [7]
China Democratic National Construction Association
16 December 1945 71 years, 361 days Chongqing, China Intellectuals who major in economy 140,000 Chairman Chen Changzhi [8]
China Association for Promoting Democracy
30 December 1945 71 years, 347 days Shanghai, China Intellectuals who major in education, culture and publication 145,000 Chairman Yan Junqi [9]
Chinese Peasants' and Workers' Democratic Party
9 August 1930 87 years, 125 days Shanghai, China Intellectuals who major in medical science, population resource and ecology condition 145,000 Chairman Chen Zhu [10]
China Zhi Gong Party
10 October 1925 92 years, 63 days Los Angeles, United States Returned overseas Chinese and their relatives 40,000 Chairman Wan Gang [11]
Jiusan Society
九三学社 3 September 1945 72 years, 100 days Chongqing, China Intellectuals who major in science technology 149,797 Chairman Han Qide [12]
Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League
12 November 1947 70 years, 30 days British Hong Kong Taiwanese who support Chinese unification 3,000 Chairman Lin Wenyi [13]

Suppressed parties[edit]

The following parties have been and are currently suppressed in China. Due to censorship and suppression, they most likely have their headquarters outside the Chinese mainland.

Historical: Republic of China (1912–49)[edit]

The Republic of China was founded by the Kuomintang (KMT) leader Dr. Sun Yat-sen in 1912. The Kuomintang's prior revolutionary political group, the Revive China Society, was founded on 24 November 1894. It later merged with various other revolutionary groups to form the Tongmenghui in 1905. In August 1911, the Tongmenghui further merged with various other political parties in Beijing to form the KMT. In July 1914, the KMT re-organized itself as the "Chinese Revolutionary Party" in Tokyo, Japan. In 1919, the party officially renamed itself as "Kuomintang of China", which literally translates to "Chinese Nationalist Party".[20] It was China's first major political party. In 1921, the Communist Party of China (CPC) was founded by Chen Duxiu and Li Dazhao in Shanghai as a study society and an informal network. Slowly, the CPC began to grow. These were the two major political parties in China, during the time when the ROC ruled mainland China from 1911 to 1949.

During the Chinese Civil War, under the leadership of the CPC, the People's Liberation Army defeated the National Revolutionary Army of the Kuomintang in 1949. The Kuomintang had no choice but to leave mainland China and move to the island of Taiwan in 1945 from Japan then fled there with the aim to retake mainland China and retained the name "Republic of China" even though the CPC claimed that the Republic of China ceased to exist after 1949.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Buckley, Roger. (1997) Hong Kong: The Road to 1997. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-46979-1
  2. ^ a b c Gittings, John. The Changing Face of China: From Mao to Market. (2005). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-280612-2
  3. ^ a b c Goldsmith, Jack L. Wu, Tim. (2006). Who Controls the Internet?: Illusions of a Borderless World. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-515266-2
  4. ^ "Constitution of China". People's Daily Online. Retrieved 2016-12-28. 
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  14. ^ "Chinese Pan-Blue Alliance Members Arrested". Epoch Times. 2008-02-18. 
  15. ^ Moore, Malcolm. "Former teacher names Bo Xilai chairman of 'new political party'". Telegraph. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  16. ^ 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. 
  17. ^ Shao, Heng. "Bizarre China Report: The Grand Wedding, Power Play & Smog-Inspired Creativity". 
  18. ^ "北京民政局发出取缔"至宪党"决定" (in Chinese). Deutsche Welle. December 14, 2013. Retrieved 2016-12-28. 
  19. ^ Demick, Barbara (20 March 2012). "China puts a stop to Maoist revival" – via LA Times. 
  20. ^ History of KMT

External links[edit]