List of political parties in China

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Politics of China

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 holds effective power at the national level, namely the CPC. Its dominance is such that China is effectively a one-party state. Eight minor parties are part of the United Front and also take part in the political system, but they have limited power on a national level and are almost completely subservient to the CPC as they must accept the "leading role" of the CPC as a condition of their continued existence. The Chinese political system allows for the participation of some non-CPC members and minor parties in the National People's Congress (NPC), but they are vetted by the CPC. The Constitution of China states in the preamble: "The system of the multi-party cooperation and political consultation led by the Communist Party of China will exist and develop for a long time to come".[2]

Although opposition parties are not formally banned in China, the CPC maintains control over the political system in several ways.

First, only the people's congresses/assemblies up to the county level (or district under a municipality) are subject to direct popular vote. Even such a lower-level direct election can be highly controlled or managed by the CPC and higher level governmental bodies. 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 county-level people's congresses, it is impossible for them to organize to the point where they can elect members above the county level 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 Democracy Party of China and against members of organizations that the CPC sees as threatening its power.[3][4] These include the crimes of subversion, sedition and revealing state secrets. Moreover, the control that the CPC has over the legislative and judicial processes means that the party can author legislation that targets a particular group.

Third, Article 1 of the Constitution defines China as a "people's democratic dictatorship" with "the socialist system" as its "basic system". It explicitly forbids "sabotage of the socialist system by any individual or organization".[5]


Current existing[edit]

English name
Chinese name
Date founded Existed Location founded Members Current leader Official website
     Communist Party of China (CPC) – ruling party 中国共产党 (中共) 1 July 1921 97 years, 166 days Shanghai, China 89,450,000 General Secretary
Xi Jinping
     Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang (RCCK) 中国国民党革命委员会 (民革) 1 January 1948 70 years, 347 days British Hong Kong 127,930 Chairman
Wan Exiang
     China Democratic League (CDL) 中国民主同盟 (民盟) 19 March 1941 77 years, 270 days Chongqing, China 282,000 Chairman
Ding Zhongli
     China Democratic National Construction Association (CDNCA) 中国民主建国会 (民建) 16 December 1945 72 years, 363 days Chongqing, China 170,000 Chairman
Hao Mingjin
     China Association for Promoting Democracy (CAPD) 中国民主促进会 (民进) 30 December 1945 72 years, 349 days Shanghai, China 156,808 Chairman
Cai Dafeng
     Chinese Peasants' and Workers' Democratic Party (CPWDP) 中国农工民主党 (农工党) 9 August 1930 88 years, 127 days Shanghai, China 145,000 Chairman
Chen Zhu
     China Zhi Gong Party (CZGP) 中国致公党 (致公党) 10 October 1925 93 years, 65 days Los Angeles, California, United States 48,000 Chairman
Wan Gang
     Jiusan Society (JS) 九三学社 3 September 1945 73 years, 102 days Chongqing, China 167,218 Chairman
Wu Weihua
     Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League (TDSGL) 台湾民主自治同盟 (台盟) 12 November 1947 71 years, 32 days British Hong Kong 3,000 Chairman
Su Hui

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[edit]

Sun Yat-sen together with the members of the Singapore branch of the Tongmenghui

The Republic of China (ROC) 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 i]n 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.[25] 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 it had ceased to exist after 1949.


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  2. ^ "The National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China".
  3. ^ a b c Gittings, John. The Changing Face of China: From Mao to Market. (2005). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-280612-2.
  4. ^ a b c Goldsmith, Jack L. and Wu, Tim (2006). Who Controls the Internet?: Illusions of a Borderless World. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-515266-2.
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  16. ^ Moore, Malcolm. "Former teacher names Bo Xilai chairman of 'new political party'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
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  18. ^ Shao, Heng. "Bizarre China Report: The Grand Wedding, Power Play & Smog-Inspired Creativity". Forbes.
  19. ^ "北京民政局发出取缔"至宪党"决定". Deutsche Welle. 14 December 2013. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  20. ^ Su, Yuan (2017). 1978-1979: Diary. China Cultural Communication Press.
  21. ^ "'四人帮'在福建打游击". 展望. 01. 1977-01-01.
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External links[edit]

See also[edit]