United Front (China)

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United Front
Simplified Chinese 统一战线
Traditional Chinese 統一戰綫
Socialist United Front
Simplified Chinese 社会主义统一战线
Traditional Chinese 社會主義統一戰綫
Patriotic United Front
Simplified Chinese 爱国(主义)统一战线
Traditional Chinese 愛國(主義)統一戰綫
People's Democratic United Front (1945-1966)[1]
Simplified Chinese 人民民主统一战线
Traditional Chinese 人民民主統一戰綫
Revolutionany United Front
Simplified Chinese 革命统一战线
Traditional Chinese 革命統一戰綫
This article is part of a series on the
Politics of the
People's Republic of China
National Emblem of the People's Republic of China (2).svg

The United Front (Chinese: 统一战线; pinyin: TǒngYī ZhànXiàn) in China is a popular front of the legally permitted parties in the country, led by the Communist Party of China (CPC). Besides the CPC, it includes eight minor parties and the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce. It is managed by the CPC Central Committee United Front Work Department (Chinese: 中共中央统一战线工作部). Its current department head is You Quan.[3]. The member parties of the Front are completely subservient to the CPC; they all support China's road to socialism, and hold steadfast to the leading role of the CPC.[4]


Before the United Front nowadays, CPC organized "National Revolution United Front"(國民革命統一戰綫) with KMT during the Northern Expedition and then "Workers' and Peasants' Democratic United Front"(工農民主統一戰綫) in the Chinese Soviet Republic era. Originally the "Anti-Japanese National United Front"(抗日民族統一戰綫) -- indicating that the proletarian Chinese Communists was united with the bourgeoisie against Imperial Japan[5] -- the organization's "structure" was first deployed by Mao Zedong in the 1930s. It "assumed its current form" in 1946,[6] three years before the Chinese Communist Party defeated the Republican Kuomintang ("Nationalist") government of Chiang Kai-shek. Mao credited the United Front with being one of his "Three Magic Weapons" against the Kuomintang -- the other two being the Leninist Chinese Communist party and the Red Army[5] -- and credited the Front with playing a part in his victory.[6]

Constitutional status[edit]

The United Front holds no real power independent of the Communist Party of China; it exists mainly to give non-Communist forces a platform in the society of the People's Republic.[7] The CPC's relationship with other parties is based on the principle of "long-term coexistence and mutual supervision, treating each other with full sincerity and sharing weal or woe."[4] Its leaders are mostly selected by the Communist Party, or are themselves CPC members.[8] This process is institutionalized in the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).[4] Although China is a de facto one-party state, the United Front parties have nominal representation in the National People's Congress.

"In building socialism it is essential to rely on workers, peasants and intellectuals and to unite all forces that can be united. In the long years of revolution and construction, there has been formed under the leadership of the Communist Party of China a broad patriotic united front which is composed of the democratic parties and people’s organizations and which embraces all socialist working people, all builders of socialism, all patriots who support socialism, and all patriots who stand for the reunification of the motherland. This united front will continue to be consolidated and developed. The Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a broadly based representative organization of the united front which has played a significant historical role, will play a still more important role in the country’s political and social life, in promoting friendship with other countries and in the struggle for socialist modernization and for the reunification and unity of the country. 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."

—Preamble of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China[9]

United Front Democratic Parties[edit]

In the official order of precedence:
  1. Revolutionary Committee of the Kuomintang (中国国民党革命委员会; Zhōngguó Guómíndǎng Gémìngwěiyuánhuì)
  2. China Democratic League (中国民主同盟; Zhōngguó Mínzhǔ Tóngméng)
  3. China Democratic National Construction Association (中国民主建国会; Zhōngguó Mínzhǔ Jiànguó Huì)
  4. China Association for Promoting Democracy (中国民主促进会; Zhōngguó Mínzhǔ Cùjìnhuì)
  5. Chinese Peasants' and Workers' Democratic Party (中国农工民主党; Zhōngguó Nónggōng Mínzhǔdǎng)
  6. China Party for Public Interest (中国致公党; Zhōngguó Zhìgōngdǎng)
  7. September 3 Society (九三学社; Jǐusān Xuéshè)
  8. Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League (台湾民主自治同盟; Táiwān Mínzhǔ Zìzhì Tóngméng)

All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce[edit]


The two organs affiliated with United Front are the United Front Work Department and the more high-profile Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (C.P.P.C.C.). According to Yi-Zheng Lian, the organs "are often poorly understood outside China because there are no equivalents for them in the West".[6]

United Front Work Department[edit]

The United Front Work Department is headed by the chief of the secretariat of the C.C.P.’s central committee. It oversees a dozen organizations such as the European and American Alumni Association. It helps Chinese students and academics training or residing in the West, enjoining them to conduct “people diplomacy” on behalf of the People's Republic of China.[6]


  1. ^ 1954 Constitution, http://www.npc.gov.cn/wxzl/wxzl/2000-12/26/content_4264.htm
  2. ^ 1975 Constitution: http://www.npc.gov.cn/wxzl/wxzl/2000-12/06/content_4362.htm; 1978 Constitution: http://www.npc.gov.cn/wxzl/wxzl/2000-12/06/content_4365.htm
  3. ^ http://www.zytzb.gov.cn/tzb2010/youquan/ldzc_yq.shtml
  4. ^ a b c "IV. The System of Multi-Party Cooperation and Political Consultation". China.org.cn. Retrieved 2018-02-23. 
  5. ^ a b "Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung. INTRODUCING THE COMMUNIST". Marxist.org. October 4, 1939. Retrieved 21 May 2018. 
  6. ^ a b c d Lian, Yi-Zheng (21 May 2018). "China Has a Vast Influence Machine, and You Don't Even Know It". New York Times. Retrieved 21 May 2018. 
  7. ^ New Approaches to the Study of Political Order in China, by Donald Clarke, Modern China, 2009.
  8. ^ Judicial politics as state-building, Zhu, Suli, Pp. 23–36 in Stéphanie Balme and Michael W. Dowdle (eds.), Building Constitutionalism in China.New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  9. ^ Constitution of the People's Republic of China. The National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China. Retrieved on 23 February 2018.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

See also[edit]