Chinese State Council & Cabinet Powers & Functions: Constitutional Laws

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 11:40 -- Umar Farooq

Chinese State Council

The State Council of the People Republic of China is similar to the Council of Ministers in other countries particularly USSR. It is descried by the constitution as the executive body of highest organ of the state and the highest administrative organ of the state.

Composition of Chinese Cabinet

The State Council (i.e. the Council of Ministers) comprises

  1. The Premier
  2. Vice Premiers
  3. The State Councilors in charge of Ministers and Commissions
  4. The Auditor General
  5. The Secretary General

The Prime Minister is elected by National People Congress on nomination by the President and other members of State Council are appointed by the Congress on the advice of the Premier. The Premier is the Head of the State Council and presides, over its meetings. The supervision and direction of the working, of the State Council is also the task of the Premier. The constitution says that Ministers and the heads of various. Commissions direct the administration of their respective departments.

Powers and Functions of the State Council of China

According to Article-89, the State Council exercises the following powers and functions:

  1. To adopt administrative measure, exact administrative rules, issue decisions and orders and verify their execution in accordance with the constitution, laws and decrees.
  2. To submit proposals to the China National People Congress or its Standing Committee
  3. To lay down tasks and responsibilities of various ministries and commissions
  4. To exercise united leadership over the work of local administrative organs of state throughout the Republic.
  5. To alter or annual inappropriate decisions and orders and directives of' the ministries and commissions.
  6. To alter or annual inappropriate decisions and orders issued by local organs of the state administration.
  7. To draw up and implement the implementation or the plan liar National Economic and Social development of the state budget.
  8. To direct and administer cultural, educational and public health work,
  9. To direct and conclude treaties and agreements with foreign states,
  10. To decide on enforcement of Martial Law,
  11. To approve geographical division of provinces,
  12. To direct and administer the building of Nation Defence
  13. To examine and decide-on the size of administrative organ
  14. To remove administrative personnel according to law
  15. To exercise such other powers and functions as may be vested in the State Council by the National People Congress or its Standing Committee.

It is claimed that the State Council of the People Republic of China is akin to a cabinet in a parliamentary system of government. At the face of it, this claim appears to be justified because there are number of resemblances. Like other countries, having parliamentary government, the Chinese State Council is responsible to the Congress and report to the Standing Committee when the Congress is not in session. The members of the Congress have the right to ask questions to the State Council or to the Minister or the Commissions of the State Council. Like the Prime Minister of other countries, the Premier directs the work of the State Council and presides over its meetings. The Ministers preside over their respective departments and issue orders and directives in accordance with the laws and decrees and decisions and orders of the State Council relating to their departments. The State Council of China is the creation of National People Congress and is responsible to it for its public acts. The above analysis Constitution of China indicates that the powers and functions of the Premier are very much like the powers and functions of the Prime Minister in Pakistan, India and British constitution.

But there is a great difference in theory and practice in China. Outwardly it appears to have all the features of the cabinet form of government but in reality it would be a gross mistake to conclude that there is a parliamentary form of government in China. In practice, there is a complete centralization in China and the Communist Party of China has a tight grip and exercises a strict control on all the governmental bodies including the State Council. The collective responsibility is also missing. And above all, there is no. organized opposition to the State Council in the congress. The Communist Party of China is in complete control of both the Congress and the State Council. From all this, it can therefore, be safely concluded that in China there is no parliamentary government consistent with the accepted principles of the parliamentary form of government.