The President of People's Republic of China Process, Powers & Function

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 11:31 -- Umar Farooq

The President of People's Republic of China

The highest executive authority in People Republic of China is vested in the President of the Republic and the State Council. The President is the Head of State and the State Council is the Council Of Ministers or the Parliamentary executive as in other countries of the world.

Presidential Election

The President of the People Republic of China is elected by the National People Congress. This high office was held by Mao Zedong till 1959. Therefore, (after his death) the post of the Chairman of PRC has ceased to be of much significance. As present, the Chairman of Military Commission has assumed the real power of the state. (In Previous Constitution the head of State was regarded as the Chairman of People Republic of China).

Term of China President Office

The President of the People Republic of China is elected for a period of 4 years. According to the constitution, he may be re-elected only once and no more. The maximum tenure that the President can have is thus 8 years under normal circumstances.

Powers and Functions of the President of the Republic

The President of the People Republic of China is vested with all the powers of the head of the State. The Chinese President powers and functions are as follows:

The President, in pursuance of the decision of National People Congress or its Standing Committee.

  1. Promulgates statute
  2. Appoints or removes the Premier. Vice-Premiers, Ministers, State Councilors, Auditor General and Secretary General of the State Council (i.e. the Council of Ministers,
  3. Appoints ambassadors to foreign countries
  4. Confers State medals and titles of honour
  5. Proclaims Martial Law
  6. Declares a state of war
  7. Order Mobilization
  8. Issues orders of special pardons
  9. Receives foreign diplomat

The President of the Republic represents Republic of China in its relations with foreign states. All correspondence with foreign states is conducted in his name.

He appoints or removes ambassadors etc. to foreign states and ratifies treaties with foreign States. But this function is performed by him in accordance with the decision of    the Standing Committee of the National People Congress. The President, in the discharge of his responsibilities is assisted by a Vice-President. He may ask the Vice-President to perform any of his functions

A careful study of the above powers and functions of Chinese President shows that most of his powers are to be exercised by him only in accordance with the decisions of the National People Congress or its Standing Committee. The Chines President is, therefore, only a figurehead. But as long as Mao occupied this exalted office, he was both in theory and practice the real ruler of the nation because of his position and prestige in the Communist Party, he was able to guide and influence the decisions of the bodies concerned. It is therefore, an office of position and respect in China but much depends upon the person occupying it. Under the Chinese Constitution of 1982, the President is not the Supreme Commander of the armed forces, which function under the Central Military Commission whose Chairman holds the real power in the country.