China is a one-party state ruled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Despite this, eight subservient political parties officially exist within the CCP's United Front similar to the popular fronts of former Cold War-era Eastern European countries such as the National Front of the German Democratic Republic, or the modern-day Democratic Front for the Reunification of Korea in North Korea.

Under the one country, two systems principle, 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 that were introduced just before the handover of the territories to China.[1]

Relationship with the Chinese Communist Party

In practice, only one political party holds effective power at the national level, namely the CCP. Its dominance is such that China is effectively a one-party state.[2] The eight minor parties are part of the United Front and also take part in the political system, but they have limited power at a national level.[3][2] The minor parties must accept the "leading role" of the CCP as a condition of their continued existence.[4] According to Human Rights Watch, these parties "play an advisory rather than an oppositional role".[5] The Chinese political system allows for the participation of some members of the eight minor parties and other non-CCP members in the National People's Congress (NPC), but they are vetted by the CCP. The Constitution of the People's Republic 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."[6]

List of parties

Legal parties

Alliance Name
Date founded Ideology Members Current leader NPC seats SCNPC seats
National Emblem of the People


Chinese Communist Party (CCP)
中国共产党 (中共)
1921 07 01, 101 years ago Socialism with Chinese characteristics 95,150,000 General Secretary
Xi Jinping
2,091 / 2,980
118 / 175
China Zhi Gong Party (CZGP)
中国致公党 (致公党)
1925 10 10, 96 years ago 48,000 Chairman
Prof. Wan Gang
38 / 2,980
3 / 175
Chinese Peasants' and Workers' Democratic Party (CPWDP)
中国农工民主党 (农工党)
1930 08 09, 92 years ago Socialism with Chinese characteristics 145,000 Chairman
Prof. Chen Zhu
54 / 2,980
7 / 175
China Democratic League (CDL)
中国民主同盟 (民盟)
1941 03 19, 81 years ago Socialism with Chinese characteristics 282,000 Chairman
Prof. Ding Zhongli
57 / 2,980
9 / 175
Jiusan Society (JS)
1945 09 03, 77 years ago Socialism with Chinese characteristics 167,218 Chairman
Prof. Wu Weihua
63 / 2,980
4 / 175
China National Democratic Construction Association (CNDCA)
中国民主建国会 (民建)
1945 12 16, 76 years ago Socialism with Chinese characteristics 170,000 Chairman
Prof. Hao Mingjin
57 / 2,980
3 / 175
China Association for Promoting Democracy (CAPD)
中国民主促进会 (民进)
1945 12 30, 76 years ago Socialism with Chinese characteristics 156,808 Chairman
Prof. Cai Dafeng
58 / 2,980
7 / 175
Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League (TDSGL)
台湾民主自治同盟 (台盟)
1947 11 12, 74 years ago 3,000 Chairwoman
Su Hui
13 / 2,980
3 / 175
Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang (RCCK)
中国国民党革命委员会 (民革)
1948 01 01, 74 years ago 127,930 Chairman
Prof. Wan Exiang
44 / 2,980
6 / 175
Total United Front (including independents) 统一战线
2,980 / 2,980
175 / 175

Banned parties

The following parties formed in China are (or have previously been) banned by the government:

Historical parties

Main article: History of political parties in China

See also: List of political parties in Taiwan

Sun Yat-sen together with the members of the Singapore branch of the Tongmenghui
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 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.[18] It was China's first major political party. In 1921, the CCP was founded by Chen Duxiu and Li Dazhao in Shanghai as a study society and an informal network. Slowly, the CCP 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 CCP 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 relocate 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 CCP claimed that it had ceased to exist after 1949.

This list is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items. (August 2016)


  1. ^ Buckley, Roger (1997). Hong Kong: The Road to 1997. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-46979-1.
  2. ^ a b Liao, Xingmiu; Tsai, Wen-Hsuan (2019). "Clientelistic State Corporatism: The United Front Model of "Pairing-Up" in the Xi Jinping Era". China Review. 19 (1): 31–56. ISSN 1680-2012. JSTOR 26603249.
  3. ^ Kesselman, Mark (2012-01-01). Introduction to Politics of the Developing World: Political Challenges and Changing Agendas. Cengage Learning. p. 324. ISBN 978-1-133-71258-9.
  4. ^ Tselichtchev, Ivan (2011-12-27). China Versus the West: The Global Power Shift of the 21st Century. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-82975-2. OCLC 883259659.
  5. ^ "China: Nipped In The Bud - Background". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 2021-03-18.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ "The National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China". 2007-11-15. Archived from the original on 2016-02-06. Retrieved 2018-01-05.
  7. ^ Su, Yuan (2017). 1978-1979: Diary. China Cultural Communication Press.
  8. ^ "'四人帮'在福建打游击". 展望. 01. 1977-01-01.
  9. ^ "福建四人帮战讯". 展望. 1977-12-01.
  10. ^ a b Gittings, John (2005). The Changing Face of China: From Mao to Market. Oxford University Press, 2005. ISBN 0-19-280612-2.
  11. ^ a b Goldsmith, Jack L.; and Wu, Tim (2006). Who Controls the Internet?: Illusions of a Borderless World. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-515266-2.
  12. ^ "国台办称中国泛蓝联盟是非法组织" [The Taiwan Affairs Office said the Union of Chinese Nationalists is an illegal organization.]. (in Chinese (China)). 25 April 2007.
  13. ^ Demick, Barbara (20 March 2012). "China puts a stop to Maoist revival". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 4 June 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
  14. ^ Moore, Malcolm. "Former teacher names Bo Xilai chairman of 'new political party'". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ Shao, Heng. "Bizarre China Report: The Grand Wedding, Power Play & Smog-Inspired Creativity". Forbes. Archived from the original on 2018-01-27. Retrieved 2017-09-03.
  17. ^ "北京民政局发出取缔"至宪党"决定". Deutsche Welle. 14 December 2013. Archived from the original on 16 May 2019. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  18. ^ "- 中國國民黨全球資訊網 KMT Official Website". 中國國民黨全球資訊網. Archived from the original on 2012-08-23. Retrieved 2018-08-03.

See also