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The People's Republic of China is a one-party state ruled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Despite this, eight minor political parties subservient to the CCP exist.

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 from 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]

Legal parties

Ruling party

The Chinese Communist Party is the sole ruling party of the People's Republic of China. The Chinese constitution states that "The defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the leadership of the Communist Party of China",[2] while the CCP constitution declares the party to be the "highest force for political leadership".[3]

Party Year founded Ideology Members (2022) Leader NPC seats NPCSC seats CPPCC seats[a]
Chinese Communist Party (CCP)
中国共产党 (中共)
Zhōngguó Gòngchán Dǎng (Zhōnggòng)
1921 Socialism with Chinese characteristics 98,041,000 Xi Jinping
2,091 / 2,980
118 / 175
99 / 544

Minor parties

Further information: United front (China)

While only the CCP holds effective power at the national level, there are officially eight minor and non-oppositional parties that exist alongside the CCP that are officially titled "democratic parties" (Chinese: 民主党派; pinyin: Mínzhǔ dǎngpài).[4] Founded before the proclamation of the People's Republic of China, these parties must accept the "leading role" of the CCP as a condition of their continued existence.[5] The relationship between these parties and the CCP has officially been described as "long-term coexistence and mutual supervision, treating each other with full sincerity and sharing weal or woe" (prosperity or adversity) [6] According to Human Rights Watch, these parties "play an advisory rather than an oppositional role".[7] The eight minor parties take part in "united front work" and also take part in the political system, but they have no power at a national level.[8][4] 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.[7] According to Aaron Friedberg, these parties' "purpose is to create the illusion of inclusiveness and representation."[9] One of the ways the CCP controls the minor parties is through its United Front Work Department (UFWD), which vets the membership applications and controls who is the leader of these parties.[10] UFWD also keeps the parties in check by preventing them from expanding widely in counties and villages.[10] There is officially a ranking system of the parties; the ranking is based on their "contribution to the new democratic revolution".[11]

Party Year founded Members (2022) Chairperson NPC seats NPCSC seats CPPCC seats[a]
Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang (RCCK)
中国国民党革命委员会 (民革)
Zhōngguó Guómíndǎng Gémìng Wěiyuánhuì (Míngé)
1948 158,000 Zheng Jianbang
44 / 2,980
6 / 175
65 / 544
China Democratic League (CDL)
中国民主同盟 (民盟)
Zhōngguó Mínzhǔ Tóngméng (Mínméng)
1941 348,300 Ding Zhongli
57 / 2,980
9 / 175
65 / 544
China National Democratic Construction Association (CNDCA)
中国民主建国会 (民建)
Zhōngguó Mínzhǔ Jiànguó Huì (Mínjiàn)
1945 220,000 Hao Mingjin
57 / 2,980
3 / 175
65 / 544
China Association for Promoting Democracy (CAPD)
中国民主促进会 (民进)
Zhōngguó Mínzhǔ Cùjìn Huì (Mínjìn)
1945 192,000 Cai Dafeng
58 / 2,980
7 / 175
45 / 544
Chinese Peasants' and Workers' Democratic Party (CPWDP)
中国农工民主党 (农工党)
Zhōngguó Nónggōng Mínzhǔdǎng (Nónggōngdǎng)
1930 192,000 He Wei
54 / 2,980
7 / 175
45 / 544
China Zhi Gong Party (CZGP)
中国致公党 (致公党)
Zhōngguó Zhì Gōng Dǎng (Zhìgōngdǎng)
1925 69,000 Jiang Zuojun
38 / 2,980
3 / 175
30 / 544
Jiusan Society (JS)
1945 204,069 Wu Weihua
63 / 2,980
4 / 175
45 / 544
Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League (TDSL)
台湾民主自治同盟 (台盟)
Táiwān Mínzhǔ Zìzhì Tóngméng (Táiméng)
1947 3,400 Su Hui
13 / 2,980
3 / 175
20 / 544

Other parties

Banned parties

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

See also


  1. ^ a b Seats for political parties


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