A state councillor (Chinese: 国务委员; pinyin: guówù wěiyuán; lit. 'Councillor for National Affairs') is a high-ranking position within the State Council, the executive organ of the Chinese government (comparable to a cabinet). It ranks immediately below the Vice-Premiers and above the ministers of various departments.[1] Similar to minister without portfolio, the position carries duties unspecified at the time of appointment, although state councillor may also be appointed to head a department. The position was created during the May 1982 restructuring of the State Council, when eleven state councillors were appointed, ten of whom were vice premiers until then.[2]

Role

In theory, state councillors are to assist the Premier and Vice-Premiers to oversee various government portfolios. They can also represent the State Council (and in turn, Government of China) on foreign visits. State councillors are part of a Standing Meeting of the State Council, alongside the Premier, Vice-Premiers, and the Secretary General of the State Council. The organ holds weekly meetings. In practice, a state councillor's portfolios can be very wide-ranging.

State councillors often accompany China's higher dignitaries on trips abroad - as was the case with State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan from 2003–2008, and Dai Bingguo from 2008–2013. Dai also became China's representative at the 2009 G8 summit in Italy when President Hu Jintao decided to cut short his attendance to return to China in order to deal with the July 2009 Ürümqi riots.

List of state councillors

5th State Council (1982–1983)

The position was created during the May 1982 restructuring of the State Council. Eleven state councillors were appointed, ten of whom were vice premiers until then, the only exception being Zhang Jingfu.[2]

  1. Yu Qiuli
  2. Geng Biao
  3. Fang Yi
  4. Gu Mu
  5. Kang Shi'en
  6. Chen Muhua
  7. Bo Yibo
  8. Ji Pengfei
  9. Huang Hua
  10. Zhang Jingfu
  11. Zhang Aiping
6th State Council (1983–1988)
  1. Fang Yi
  2. Gu Mu
  3. Kang Shi'en
  4. Chen Muhua
  5. Ji Pengfei
  6. Zhang Jingfu
  7. Zhang Aiping
  8. Wu Xueqian
  9. Wang Bingqian
  10. Song Ping
  11. Song Jian
7th State Council (1988–1993)
  1. Li Tieying
  2. Qin Jiwei
  3. Wang Bingqian
  4. Song Jian
  5. Wang Fang
  6. Zou Jiahua
  7. Li Guixian
  8. Chen Xitong
  9. Chen Junsheng
  10. Qian Qichen
8th State Council (1993–1998)
  1. Li Tieying
  2. Chi Haotian
  3. Song Jian
  4. Li Guixian
  5. Chen Junsheng
  6. Ismail Amat
  7. Peng Peiyun
  8. Luo Gan - Secretary-General of the State Council
9th State Council (1998–2003)
Chi Haotian Luo Gan Ismail Amat Wu Yi Wang Zhongyu
Minister of National Defence Minister of Public Security Ethnic affairs, etc. Trade, etc. Secretary-General
of the State Council
10th State Council (2003–2008)
Zhou Yongkang Cao Gangchuan Tang Jiaxuan Hua Jianmin Chen Zhili
Minister of Public Security Minister of National Defence Foreign affairs Secretary-General
of the State Council
Education, sci-tech, culture, health, sport
11th State Council (2008–2013)
Liu Yandong Ma Kai Liang Guanglie Meng Jianzhu Dai Bingguo
Education, sci-tech, culture, sport Secretary-General
of the State Council
Minister of National Defence Minister of Public Security Foreign affairs
12th State Council (2013–2018)[3]
Yang Jing
(removed from office
24 February 2018)
Chang Wanquan Yang Jiechi Guo Shengkun Wang Yong
Secretary-General of the State Council Minister of National Defence Foreign affairs Minister of Public Security Disaster response, etc.
13th State Council (2018–2023)
Wei Fenghe Wang Yong Wang Yi Xiao Jie Zhao Kezhi
Minister of National Defence Disaster response, etc. Minister of Foreign Affairs Secretary-General of the State Council Minister of Public Security
14th State Council (2023–present)
Li Shangfu Wang Xiaohong Wu Zhenglong Shen Yiqin Qin Gang
Minister of National Defence Minister of Public Security Secretary-General of the State Council Civil affairs, human resources, etc. Minister of Foreign Affairs until 25 July 2023

References

  1. ^ Laws on the composition of the State Council
  2. ^ a b Li, Jinshan (16 December 1998). Bureaucratic Restructure in Reforming China: A Redistribution of Political Power. World Scientific. p. 17. ISBN 978-981-4495-43-1.
  3. ^ NPC endorses new cabinet lineup