A Guide to 2018 State Council Institutional Reforms

Editor’s Note: On December 13, 2022, we updated this page with an embedded PDF version of our summary of the 2018 State Council reorganization plan, approved on March 17, 2018. We have made no substantive change to our original summary. We also removed introductions to the various types of State Council bodies, which are now available on this page, along with the State Council’s current organizational chart. This page before the update was archived here.

Details of the eighth round of State Council reorganization in the “Reform and Opening up” era were revealed to the delegates attending the ongoing 1st Session of the 13th NPC on Tuesday. Previous rounds took place in 1982, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2003, 2008, and 2013. In this post, we present our own summary of the 2018 State Council Institutional Reform Plan (国务院机构改革方案). The Communist Party on March 21 released the Plan to Deepen Reform of Party and State Institutions, the section of which concerning the State Council is summarized below. While some other parts of the plan also made changes to the State Council’s organizational structure, these changes are NOT reflected in the summary.

For existing State Council bodies, we used the official translations of their names in our summary. For new bodies created by the Plan, we mostly followed the translations published by Xinhua. We included the Chinese names of new bodies only. To limit the length of the document and for formatting purposes, the use of acronyms is inevitable even though we have tried to minimize their use. If you see an acronym you do not recognize, please perform a search within the document.

Some State Council bodies (such as the Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) of the State Council 国务院台湾事务办公室) are not listed in the document because they are Communist Party organizations under a different name (the TAO is the same entity as the Party Central Committee’s Taiwan Work Office 中共中央台湾工作办公室).

Comments & Pingbacks

  1. Also, why is “MOFCOM” put in quotes? MOFCOM is the official abbreviation, after all. Whether “SNWD Office” needs the quotes might be debatable.

  2. Why is the China Cyberspace Administration not part of this list? AFAIK, even though the CAC was initially a duplicate of SCIO, it officially became its own thing in 2014 through《国务院关于授权国家互联网信息办公室负责互联网信息内容管理工作的通知》.

    1. I think CAC is not listed here because it’s officially considered part of the Party’s organizational structure—that is, it is the same thing as the Executive Office of the Central Leading Group on Cybersecurity and Informatization (中央网络安全和信息化领导小组办公室). Also, I think that CAC is still a duplicate of SCIO, which (according to Wikipedia and Baidu Baike) is simultaneously also known as the Party’s External Propaganda Office (中共中央对外宣传办公室). Also see this chart: https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:%E5%9B%BD%E5%8A%A1%E9%99%A2.

  3. I’m fairly sure the CAC is no longer a duplicate of the SCIO. First of all, they have different bosses, at everyone knows. The CAC also has an independent org chart (non-public, but parts of it are known, and there are credible unofficial versions circulating online), and its staff must have long exceeded the SCIO staff in size. Different offices of the CAC are located in different places in Beijing (until they all move into the giant new HQ one day), and their signs at the gate often don’t mention anything about the SCIO.

    The state CAC is a couple of years older than the party CAC. Upon establishing the party CAC, it was stipulated that its work be performed by the state CAC. In other words, the party CAC is a virtual instance, while the state CAC performs the actual work, and not the other way around:

    1. OK, the official website of the State Council says the CAC is listed with the CPCCC:


      1. It would be nice if this information – the official explanation by the SC itself on why CAC, TAO, etc. aren’t listed here – could be added to this list as a clarifying note.

    1. I most likely won’t update this post, but will separately publish a State Council organizational chart after all new agencies’ English names are released. Thanks for pointing out MEE’s new name—that was actually my original translation.

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