Bilingual State Council Organizational Chart

Last updated: June 16, 2022

The chart at the bottom of this page shows the State Council’s latest organizational structure during Premier Li Keqiang’s second term (2018–). The eight categories of State Council bodies are explained in the table below (click to show). The various “deliberation and coordination agencies” [议事协调机构] are not included in this organizational chart, however, because there is no official list of them. Official English names are used in the chart when available.

Categories of State Council bodies explained

The two principal legal authorities governing the State Council’s organizational structure are the 1982 State Council Organic Law (“Organic Law”) [国务院组织法] and the 1997 Regulations on the Management of the Establishment and Staffing of the Administrative Agencies of the State Council (“Regulations”) [国务院行政机构设置和编制管理条例].

CategoryExplanation
国务院办公厅
General Office of the State Council
The General Office performs administrative tasks for the State Council, assisting the State Council leadership in “handling the [body’s] day-to-day work” (Regulations art. 6, para. 2). It is headed by the Secretary General of the State Council (Organic Law art. 7, para. 3).
国务院组成部门
Departments Constituting the State Council
These departments “perform the basic administrative functions of the State Council” (Regulations art. 6, para. 3). They consist of the cabinet-level ministries and commissions, as well as the People’s Bank of China and the National Audit Office. The establishment, dissolution, or merger of these departments are subject to legislative approval (Organic Law art. 8).
国务院直属特设机构
Special Organization Directly Under the State Council
There is only one such organization: the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC), established in 2003. The SASAC oversees central state-owned (non-financial) enterprises on behalf of the central government. It was placed in a special category because its authority to manage only state-owned enterprises was thought to distinguish it from both traditional administrative agencies and public institutions.
国务院直属机构
Organizations Directly Under the State Council
These organizations are each in charge of certain “specialized work” and perform “independent administrative functions” (Regulations art. 6, para. 4). They have no parent organization other than the State Council itself.
国务院办事机构
Administrative Offices Under the State Council
These offices, under the Regulations, are supposed to only assist the Premier with “specialized matters” and have no “independent administrative functions” (Regulations art. 6, para. 5). That is no longer true in the case of the Cyberspace Administration of China, however, as it is now a regulatory agency with the authority to issue and enforce rules.
国务院直属事业单位
Public Institutions Under the State Council
These institutions include state media outlets, governmental research institutions, as well as several entities that, while not administrative agencies per se, have been vested by law with regulatory powers, such as the China Securities Regulatory Commission, the country’s securities regulator.
部委管理的国家局
National Administrations Under the Ministries and Commissions
These administrations used to be called “national administrative agencies managed by the departments constituting the State Council” [国务院组成部门管理的国家行政机构] (Regulations art. 6, para. 6). They are semi-independent bodies that perform administrative functions, subject to oversight by their parent organizations (id.).
国务院议事协调机构
Deliberation and Coordination Bodies Under the State Council
These bodies are responsible for “organizing and coordinating important tasks” across State Council agencies (Regulations art. 6, para. 7). Generally, such a body may not perform administrative functions in its own name; rather, its decisions are to be implemented by its member agencies separately (id.). Some of these bodies are established directly by statutes or regulations, such as the Anti-Monopoly Committee [国务院反垄断委员会], while the rest (often called “leading groups” [领导小组]) are formed by State Council on a quasi-permanent basis, such as the Leading Group on Employment [国务院就业工作领导小组], established in 2019.

In the chart, “CPCCC” stands for the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. The several Chinese phrases that describe the relationships between different institutional identities are translated and explained in the table below. Party entities with nominal state identities are each marked with a red star () in the organizational chart.

Relationship
(Literal Translation)
English ShorthandExplanation
A加挂B牌子
(A also has nameplate B)
A is “akaBA is the entity’s dominant role, while B is necessary because the entity performs certain functions that are not adequately described by A. This relationship typically arises when an entity acquires new functions (covered by B) during a State Council reorganization.
A对外保留B牌子
(A keeps nameplate B externally)
A is “externally akaBThis relationship typically arises when A absorbs the functions of B, previously a separate agency or an agency under A, and B is then dissolved. A is the new entity’s dominant role, but maintaining B is necessary because of, for instance, the body’s strategic importance or the need to interact with foreign counterparts.
AB加挂牌子
(A keeps its nameplate at B)
A has its “functions performed byBThis relationship, in which A is a State identity and B is a Communist Party identity, first appeared after the 2018 State Council reorganization. B has in effect absorbed A, which now exists in name only (presumably to maintain a technical, formal distinction between the Party and the State). In addition to its preexisting functions, B now also performs A’s.
AB一个机构两块牌子
(A and B are the same entity with two nameplates)
A is the “same asBIn this relationship, too, there is only one real entity, which wears both a State (A) and a Party (B) hat. Organizationally, the entity is a Party entity, as it is always described as being included in the order of a certain category of Party institutions (e.g., “列入中共中央直属机构序列”).

The chart was first published after the State Council’s March 2018 reorganization and was based on the official State Council organizational chart. It has since been substantively updated to reflect the following events:

TimeEvent
Feb. 2020Creation of the Office of the Party’s Central Leading Group on Hong Kong and Macao Affairs as an alter ego of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council (presumably in a “一个机构两块牌子” relationship)
Sept. 2020Renaming of the National Coal Mine Safety Administration to the National Mine Safety Administration
Jan. 2021Creation of the National Rural Revitalization Administration
Apr. 2021Creation of the National Administration for Disease Prevention and Control
Nov. 2021Creation of the National Anti-Monopoly Administration as an alter ego of the State Administration for Market Regulation

Comments & Pingbacks

  1. How would you put the “Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region” in this chart as it is regarded as a State Council “派出机构”?

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