The following document is the full text of a significant Party and government reorganization plan that China’s parliament, the National People’s Congress, passed in March 2023. Highlights of the plan include two new commissions to oversee the financial industry, a new Party body that oversees technology policy, a weakened Ministry of Science and Technology, and the creation of a new National Data Bureau.
The Chinese source text is available online at: http://www.news.cn/politics/zywj/2023-03/16/c_1129437368.htm
An archived version of the Chinese source text is available online at: https://perma.cc/FP4R-YFV7
Reform Plan for Party and State Institutions
Since the 18th Party Congress [in 2012], the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core has regarded deepening the reform of Party and state institutions as an important task in advancing the modernization of the national governance system and governance capacity. Persisting in the principles of upholding the Party’s overall leadership, taking the people as the center (以人民为中心), optimizing coordination and efficiency, and comprehensively ruling the country according to law (依法治国), Party and state institutions have undergone systematic and overall reconstruction of their functions. This has provided a strong guarantee for the historical achievements and changes made in the cause of the Party and the state, as well as valuable experience for continuing to deepen the reform of Party and state institutions.
In the face of new tasks posed by the new era and new journey, the setup and functional configuration of Party and state institutions do not fully meet the requirements of comprehensively building a modernized socialist country, comprehensively promoting the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, achieving modernization of the national governance system and governance capacity, and constructing a high-level socialist market economic system. Therefore, on the basis of consolidating the achievements of the reform of Party and state institutions, a further deepening of reform is necessary to adjust and improve systems, mechanisms, and institutional responsibilities.
The goal of deepening the reform of Party and state institutions is to construct a systematic, scientifically standardized, and highly efficient functional system of Party and state institutions. The 20th Party Congress made important arrangements for deepening institutional reform, which has significant and far-reaching implications for comprehensively building a modernized socialist country and comprehensively promoting the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. It is necessary to take Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as the guide, strengthen the Party Central Committee’s centralized and unified leadership, and guide the modernization of the national governance system and governance capacity. Adhering to the general principle of seeking progress while maintaining stability, we should adapt to the requirements of coordinating the overall layout of the “five-in-one”1 overall arrangement and promoting the coordinated development of the “Four Comprehensivelys”2 strategic layout. We should also adapt to the need to construct the new pattern of development (新发展格局) and promote high-quality development, persist in being problem-oriented, coordinate with Party Central Committee institutions, National People’s Congress (NPC) institutions, State Council institutions, and institutions of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). We should also coordinate between central and local governments, deepen institutional reform in key areas, and promote the Party’s leadership in the construction of socialist modernization in institutional settings that are more scientific, functional configurations that are more optimized, systems and mechanisms that are more perfect, and management that is more efficient.
1. Plan for Deepening the Reform of Party and State Institutions
(1) Establish a Central Financial Commission (CFC; 中央金融委员会). To strengthen the centralized and unified leadership of the Party Central Committee over financial work, the CFC will be responsible for top-level design, overall coordination, integrated advancement, and supervision and implementation of financial stability and development. It will also study and deliberate on major policies and issues in the financial field and serve as a decision-making and coordinating body of the Party Central Committee.
An office for the CFC will be set up as the executive body of the Commission and will be listed in the sequence of Party Central Committee institutions.
The Financial Stability and Development Commission (FSDC) of the State Council and its executive agencies will no longer be retained. The responsibilities of the office of the FSDC will be transferred to the office of the CFC.
(2) Establish a Central Financial Work Commission (CFWC; 中央金融工作委员会). To unify the leadership of the Party in the financial system and guide the political, ideological, organizational, work style, and disciplinary construction of the Party in the financial system, the CFWC will serve as a forward-deployed (派出) agency of the Party Central Committee and share office space with the office of the CFC.
The financial system-related responsibilities of the Work Committee for Organs Directly Under of the Central Committee and the Work Committee for Organs Directly Under the State Council will be transferred to the CFWC.
(3) Establish a Central Science and Technology Commission (CSTC; 中央科技委员会). To strengthen the centralized and unified leadership of the Party Central Committee over S&T work, the CSTC will coordinate the construction of the national innovation system and the reform of the S&T system. It will also study and deliberate on major strategies, plans, and policies for national S&T development, coordinate the resolution of major strategic, directional, and overall issues in the field of S&T, determine national strategic S&T tasks and major scientific research projects, and coordinate the layout of strategic S&T forces such as national laboratories. The CSTC will also coordinate the integration of military and civilian S&T development and serve as a decision-making and coordinating body of the Party Central Committee.
The executive body of the CSTC will be taken over by the restructured Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST).
The National Science and Technology Advisory Commission (国家科技咨询委员会) will be retained to serve the major S&T decisions of the Party Central Committee and will report on its work to the CSTC.
The National Science and Technology Ethics Commission (国家科技伦理委员会), as an academic and professional expert committee under the leadership of the CSTC, will no longer serve as a decision-making and coordinating body of the State Council.
The Central Leading Group for National Laboratory Construction, the State Science and Technology Leading Group, the State Leading Group for Science and Technology Structural Reform and Innovation System Construction, and the State Leading Group for Work on the Medium- to Long-Term Plan for Science and Technology Development and their offices will no longer be retained.
Provincial Party committees will establish decision-making and coordinating bodies in the S&T field according to local conditions.
(4) Establish a Central Social Work Department (中央社会工作部). Responsible for coordinating and guiding the people’s petition (信访) work, guiding the collection of people’s suggestions, coordinating and promoting Party building to lead grassroots governance and grassroots political power construction, unified leadership of national industry associations and chambers of commerce, coordinating and promoting the deepening of reforms and transformation of industry associations and chambers of commerce, guiding the Party building work of mixed-ownership (混合所有制) enterprises, non-publicly owned (非公有制) enterprises, new economic organizations, new social organizations, and new employment groups, and guiding the construction of social work talent teams, the Central Social Work Department will serve as a functional department of the CCP Central Committee.
The Central Social Work Department will unify leadership of the National Public Complaints and Proposals Administration (国家信访局). The National Public Complaints and Proposals Administration, managed by the General Office of the State Council, will be adjusted to a directly affiliated agency of the State Council.
The Central Social Work Department will be responsible for guiding the construction of urban and rural community governance systems and governance capacity building, formulating social work policies, and coordinating and promoting Party building to lead grassroots governance and grassroots political power construction. It will also be responsible for national industry associations and chambers of commerce party building duties under the purview of the Work Committee for Organs Directly Under of the Central Committee, the Work Committee for Organs Directly Under the State Council, and the Party Committee of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) of the State Council, and the overall planning, coordination, guidance, and inspection of national volunteer service work under the Office of the Central Guidance Committee for Spiritual Civilization Construction.
Provincial, city, and county party committees will establish social work departments, and their corresponding “Two News”3 work committee responsibilities will be transferred to the party committee organization departments at the same level.
(5) Establish a Central Hong Kong and Macao Work Office (中央港澳工作办公室). Responsible for investigating and studying the implementation of the “One Country, Two Systems” directive, implementing the central government’s comprehensive governance authority, administering Hong Kong and Macao in accordance with the law, maintaining national security, ensuring the people’s livelihoods and welfare, the office will support Hong Kong and Macao’s integration into the national development picture and other related responsibilities. The Central Hong Kong and Macao Work Office will be established on the basis of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council and will serve as a working body of the CCP Central Committee, while retaining the name “Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council.”
The Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council will no longer be an independent agency.
2. Deepening the reform of National People’s Congress (NPC) institutions
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- Translator’s note: The “five in one” (“五位一体”) refers to economic development, political development, cultural development, social development, and development of ecological civilization.
- Translator’s note: The “Four Comprehensivelys” (“四个全面”), as defined since October 2020, are: comprehensively build a modernized socialist country, comprehensively deepen reform, comprehensively govern the country according to law, and comprehensively govern the Party strictly (全面建设社会主义现代化国家、全面深化改革、全面依法治国、全面从严治党).
- Translator’s note: The “two news” (“两新”) refer to new economic organizations (新经济组织) and new social organizations (新社会组织). Chinese Communist Party (CCP) writers typically use this term in the context of establishing and strengthening Party groups in non-state-run companies and associations.