The following document details China’s massive 2018 reorganization of party departments and government ministries. This bureaucratic reshuffle affects virtually all of China’s central-level departments and ministries, including but not limited to those involved in science and technology, industrial policy and education. As of August 2020, almost none of the newly created or renamed ministries have their own websites, suggesting that the reorganization has not yet been completed.
Source: National People’s Congress (NPC; 全国人民代表大会; 全国人大) website, May 14, 2018. The NPC, China’s parliament, usually serves as a rubber stamp for the Communist Party of China and for the executive branch of the PRC government, the State Council.
The Chinese source text is available online at:
US $1 ≈ 7 Chinese Yuan Renminbi (RMB), as of August 13, 2020.
Translator: Etcetera Language Group, Inc.
Editor: Ben Murphy, CSET Translation Lead
Plan for the Reform and Functional Readjustment of Central Committee and State Agencies
In accordance with the deployments and requirements of the Opinions of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on Promoting the Implementation of the Reform of the Administrative Management System, in order to actively promote transformations and institutional reforms of the functions of the central state agencies, build a service-oriented government (服务型政府), improve work efficiency, improve the level of governance, and ensure the completion of various tasks involved in the reform of the administrative management system, in consideration of China’s national conditions and current administrative management situation and adopting a long-term perspective, the following policy recommendations are provided as a reference for the reform and functional readjustment of Central Committee and state agencies:
I. Reform Plan for Agencies Directly under the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee
First, focus on strengthening the construction of party policy research and institutional party building work power, integrate central research resources, do a good job in the integration of departments with similar functions, and strengthen department responsibilities and enrich their work forces. Second, strengthen the unified leadership and management of directly affiliated agencies involved in security, news, and other areas and clear up their hierarchical relationships. Third, strengthen the guidance from and coordination with relevant state departments and give full play to the role of the party’s functional departments in “taking a view of the overall situation and coordinating all parties” (“总揽全局、协调各”). Fourth, implement the separation of supervision and work1 to promote the separation of public institutions from government departments.2 Focus on doing a good job in the transfer of departmental news media (部门创办新闻媒体的划转) and the restructuring of enterprises.
- Establish the CPC Central Research Office (中共中央研究室). In order to integrate the research resources of the CPC Central Committee and improve the level of comprehensive research services, the Central Research Office will be formed by integrating the functions of the Central Compilation & Translation Bureau, Central Policy Research Office, Party Literature Research Office, and Party History Research Office. The Central Research Office will mainly be responsible for policy research, ideological research, theoretical research, and text compilation and translation in the areas of CPC party history, literature, and party affairs. Departments no longer retained: Central Compilation & Translation Bureau, Central Policy Research Office, Party Literature Research Office, and Party History Research Office.
- Central International Department. In order to accelerate the organic integration of foreign affairs and international liaison work, the functions of the CPC Central Office of Foreign Affairs and the Central International Department will be merged. The two departments are foreign affairs departments with similar functions. After the consolidation, foreign affairs and international liaison services functions can be brought together. Department no longer retained: CPC Central Office of Foreign Affairs.
- In order to strengthen the organic integration of comprehensive governance and political and legal affairs (政法) work, the functions of the Office of the Central Committee for the Comprehensive Governance of Social Order (中央社会治安综合治理委员会办公室; 中央综治办) will be merged into the Central Political and Legal Affairs Committee (which will henceforth also be known as the Central Committee for the Comprehensive Governance of Social Order). The Central Political and Legal Affairs Committee is responsible for coordinating and managing the comprehensive administration of public security and is also responsible for liaising with and guiding the Ministry of Justice, the National Public Complaints and Proposals Administration, the Ministry of Public Security, the Supreme People’s Court, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, and the State Security and Secrecy Administration (国家安全保密总局).
- Establish the General Working Committee for Central and State Organs (中央国家机关总工委). In order to integrate the work forces of institutional working committees, strengthen the party building work of institutions, and form a joint force for party building work, the functions of the working committees of departments directly under the CPC Central Committee and the Working Committee for Central and State Organs will be merged to form the General Working Committee for Central and State Organs. Departments no longer retained: Working committees of departments directly under the CPC Central Committee and the Working Committee for Central and State Organs.
- To strengthen the organization and leadership of the CPC Central Committee over Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau affairs, integrate management resources, and coordinate the work related to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau affairs, the CPC Central Taiwan Affairs Office and the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of the State Council will be merged. This combination will create the Office of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau Affairs of the State Council (also called the Central Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office) which will be made an office of the State Council.
- Central Propaganda Department (also called the Central Civilization Office, the Central External Propaganda Center, and the State Council Information Office). In order to promote the organic integration of spiritual and civilization construction, news and propaganda construction, and ideological and cultural construction, the functions of the Central Civilization Office and the Information Office of the State Council will be assigned to the Central Propaganda Department. The Central Civilization Office and the State Council Information Office will no longer exist as separate entities. The head of the CPC Central Propaganda Department will also serve as the head of the Civilization Office, and the deputy department head will serve as the director of the State Council Information Office. The Central Propaganda Department directs and coordinates the propaganda work of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Cultural Industry, China Federation of Literary and Art Circles, Xinhua News Agency, and China Central Radio and Television.
- Central Organization Department (also called the Office of the Central Talent Work Leading Group). To increase the functions of grassroots political power and community building and to liaise with and guide the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, the State Bureau of Civil Servants, the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, and other departments, functional adjustments will be implemented in order to give full play to the organizational role of “party management cadres” (“党管干部”) and give full play to the organizational advantages of party committee organization departments in managing important cadres and talents in important positions. The recruitment, work evaluation, transfer, and placement of civil servants of the deputy section head level and above (including cadres at state-owned enterprises) will be the responsibility of party committee organization departments at all levels. The human resources assurance departments (人力保障部门) are specifically responsible for the recruitment, job evaluation, transfer, and placement adjustment of ordinary civil servants and the personnel of public institutions.3 The assessment and management of village (community) cadres will be made the responsibility of human resources and social security departments at all levels.
- To strengthen the organizational leadership and unified management of the security work of central state institutions, the Central Guard Bureau will be placed under the direct management of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee. It is no longer under the guidance and management of the Ministry of Public Security and the People’s Armed Police Headquarters. A deputy director of the General Office will concurrently serve as the director of the Security Bureau.
- Central United Front Work Department. Strengthen united front departmental liaison work responsibilities and liaise with and coordinate with the relevant work departments, including the Office of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau Affairs of the State Council, the National Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee (国家民族宗教委), the All-China Women’s Federation, the Chinese Communist Youth League, the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese, the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, the China Association for Science and Technology, and the All-China Association for the Elderly (全国老协).
- The Central Institutions Structural Arrangement Commission is to be renamed the Central State Institution Structural Arrangement Commission. To strengthen the unified management of the layout of central state institutions and coordinate and advance the various reforms of central state institutions, it also serves as the State Council Institutional Reform Office (国务院机构改革办公室). The name Central Institutions Structural Arrangement Commission will not be retained.
- CPC Central Party School (Chinese Academy of Governance). To strengthen cadre training and education functions, it will also serve as the Chinese Cadre Night School (中国干部夜校) and the China Cadre Training and Exchange Center (中国干部培训交流中心), and is made a public institution directly under the CPC Central Committee.
- The Central Archives Bureau is to be renamed the National Archives (国家档案馆), also called the National Archives Bureau (国家档案局) and the National Historical Records Compilation Committee (国家史志编撰委员会), and will be made a deputy ministerial-level institution directly under the State Council. Functions for guiding the compilation of local chronicles across the country will be created.
- People’s Daily and Qiushi magazine are to be placed under the management of Xinhua News Agency and will no longer be retained separately. Publication (主办) of People’s Daily and Qiushi magazine is to be transferred from the CPC Central Committee to Xinhua News Agency in order to separate the party from the government, separate supervision from work, strive to integrate and clean up the newspapers and periodicals established by central state institutions and their work departments within three years, and improve the quality of external propaganda. Each province will retain a people’s publishing house to be responsible for the editing and distribution of the newspapers and periodicals of provincial institutions. The clean-up and integration of newspapers and magazines at and below the provincial level and industry reform work will be completed within five years.
Plan for the Reform and Functional Readjustment of Central State AgenciesDownload Full Translation
- Translator’s note: The term “separation of supervision and work” (管办分离) refers to PRC government reforms aimed at ensuring that the agency that does a particular job is not the same agency responsible for supervising and evaluating said job.
- Translator’s note: “Separation of public institutions from government departments” (政事分开) is the process by which PRC government agencies, instead of providing public services directly, instead entrust “public institutions” (事业单位) to do so. These public institutions are separate from the government, but they are government-controlled, and virtually all are fully or partially state-funded.
- Translator’s note: “Public institutions” (事业单位) are organizations created and led by PRC government departments that provide social services. Unlike state-owned enterprises (SOEs), public institutions do not create material products and do not generate income. Public institutions are not considered government agencies, and their employees are not civil servants. Most public institutions are fully or partially government-funded, but some fully privately funded (but still government-led) public institutions exist. Public institutions typically provide services in areas such as education, science and technology, culture, health, and sanitation.