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Is Two Term President Jiang Zemin A Lame Peking Duck?
The constitution of China limits the President to two consecutive five year terms. Next year Jiang Zemin will step down at the end of his second term in office. For years, it was assumed that his Vice President, Hu Jintao, who holds a largely powerless office (not unlike that of the USA Vice Presidency) would take his place and continue his policies. But while Hu's name is once again being circulated by official Chinese media, it is not altogether certain that he will indeed be the next President of China. STAY TUNED...
Jiang Zemin's Resumé

Chairman Mao Visits A Factory A Watched Pot Never Boils

At left, Chairman Mao visits a factory in an undated photo
Politics and Government in China
China is governed under a constitution that is a living document, subject to frequent revision as China's leaders continue to redefine China in a process that began over a century ago and picked up speed after the last Qing Emperor abdicated in 1911 and the Qing Dynasty collapsed. The most recent constitution was formally adopted December 4, 1982. It was amended again in 1988. China's political structure is often referred to as an authoritative one-party state by Western governments and, in particular, popular media. The reality is much more complex.

State Council
Day to day administration of the national government is carried out by the State Council and the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC). The members of the State Council are elected by the NPC. The State Council is headed by a Prime Minister (often referred to as Premier) who serves a five year term. The functions of the State Council are in the hands of a Cabinet of approximately 15 members, including the Prime Minister, deputy or Vice Premiers, and other members. Each Vice Premier has a specific area of responsibility such as Banking or Economy. Adjacent to the State Council is the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, which is a permanent body and carries out the functions of China's legislature when it is not in session. The chief leaders of the Standing Committee, usually referred to as the "Politburo," can be viewed as China's main political figures. Below the State Council and Standing Committee are the ministries which often have very exact areas of responsibility.
National People's Congress
The highest political body in China is the National People's Congress. The NPC passes the laws, treaties, budget, approves plans, nominates govenment executives, and approves the constitution. NPC in session
There are approximately 3,000 members or deputies representing every region of China. At least 20% of deputies are women. In fact, China has one of the highest ratios of women legislators of any country in the world. Each congress is elected for a term of five years. The NPC meets once every year, usually in March for two weeks to a month. Apart from the annual sessions, the work of the NPC is carried out by the Standing Committee . The most recent congress, the Ninth, had its first session in March 1998. At the beginning of the Ninth Congress, Li Peng was elected Chairman of the NPC. The congress also elected Jiang Zemin as President (Head of State) of the PRC and Hu Jintao as Vice-President
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