Constitution of the People's Republic of China
(Full text after amendment on March 14, 2004)
Chapter III The Structure of the State
Section 3 The State Council
Article 85 The State Council, that is, the Central People’s Government, of the People’s Republic of China is the executive body of the highest organ of state power; it is the highest organ of State administration.
Article 86 The State Council is composed of the following:
the State Councillors;
the Ministers in charge of ministries;
the Ministers in charge of commissions;
the Auditor-General; and
The Premier assumes overall responsibility for the work of the State Council. The ministers assume overall responsibility for the work of the ministries and commissions. The organization of the State Council is prescribed by law.
Article 87 The term of office of the State Council is the same as that of the National People’s Congress.
The Premier, Vice-Premiers and State Councillors shall serve no more than two consecutive terms.
Article 88 The Premier directs the work of the State Council. The Vice-Premiers and State Councillors assist the Premier in his work.
Executive meetings of the State Council are to be attended by the Premier, the Vice-Premiers, the State Councillors and the Secretary-General of the State Council.
The Premier convenes and presides over the executive meetings and plenary meetings of the State Council.
Article 89 The State Council exercises the following functions and powers:
(1) to adopt administrative measures, enact administrative regulations and issue decisions and orders in accordance with the Constitution and other laws;
(2) to submit proposals to the National People’s Congress or its Standing Committee;
(3) to formulate the tasks and responsibilities of the ministries and commissions of the State Council, to exercise unified leadership over the work of the ministries and commissions and to direct all other administrative work of a national character that does not fall within the jurisdiction of the ministries and commissions;
(4) to exercise unified leadership over the work of local organs of State administration at various levels throughout the country, and to formulate the detailed division of functions and powers between the Central Government and the organs of State administration of provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government;
(5) to draw up and implement the plan for national economic and social development and the State budget;
(6) to direct and administer economic affairs and urban and rural development;
(7) to direct and administer the affairs of education, science, culture, public health, physical culture and family planning;
(8) to direct and administer civil affairs, public security, judicial administration, supervision and other related matters;
(9) to conduct foreign affairs and conclude treaties and agreements with foreign States;
(10) to direct and administer the building of national defence;
(11) to direct and administer affairs concerning the nationalities and to safeguard the equal rights of minority nationalities and the right to autonomy of the national autonomous areas;
(12) to protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese nationals residing abroad and protect the lawful rights and interests of returned overseas Chinese and of the family members of Chinese nationals residing abroad;
(13) to alter or annul inappropriate orders, directives and regulations issued by the ministries or commissions;
(14) to alter or annul inappropriate decisions and orders issued by local organs of State administration at various levels;
(15) to approve the geographic division of provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government, and to approve the establishment and geographic division of autonomous prefectures, counties, autonomous counties, and cities;
(16) in accordance with the provisions of law, to decide on entering into the state of emergency in parts of provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government;
(17) to examine and decide on the size of administrative organs and, in accordance with the provisions of law, to appoint or remove administrative officials, train them, appraise their performance and reward or punish them; and
(18) to exercise such other functions and powers as the National People’s Congress or its Standing Committee may assign to it.
Article 90 Ministers in charge of the ministries or commissions of the State Council are responsible for the work of their respective departments and they convene and preside over ministerial meetings or general and executive meetings of the commissions to discuss and decide on major issues in the work of their respective departments.
The ministries and commissions issue orders, directives and regulations within the jurisdiction of their respective departments and in accordance with law and the administrative regulations, decisions and orders issued by the State Council.
Article 91 The State Council establishes an auditing body to supervise through auditing the revenue and expenditure of all departments under the State Council and of the local governments at various levels, and the revenue and expenditure of all financial and monetary organizations, enterprises and institutions of the State.
Under the direction of the Premier of the State Council and in accordance with the provisions of law, the auditing body independently exercises its power of supervision through auditing, subject to no interference by any other administrative organ or any public organization or individual.
Article 92 The State Council is responsible and reports on its work to the National People’s Congress or, when the National People’s Congress is not in session, to its Standing Committee.