china law

China's Change of Guard

The Tenth National People's Congress convened in Beijing in March, 2003 during which time significant changes to China's leadership and government organization were announced. In addition to the handing over of power to a new generation of political leaders, the Congress authorized major restructuring in several ministries and commissions, including to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and other commerce-related government bodies.


Below is a selective summary of the changes to China's leadership at the conclusion of the Tenth National People's Congress. Links to further information are listed below.


China's New Leaders Former Current

China's New Leaders



(State President)

(Jiang Zemin)

(Hu Jintao)

(State Vice- President)

(Hu Jintao)

(Zeng Qinghong)

(Central Military Commission)

(Jiang Zemin)

(Jiang Zemin)

(NPC Chairman)

(Li Peng)

(Wu Bangguo)


(Zhu Rongji)

(Wen Jiabao)

(Vice Premiers)

(Qian Qichen)

(Li Lanqing)

(Wu Bangguo)

(Wen Jiabao)

(Huang Ju)

(Wu Yi)

(Zeng Peiyan)

(Hui Liangyu)

(Central Disciplinary/Inspection)

(Wei Jianxing)

(Wu Guanzheng)

(President of People's Supreme Court)

(Xiao Yang)

(Xiao Yang)

(Minister of Foreign Affairs)

(Tang jiaxuan)

(Li Zhaoxing)

(Minister of Commerce) New


(Lv Fuyuan)

(Minister of Finance)

(Xiang Huaicheng)

(Jin Renqing)

(Minister of Information Industry)

(Wu Jichuan)

(Wang Xudong)

(Minister of MOFTEC)

(Shi Guangsheng)

Position Abolished

(Minister of SETC)

(Li Rongrong)

Position Abolished


(CCP Standing Committee)

The Politburo Standing Committee of the Chinese Communist Party is an influential committee whose membership varies between 5 and 9. Nine members of the Standing Committee were appointed\reappointed at the 16th Party National Congress in 2002.


New Committee: Hu Jintao (born 1942), Wu Bangguo (1941), Wen Jiabao (1942), Jia Qinglin (1940), Zeng Qinghong (1939), Huang Ju (1938), Wu Guanzheng (1938), Li Changchun (1944), Luo Gan (1935).


Outgoing: Jiang Zemin, Li Peng, Zhu Rongji, Li Ruihan, Wei Jiaxing and Li Lanqing


Changes to China's Government Structure:

An objective of the Chinese Communist Party is to streamline the government bureaucracy by reducing the number of state organs, especially related to trade and commerce and the commitments made for WTO accession. In 1998 the total number of ministries dropped from 40 to 29 with the heaviest axe falling on industrial ministries - the bulwarks of China's traditional planning system and triggers of government interference.

In line with this trend, several other commissions and ministries have been merged, abolished or augmented - bringing the total number of commissions and ministries to 28 (from 29). These include:


State Economic and Trade Commission =>
Ministry of Commerce () NEW
() abolished +
Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation
() abolished


State Asset Management Commission () NEW
(Independent, Ministerial level, management of over 180,000 state owned companies)


State Development Planning Commission =>
State Development and Reform Commission

() ()

China Banking Regulatory Commission () NEW
The CBRC will take over the regulatory duties of the People's Bank of China-


Other Organs created include Food and Drug Administration, and State Family Planning Commission



For Further Information...

The following websites contain official information regarding the changes to China's leadership and government. International mainstream media also have analysis and features on China that can provide further details.


The Government of China Online:


China's Political System:


Official Site of the Tenth National People's Congress in Beijing: