‘Two sessions’ 2024: China ‘all about the party’s leadership’ as it gets more control over cabinet

by William Zheng at scmp.com

The legislature on Monday passed a revised law giving the Communist Party more control over the State Council, China’s cabinet – a move experts say marks an end to any separation of power between the party and state.
On the final day of the annual legislative session in Beijing, lawmakers approved the amended Organic Law of the State Council with 2,883 votes in favour, eight against and nine abstaining.
The law now states that the cabinet must uphold the party’s leadership, “implement decisions” it makes, and closely follow the political teachings of top leaders including President Xi Jinping.

“The era of work separation between the party and the government is now over – after four decades, China is now all about the party’s leadership,” said Deng Yuwen, former deputy editor of Study Times, the Central Party School’s official newspaper.

“Xi has successfully revived Mao’s famous slogan about the party’s overall leadership,” he added.

Former leader Mao Zedong’s slogan – “Government, the military, society and schools, north, south, east and west – the party leads them all” – was written into the party’s charter after the 19th party congress in 2017.

Deng said Xi had “consolidated all the major decision-making power for the party and himself, making the State Council just an arm to execute the party’s policy decisions”.

“He put Li Qiang there [as premier] to make sure the State Council performs that exact role it has been given.”