China: Chinese Government Reorganization

Last Updated: 15 March 2018
Article by Lester Ross and Tingting Liu

Attention during China's annual lianghui (conferences of the advisory Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference followed by the largely rubber stamp legislative National People's Congress) focused on adoption of the constitutional amendment to eliminate term limits on the offices of President and Vice President, allowing President Xi Jinping to remain in office indefinitely.

Of critical importance also, however, was adoption of a host of major government reorganizations. Ministry-level organizations and different functions were merged into a smaller number of departments and the number of officials with ministerial rank will be reduced. After the reorganization, the number of ministerial-level organizations under the State Council will be reduced by eight, the number of vice ministerial-level organizations will be reduced by seven, and the State Council will consist altogether of 26 ministries and commissions (excluding the General Office of the State Council).

The changes are especially intended to increase efficiency and to improve regulation in critical sectors like environmental protection and financial services.

Much will depend on how smoothly the reorganizations proceed. In some instances, particularly the National Markets Supervision Administration, there is a risk that the combination of so many functions will actually hamper policy formation and implementation. Moreover, in some sectors like competition law where different agencies are merged, much will depend upon which of the old agencies dominates the new agency and its culture.

The changes are as follows:

  1. Establishment of a Ministry of Natural Resources combining the functions of the Ministry of Land and Resources, State Oceanographic Administration and China State Bureau of Geology, Survey and Mapping;
  2. Rebranding and expanding the mission of the Ministry of Environmental Protection into the Ministry of Ecological Environment, and this new ministry will also assume certain responsibilities previously assigned to the National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Land and Resources and Ministry of Water Resources;1
  3. Renaming and expanding the mission of the Ministry of Agriculture into the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, reflecting the need for a broader approach to rural development to provide comprehensive solutions to the problems of the sannong (agriculture, farmers and rural areas);
  4. Merger of the Ministry of Culture and Chinese National Tourism Administration into the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, reflecting China's effort to grow its soft power;
  5. Merger of the National Health and Family Planning Commission and State Council Leading Small Group's Office on Deepening Reform of the Medical and Health System into the National Health Commission, reflecting the deemphasis on family planning and advancement of medical and health system reform;
  6. Establishment of a Ministry of Veterans Affairs, reflecting long-delayed recognition of the need to reverse years of neglect for military veterans which has been a potential source of instability, while also making enlistment in the military more attractive, especially among educated and qualified recruits, to raise the military's warfighting capability;
  7. Establishment of a Ministry of Emergency Management, abolishing the State Administration of Workplace Safety and elevating responses to emergencies of different kinds to ministerial status;
  8. Reorganization of the Ministry of Science and Technology, reflecting the government's focus on innovation as the key to prosperity and national security;
  9. Reorganization and expansion of the Ministry of Justice by incorporating the State Council Legislative Affairs Office, thereby reducing the oversight and review role of the State Council over constituent ministries and likely reflecting the reduced stature of the office of Premier;
  10. Making the Ministry of Water Resources more efficient by eliminating the State Council's autonomous Three Gorges Project Construction Committee and South-North Water Diversion Project Construction Committee and their respective offices;
  11. Making the National Audit Office more efficient by eliminating the Board of Supervisors for Key Large-Sized State-owned Enterprises; and
  12. Merging the Ministry of Supervision and the Party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection into a new National Supervisory Commission with constitutional status, bringing the Party's internal investigative methods into government service and reflecting the influence of Wang Qishan, newly retired from the Party Politburo but expected to be elected Vice President by the NPC.

In addition to these ministerial-level measures, the following additional reorganizations were instituted at the bureau-level:

  1. Establishment of a National Markets Supervision Administration, merging the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), and China Food and Drug Administration. The National Markets Supervision Administration will be (among other things) a new, unified competition law enforcement agency, taking over the former anti-monopoly regulatory functions of SAIC, the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). These changes are intended to make market and industry regulation more efficient;
  2. Establishment of an International Development Cooperation Agency to coordinate China's foreign aid polices, including focusing on supporting the Belt and Road Initiative, by unifying functions previously housed in MOFCOM and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
  3. Resimplifying the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television as the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television;
  4. Merging the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) and China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) into the new China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) which, together with the transfer of their major legislative and regulatory drafting functions to the People's Bank of China (PBOC), furthers the centralization of financial regulation (which is expected to be led by Politburo Standing Committee member Liu He), but does not go so far as to abolish the China Securities Regulatory Commission or actually bring the functions of the commissions into the PBOC;
  5. Reorganizing NDRC, in part by transferring some of its regulatory functions to the new National Markets Supervision Administration referenced above;
  6. Reorganization of the State Medical Security Administration;
  7. Merging the State Grain Administration into an enlarged State Grain and Materials Reserves Administration;
  8. Reorganization of the State Immigration Administration;
  9. Merging the State Forestry Administration into an enlarged State Forestry and Grasslands Administration;
  10. Expanding the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) by incorporating the trademark responsibilities of SAIC and the geographic indicators responsibilities of AQSIQ with SIPO's patent responsibilities to form the new SIPO which will be managed under the new National Markets Supervision Administration, although responsibility for copyrights will apparently remain with the National Copyright Administration of China;
  11. Elevating the role of the National Council for Social Security Fund; and
  12. Reforming the state and local taxation structures by merging them at the provincial and local levels to eliminate duplication.

Footnote

1. (1) and (2) reflect China's increased focused on environmental protection which is now embedded in the Constitution as a responsibility of the state

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions