A security officer holds a curtain during the opening session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Photo:REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

China’s NPC and CPPCC hold the “two sessions” in early March every year. But many often get lost in all the acronyms from the CPC. Asia Times has prepared a handy guide to navigate the official jargon.

CPC — Communist Party of China

The only ruling party of the People’s Republic of China. It was founded in 1921, and later won the Chinese Civil War, expelling the rival Kuomintang, or the Nationalist Party, to Taiwan in 1949.

CC CPC — Central Committee of the Communist Party of China

The National Congress of the Communist Party of China holds meeting every five years to pick 205 full members and 171 alternate members for the Central Committee.

They can vote on the General Secretary, members of the Politburo and its Standing Committee, among other key party posts, and oversee different party organs on a more regular basis.

The next National Congress is set to convene again in autumn this year, signaling a shuffle in the top leadership in China.

Politburo — Central Politburo of the Communist Party of China

An inner group, consisting of 25 people who often hold positions in the government concurrently, like provincial governor. Decision-making power is further centralized in the innermost seven-member Standing Committee.

Five of the seven members in the current Standing Committee will retire after the formation of a new Central Committee this autumn, should traditional personnel ritual prevail.


The National People’s Congress is the country’s legislature and the “highest organ of state power,” the Constitution says.

The parliament now has 2,987 members and meet at the annual plenary session in early March to pass the budget and government work report, among other duties.

Around 5% of them form a Standing Committee that de facto performs the daily function of a congress. It is also often mocked as a “rubber stamp” body, passing proposals from the Communist government with overwhelmingly high votes.


The Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference is a top national advisory body.

The 2,237-member National Committee meets once a year in Beijing, at around the same time of the Congress, while 299 Standing Committee members will convene regularly throughout the year.

The CPPCC holds consultations before the NPC passes laws.