United Front (China)

The United Front (Chinese: 統一戰線; pinyin: Tǒngyī Zhànxiàn) in China is a popular front of the legally permitted parties in the country, led by the Communist Party of China (CPC). Besides the CPC, it includes eight minor parties and the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce. It is managed by the CPC Central Committee United Front Work Department (Chinese: 中共中央统一战线工作部). Its current department head is You Quan.[3] The member parties of the Front are completely subservient to the CPC, and must accept the "leading role" of the CPC as a condition of their continued existence.[4]

United Front

General Secretary of the Communist Party of China(leading party)Xi Jinping
ChairmanWang Yang
Vice ChairmanZhang Qingli
FounderMao Zedong
IdeologyChinese communism
Xi Jinping Thought
Socialism with Chinese characteristics

Left-wing nationalism
Chinese unification
Political positionLeft-wing to far-left
National People's Congress
2,980 / 2,980
NPC Standing Committee
175 / 175
United Front
Socialist United Front
Patriotic United Front
People's Democratic United Front (1945–1966)[1]
Revolutionary United Front


The CPC organized the "National Revolution United Front" (Chinese: 國民革命統一戰線) with the Kuomintang during the Northern Expedition of 1926–1928 and then the "Workers' and Peasants' Democratic United Front" (Chinese: 農民主統一戰線) in the Chinese Soviet Republic era of 1931–1937. Mao Zedong originally promoted the "Anti-Japanese National United Front" (Chinese: 抗日民族統一戰線), with the name indicating that the proletarian Chinese Communists had united with the bourgeoisie against Imperial Japan[5] in the 1930s. It "assumed its current form" in 1946,[6] three years before the Chinese Communist Party defeated the authoritarian governing party Kuomintang’s ‘Nationalist government‘ of Chiang Kai-shek. Mao credited the United Front as one of his "Three Magic Weapons" against the Kuomintang—alongside the Leninist Chinese Communist party and the Red Army[7]—and credited the Front with playing a part in his victory.[6]

Constitutional status

The United Front holds no real power independent of the Communist Party of China; it exists mainly to give non-Communist forces a platform in the society of the People's Republic.[8] The CPC's relationship with other parties is based on the principle of "long-term coexistence and mutual supervision, treating each other with full sincerity and sharing weal or woe".[4] Its leaders are mostly selected by the Communist Party, or are themselves CPC members.[9] This process is institutionalized in the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).[4] Although China is a de facto one-party state, the United Front parties have nominal representation in the National People's Congress.

United Front members

Party Chinese name Ideology National People's Congress Government
Communist Party of China 中国共产党 Communism
Xi Jinping Thought
Socialism with Chinese characteristics
2,119 / 2,980
Jiusan Society 九三学社 Progressivism
Socialism with Chinese characteristics
64 / 2,980
China Democratic League 中国民主同盟 Patriotism
Socialism with Chinese characteristics
58 / 2,980
China National Democratic Construction Association 中国民主建国会 Socialist market economy
Socialism with Chinese characteristics
57 / 2,980
China Association for Promoting Democracy 中国民主促进会 Social Democracy
Socialism with Chinese characteristics
55 / 2,980
Chinese Peasants' and Workers' Democratic Party 中国农工民主党 New Democracy
Socialism with Chinese characteristics
54 / 2,980
Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang 中国国民党革命委员会‎ Three Principles of the People
Socialism with Chinese characteristics
43 / 2,980
China Zhi Gong Party 中国国民党革命委员会 Federalism
Socialism with Chinese characteristics
38 / 2,980
Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League 台湾民主自治同盟 Chinese unification
Socialism with Chinese characteristics
13 / 2,980

The Chinese United Front also includes the following organisations:


The two organs affiliated with United Front are the United Front Work Department and the more high-profile Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). According to Yi-Zheng Lian, the organs "are often poorly understood outside China because there are no equivalents for them in the West".[6]

United Front Work Department

The United Front Work Department is headed by the chief of the secretariat of the CCP's Central Committee. It oversees a dozen organizations such as the Chinese Students and Scholars Association.[11] It helps (for example) Chinese students and academics training or residing in the West, enjoining them to conduct "people diplomacy" on behalf of the People's Republic of China.[6]

Electoral history

National People's Congress elections

National People's Congress
Election Seats +/–
2,978 / 2,978
2,979 / 2,979
Increase 1
2,979 / 2,979
2,979 / 2,979
2,984 / 2,984
Increase 5
2,987 / 2,987
Increase 3
2,987 / 2,987
2,980 / 2,980
Decrease 7


  1. ^ 1954 Constitution, http://www.npc.gov.cn/wxzl/wxzl/2000-12/26/content_4264.htm
  2. ^ 1975 Constitution: http://www.npc.gov.cn/wxzl/wxzl/2000-12/06/content_4362.htm; 1978 Constitution: http://www.npc.gov.cn/wxzl/wxzl/2000-12/06/content_4365.htm
  3. ^ http://www.zytzb.gov.cn/tzb2010/youquan/ldzc_yq.shtml
  4. ^ a b c "IV. The System of Multi-Party Cooperation and Political Consultation". China.org.cn. Retrieved 2019-06-01.
  5. ^ Compare: "Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung. INTRODUCING THE COMMUNIST: October 4, 1939". Marxist.org. October 4, 1939. Retrieved 21 May 2018. Although the united front was formed and has been maintained for three years now, the bourgeoisie, and especially the big bourgeoisie, has constantly been trying to destroy our Party, the big bourgeois capitulators and die-hards have been instigating serious friction throughout the country, and the anti-Communist clamour is incessant. All this is being used by the big bourgeois capitulators and die-hards to prepare the way for capitulating to Japanese imperialism, breaking up the united front and dragging China backwards. Ideologically, the big bourgeoisie is trying to "corrode" communism, whilst politically and organizationally it is trying to liquidate the Communist Party, the Border Region and the Party's armed forces.
  6. ^ a b c d Lian, Yi-Zheng (21 May 2018). "China Has a Vast Influence Machine, and You Don't Even Know It". New York Times. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  7. ^ Compare: "Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung. INTRODUCING THE COMMUNIST: October 4, 1939". Marxist.org. October 4, 1939. Retrieved 21 May 2018. ... our eighteen years of experience have taught us that the united front, armed struggle and Party building are the Chinese Communist Party's three 'magic weapons', its three principal magic weapons for defeating the enemy in the Chinese revolution.
  8. ^ New Approaches to the Study of Political Order in China, by Donald Clarke, Modern China, 2009.
  9. ^ Judicial politics as state-building, Zhu, Suli, Pp. 23–36 in Stéphanie Balme and Michael W. Dowdle (eds.), Building Constitutionalism in China.New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  10. ^ Constitution of the People's Republic of China. The National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China. Retrieved on 23 February 2018.
  11. ^ Bowe, Alexander (August 24, 2018). "China's Overseas United Front Work: Background and Implications for the United States" (PDF). United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission. Archived (PDF) from the original on September 9, 2018. Retrieved May 12, 2019.

Further reading

  • James D. Seymour (1987), China's Satellite Parties, Routledge, ISBN 978-0873324120

External links

See also

Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong

The Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong (Chinese: 香港經濟民生聯盟, BPA) is a pro-business pro-Beijing political party in Hong Kong. The alliance came into existence on 7 October 2012 after the 2012 Legislative Council election, as a rebranding of the former Economic Synergy and Professional Forum grouping with two other independent legislators. Chaired by Lo Wai-kwok, the party is now the second largest party in the Legislative Council of Hong Kong, holding eight seats. It also has two representatives in the Executive Council and 19 seats in the District Councils.

Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference

The Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC, Chinese: 中国人民政治协商会议), also known as the People's PCC (Chinese: 人民政协, listen) or simply the PCC (政协), is a political legislative advisory body in the People's Republic of China. The organisation consists of delegates from a range of political parties and organisations, as well as independent members. The proportion of representation of the various parties is determined by established convention, negotiated between the parties.

In practice, the role of the Chinese People's Political Consultive Conference is close to a legislative upper house. The largest and dominant party in the Conference is the Communist Party of China which has about two thirds of the seats. Other members are drawn from the United Front parties allied with the CPC, and from independent members who are not members of any party. The Conference is intended to be more representative and be composed of a broader range of people than is typical of government office in the People's Republic of China.

The National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (Chinese: 中国人民政治协商会议全国委员会; pinyin: Zhōngguó Rénmín Zhèngzhì Xiéshāng Huìyì Quanguo Weiyuanhui, shortened Chinese: 全国政协; pinyin: Quánguó Zhèngxié; literally: 'National PCC') typically holds a yearly meeting at the same time as plenary sessions of the National People's Congress (NPC). Both CPPCC National Committee and NPC plenary sessions are often called the "National Lianghui" (Two Sessions), making important national level political decisions.

A less common translation is "the National Congress". This translation is discouraged, as it causes confusion with the National People's Congress as well as with the National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

The organisational hierarchy of the CPPCC includes the National Committee and regional committees. Regional committees of the CPPCC include the provincial, prefecture, and county level. According to Article 19, Section 2 of the Charter of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the relationship between the National Committee and the regional committees is a relationship of guidance (no direct leadership). So are the relationships between upper-level regional committees and lower-level committees. Operating budgets on each level are independently administered by the financial administrations for the region, making the National committee and all regional committees separate individual entities. An indirect leadership, however, exists via the United Front Departments on each level.The composition of the political advisors in the PCC, consisting of 2158 members, changes according to national objectives and priorities. Previously dominated by senior figures in real-estate, state-owned companies and "princelings", the PCC of 2018 is primarily composed of individuals from China's burgeoning technology sector.

Communist Party of China

The Communist Party of China (CPC), also referred to as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China. The Communist Party is the sole governing party within mainland China, permitting only eight other, subordinated parties to co-exist, those making up the United Front. It was founded in 1921, chiefly by Chen Duxiu and Li Dazhao. The party grew quickly, and by 1949 it had driven the nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) government from mainland China after the Chinese Civil War, leading to the establishment of the People's Republic of China. It also controls the world's largest armed forces, the People's Liberation Army.

The CPC is officially organised on the basis of democratic centralism, a principle conceived by Russian Marxist theoretician Vladimir Lenin which entails democratic and open discussion on policy on the condition of unity in upholding the agreed upon policies. The highest body of the CPC is the National Congress, convened every fifth year. When the National Congress is not in session, the Central Committee is the highest body, but since the body meets normally only once a year most duties and responsibilities are vested in the Politburo and its Standing Committee. The party's leader holds the offices of General Secretary (responsible for civilian party duties), Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) (responsible for military affairs) and State President (a largely ceremonial position). Through these posts, the party leader is the country's paramount leader. The current paramount leader is Xi Jinping, elected at the 18th National Congress held in October 2012.

The CPC is committed to communism and continues to participate in the International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties each year. According to the party constitution, the CPC adheres to Marxism–Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, socialism with Chinese characteristics, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Three Represents, the Scientific Outlook on Development and Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese characteristics for a New Era. The official explanation for China's economic reforms is that the country is in the primary stage of socialism, a developmental stage similar to the capitalist mode of production. The command economy established under Mao Zedong was replaced by the socialist market economy, the current economic system, on the basis that "Practice is the Sole Criterion for the Truth".

Since the collapse of Eastern European communist governments in 1989–1990 and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the CPC has emphasised its party-to-party relations with the ruling parties of the remaining socialist states. While the CPC still maintains party-to-party relations with non-ruling communist parties around the world, since the 1980s it has established relations with several non-communist parties, most notably with ruling parties of one-party states (whatever their ideology), dominant parties in democracies (whatever their ideology) and social democratic parties.

Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong

The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (Chinese: 民主建港協進聯盟; abbreviated DAB) is a pro-Beijing conservative political party established in 1992 in Hong Kong. Chaired by Starry Lee, it is currently the largest party in the Legislative Council and the District Councils, commanding 13 seats and 118 seats respectively.

The DAB was founded in 1992 by 56 Beijing-loyalists from a traditional leftist background, who had a long-history of following the policies of the Communist Party of China, the ruling party in the People's Republic of China. It gradually expanded in the early years after the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong and became one of three major parties alongside the pro-democratic Democratic Party and the pro-business Liberal Party.

In 2003, it supported the Hong Kong government's proposal to locally implement Article 23 of the Hong Kong Basic Law and suffered a major defeat in the 2003 District Council election. The DAB benefited from the failure of the pro-democrats' electoral strategy in the 2004 Legislative Council election, taking over the Democratic Party as the largest party in the legislature. In 2005, it absorbed the pro-business professional-oriented Hong Kong Progressive Alliance.

It continued to expand in the recent years, scoring electoral victories in the 2007, 2011 and 2015 District Council elections and 2008 and 2012 Legislative Council elections. The DAB received the largest victory by taking 13 seats in the 2012 election. In the 2016 election, the party took 12 seats in total, one seat fewer than the previous election.

Federation of Hong Kong and Kowloon Labour Unions

The Federation of Hong Kong and Kowloon Labour Unions (HKFLU, Chinese: 港九勞工社團聯會) established in 1984, is the third largest trade union in Hong Kong next to Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions and Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, having 82 trade unions and more than 60,000 members in total. The federation was established in 1984.

Federation of Public Housing Estates

The Federation of Public Housing Estates (Chinese: 公屋聯會) is a pro-Beijing organisation formed in 1985 by 11 community associations. It focuses on public housing policies and caters to the interests of the residents of the public housing estates.

First United Front

The First United Front, also known as the KMT–CPC Alliance, of the Kuomintang (KMT) and the Communist Party of China (CPC), was formed in 1924 as an alliance to end warlordism in China. Together they formed the National Revolutionary Army and set out in 1926 on the Northern Expedition. The CPC joined the KMT as individuals, making use of KMT's superiority in numbers to help spread communism. The KMT, on the other hand, wanted to control the communists from within. Both parties had their own aims and the Front was unsustainable. In 1927, KMT leader Chiang Kai-shek purged the Communists from the Front while the Northern Expedition was still half-complete. This initiated a civil war between the two parties that lasted until the Second United Front was formed in 1936 to prepare for the coming Second Sino-Japanese War.

Heung Yee Kuk

The Heung Yee Kuk, officially the 'Heung Yee Kuk N.T.', is a statutory advisory body representing establishment interests in the New Territories, Hong Kong. The Kuk is a powerful organisation comprising heads of rural committees which represent villages and market towns.

From 1980 to 2015 it was chaired by Lau Wong-fat, a billionaire landowner and heavyweight political figure in the pro-Beijing camp, until he stepped down and was succeeded by his son Kenneth Lau Ip-keung.The organisation has its own functional constituency in the Hong Kong Legislative Council. It also controls 26 seats on the 1200-member committee which selects the Chief executive of Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions

The Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions (HKFTU; Chinese: 香港工會聯合會) is a pro-Beijing labour and political group established in 1948 in Hong Kong. It is the largest labour group in Hong Kong with over 410,000 members in 251 affiliates and associated trade unions. Presided by Ng Chau-pei and chaired by Wong Kwok, it currently commands five seats in the Legislative Council of Hong Kong and 30 District Councillors.

Being one of the oldest existing labour unions in Hong Kong, the HKFTU has a long tradition of following the command of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the ruling party of the People's Republic of China (PRC). It took a leading role in the Hong Kong 1967 Leftist riots against the British rule and was suppressed by the colonial government. In the 1980s, the HKFTU took the vanguard role in opposing faster democratisation in Hong Kong with the conservative business elites during the run up to the Chinese resumption of Hong Kong sovereignty in 1997.

The HKFTU leaders became the founding members of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong (DAB), today's largest pro-Beijing party, in 1992. Since the late 2000s and early 2010s, the HKFTU resumed its independent banner in the elections with a more pro-grassroots and pro-labour platform, distant from the DAB's pro-middle-class and professionals outlook.

Liberal Party (Hong Kong)

The Liberal Party (Chinese: 自由黨; LP) is a pro-Beijing, pro-business and conservative political party established in 1993 in Hong Kong. Led by Felix Chung and chaired by Tommy Cheung, the Liberal Party is currently the sixth largest party in the Legislative Council of Hong Kong, holding four seats.

Derived from the Co-operative Resources Centre in 1993, the Liberal Party was founded by a group of conservative politicians, businessmen and professionals who were appointed by the colonial governor or elected through trade-based functional constituencies to counter the rise of the pro-democracy camp elected through the first ever direct election in 1991 to the legislature. The Liberal Party aligned to the Beijing government in the last years of the colonial rule and remained one of the largest parties alongside the pro-democracy Democratic Party and the Beijing-loyalist Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong (DAB) in the first decade of the SAR period through the business sectors of the functional constituencies with restricted electorates.

The Liberal Party's popularity rose to the peak after its chairman James Tien resigned from the Executive Council to halt down the government proposal of the Basic Law Article 23 legislation in the wake of the large-scale demonstration in 2003. The party received the best results in party history in the 2004 Legislative Council election, by winning two seats in the geographical constituency direct elections since 1995, overtaking the Democratic Party as the second largest party.

The party suffered a major split after its defeat in the 2008 election when it lost all its directly elected seats and four of its seven legislators broke away. The party rebounded its seats to five in the 2012 election after its vocal opposition to the Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying in the 2012 Chief Executive election, in which the party supported its former member Henry Tang. The relationship between the Liberals and Leung remained estranged. In the 2016 election, the party reduced to only four seats as its only directly elected legislator James Tien stepped down.

List of political parties in Hong Kong

Hong Kong has a multi-party system, with numerous parties in which no one party often has a chance of gaining power by controlling the Legislative Council. The Chief Executive is elected by an indirectly elected Election Committee and is nonpartisan as restricted by the Chief Executive Election Ordinance, but has to rely on political parties in the legislature for support, effectively having a coalition government.

Hong Kong has no legislation for political parties, and thus has no legal definition for what a political party is. Most political parties and political groups registered either as limited companies or societies.

In Hong Kong there are three main political ideological blocs, which presents to pro-democracy camp, pro-Beijing camp and the localist groups.

National Front of the German Democratic Republic

The National Front of the German Democratic Republic (German: Nationale Front der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik) was an alliance of political parties (Blockpartei) and mass organizations in the German Democratic Republic, controlled by the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED), which stood in elections to the East German parliament, the Volkskammer ("People's Chamber").

The purpose of the NF was to give the impression of a certain pluralism. In fact, all parties and mass organizations had to officially accept the leading role of the SED. In elections, the NF presented a "united list" of candidates which was actually the only list. Two of the block parties were former independent parties, two other were established on the instigation of the SED. The SED members on the list were always the majority because many candidates of the mass organizations were also SED members.Only in the last weeks prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall (November 1989), some policitions of non-SED parties started to moderately criticize the SED politics. It played no role in the first and only democratic GDR elections in March 1990.

New Century Forum

New Century Forum (Chinese: 新世紀論壇) is a pro-Beijing middle-class oriented political group in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. The group comprises professionals, businessmen and academics, and aims to represent the voice of the middle-class. It is currently led by convenor Ma Fung-kwok.

New People's Party (Hong Kong)

The New People's Party (NPP) is a pro-Beijing conservative political party in Hong Kong. It was established by Regina Ip on 9 January 2011 who is currently the chairperson. Since Ip has strongly indicated her interest in becoming Chief Executive of Hong Kong, it has been suggested that the party is primarily a vehicle for that goal. The NPP absorbed a regional political group Civil Force and expanded its district network in 2014. After the 2016 Legislative Council election, it currently holds two seats in the Legislative Council of Hong Kong and 18 seats in the District Councils.

New Territories Association of Societies

The New Territories Association of Societies (Chinese: 新界社團聯會, NTAS) is a pro-Beijing umbrella political group which consists of hundreds of the New Territories community organisations. The founding president of the Association was Lee Lin-sang, who served as the delegate to the National People's Congress in the 1980s and member of the HKSAR Preparatory Committee before the handover of Hong Kong. The Association plays important coordination roles in the election campaigns for the pro-Beijing camp by mobilising members of its affiliated groups to vote for the pro-Beijing candidates. The Association currently holds two seats in the Legislative Council (LegCo), Leung Che-cheung and Chan Han-pan who are both affiliated with the largest pro-Beijing party Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (while Leung does not put NTAS as his political affiliation on his biography). Leung also serves as the current president of the Association.

The current chairman is Chan Yung, a Hong Kong deputy to the National People's Congress.

Roundtable (Hong Kong)

Roundtable is a pro-Beijing political organisation founded in 2017 by Michael Tien after he quit the New People's Party. The group currently holds one seat in the Legislative Council, occupied by Michael Tien, and seven seats in the District Councils.The organization was founded after Tien complained that the New People's Party was becoming too close to Beijing.Although it is aligned with the pro-Beijing camp, Roundtable has found itself at odds the camp on certain issues. One such example is when Tien supported scrapping the pro-Beijing extradition law.

Second United Front

The Second United Front was the alliance between the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang, or KMT) and Communist Party of China (CPC) to resist the Japanese invasion during the Second Sino-Japanese War, which suspended the Chinese Civil War from 1937 to 1941.

United Front (China) (disambiguation)

The United Front is the popular front of political parties in China.

The United Front may also refer to various united front policies in China, including:

United Front Work Department, Communist Party of China department for relations with non-communist entities

First United Front, cooperation between the Communist Party of China and the Kuomintang from 1923 until the Chinese Civil War

Second United Front, cooperation between the Communist Party of China and the Kuomintang during the Second Sino-Japanese War

United Front Doctrine, People's Republic of China policy toward the Republic of China

United Front Work Department

The United Front Work Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (UFWD; Chinese: 中共中央统一战线工作部) is an agency of the Communist Party of China that manages relations with various important and influential elite individuals and organizations inside and outside China. These are people and entities are outside the Party proper, who hold social, commercial, or academic influence, or who represent interest groups. Through its efforts, the UFWD seeks to ensure that these groups are supportive of and useful to Communist Party rule. It reports directly to the Party's Central Committee.

Standard Mandarin
Hanyu PinyinTǒngYī ZhànXiàn
Standard Mandarin
Hanyu PinyinShèhuìzhǔyì Tǒngyī Zhànxiàn
Standard Mandarin
Hanyu PinyinAiguó(zhǔyì) Tǒngyī Zhànxiàn
Standard Mandarin
Hanyu PinyinRénmín Mínzhǔ Tǒngyī Zhànxiàn
Standard Mandarin
Hanyu PinyinGémìng Tǒngyī Zhànxiàn
United Front
State organs
Politics of

(current leaders)


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.