How China is ruled: State Council

State Council

The State Council is the cabinet which oversees China's vast government machine.

It sits at the top of a complex bureaucracy of ministries and commissions and is responsible for making sure party policy gets implemented from the national to the local level.

In theory it answers to the National People's Congress, but more often the State Council submits legislation and measures which the NPC then approves.

The State Council's most important roles are to draft and manage the national economic plan and the state budget, giving it decision-making powers over almost every aspect of people's lives. It is also responsible for law and order.

The full council meets once a month, but the more influential standing committee comes together more often, sometimes twice a week.

This committee is made up of the country's premier, four vice-premiers, state councillors and the secretary-general.