China Table of Contents
Another body, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, is chartered to monitor the implementation of party policy and to handle disciplinary matters regarding party organizations and members. The Central Advisory Commission was established by the 1982 Party Constitution to facilitate the transfer of power from the Long March (see Glossary) generation to younger and better educated successors. This body has consultative rather than decision-making powers. Its chairman is an ex-officio member of the Political Bureau's Standing Committee. Deng Xiaoping was made the first chairman of this body, both to lend it prestige and to encourage older leaders to retire.
Below the central level, party committees and congresses were formed in the twenty-one provinces, five autonomous regions, and three special municipalities directly under the central government. Taiwan was listed as a province but, of course, was not under China's administration. The party also was represented in various county subdivisions (which included the prefectures) and within the PLA from regional headquarters down to regimental level (see Military Organization , ch. 14). At the bottom of the party hierarchy were three kinds of basic organizations: general party branches, primary party committees, and party branches. These were set up in factories, shops, schools, offices, neighborhoods, PLA companies, and other places, depending on local circumstances and subject to approval by the appropriate party committees.
Party committees at the provincial level are elected by the provincial-level congresses that convene every five years and have as additional functions the election of a discipline inspection commission, advisory commissions, and delegates to the National Party Congress. The county-level party congress convenes every three years and elects a committee, standing committee, and secretary. Below the county and PLA regimental levels, the general branch committee meets twice a year and is elected for a two-year term. The party branch, or lowest level of party organization, meets four times a year and elects a branch committee for a two-year term. Every party member must be a member of a branch committee. Party branch committees and their members at the grass-roots level are the backbone of the party organization. This is also the level where admission and expulsion of party members takes place. Branch members exchange views on issues, become thoroughly informed concerning party goals and policies, and learn to accept party discipline.
Data as of July 1987