Who runs China?

China 24

The National People’s Congress (NPC), the country’s top legislature, is the highest organ of state power. Every March, NPC deputies gather in the Chinese capital of Beijing from every corner of the country to discuss affairs of the state. Who are these deputies? How old are they? Which ethnic groups do they belong to? What’s their educational background? We use 2,975 dots to represent the deputies from 35 delegations to take a look at their commonalities and individualities.

  • Among the 2,975 deputies to the 13th NPC, there are 2,233 males, 742 females. That means female deputies account for 24.94 percent of the total.  This proportion has increased from 20.2 percent during the 10th NPC (2003-2008).
  • The average age of the 2,975 NPC deputies is 53.77. Among others, 1,672 deputies were born in the 1960s, taking up over a half of the total. They are the backbone of China’s top legislature. Meanwhile, the younger the deputies, the more balanced the gender ratio.
  • China is a country composed of 56 ethnic groups, and the NPC deputies are elected from all of these groups. Among them, 2,538 are of the Han nationality, making up for 85 percent of the total. The second largest group of deputies comes from the Hui nationality with 62 deputies. The chances of a person becoming an NPC deputy can also depend on which ethnicity he/she hails from. For the Tatar people, one in every 3,600 is an NPC deputy, making it the most represented ethnic group. Ethnic Lahu sees the lowest proportion at merely 0.000206 percent, and Han comes second, with the proportion standing at one in 480,000.
  • NPC deputies determine where China’s major policies are headed. Their educational background speaks to their capacity to govern and legislate. We have figures on the educational backgrounds of 2,198 deputies. 88.5 percent of the deputies possess a bachelor’s degree or above. Those with a master’s degree make up the largest percentage (836). PhDs come second (584). Among deputies with master’s and doctoral degrees, 911 were born in the 1960s. Meanwhile, the younger the deputies, the lower the proportion of those with master’s and doctoral degrees.
  • What about the professional backgrounds of the NPC deputies? According to the categories of majors by China’s Ministry of Education, management science, philosophy, literature, history, education, art, economics, law and military science belong to the humanities and social sciences; while science, engineering, agriculture, and medical science are natural sciences.
  • Out of the total 2,975 deputies from 35 delegations, 2,172 are members of the Communist Party of China (CPC), 423 have no affiliation to any party, and 380 are from non-CPC parties.