In China, politics functions within a communist state framework based on the system of people's congress under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), with the National People's Congress (NPC) functioning as the highest organ of state power and only branch of government per the principle of unified power. The CCP leads state activities by holding two-thirds of the seats in the NPC, and these party members are, in accordance with democratic centralism, responsible for implementing the policies adopted by the CCP Central Committee and the National Congress. The NPC has unlimited state power bar the limitations it sets on itself. By controlling the NPC, the CCP has complete state power. China's two special administrative regions (SARs), Hong Kong and Macau, are nominally autonomous from this system.
The Chinese political system is considered authoritarian. There are no freely elected national leaders, political opposition is suppressed, all religious activity is controlled by the CCP, dissent is not permitted, and civil rights are curtailed. Direct elections occur only at the local level, not the national level, with all candidate nominations controlled by the CCP.
The nature of the elections is highly constrained by the CCP's monopoly on power in China, censorship, and party control over elections. According to academic Rory Truex of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, "the CCP tightly controls the nomination and election processes at every level in the people's congress system... the tiered, indirect electoral mechanism in the People's Congress system ensures that deputies at the highest levels face no semblance of electoral accountability to the Chinese citizenry."
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