What Type Of Government Does China And North Korea Have

China and North Korea are the two countries which are known for their authoritarian regimes; they offer the basic contrast between two totally different systems of government. Despite their similarities, the two countries have some notable differences in their types of governments. In this article, we will explore in depth the type of government that is practiced in both China and North Korea.

The government of China is politically and economically defined as a “Socialist Republic”. This can be further broken down into a party-based structure wherein the Communist Party of China plays a major role in governing the country. This system is based on democratic socialism rather than Marx’s strategy for a proletariat revolution. In China, the government has a significant amount of control over the direction of the economy, although market forces and the private sector are important aspects of the Chinese economy. The Chinese President and the National People’s Congress are responsible for the overall national policy making.

In North Korea, the government is known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The ruling party here is the Korean Workers’ Party, which has been in power since 1949. Even though the country is budgeted as socialist, it isn’t a party state like China. Rather it leans towards a one-party, authoritarian dictatorship, with the Supreme Leader at the helm. The economy of North Korea is believed to be entirely state planned and centrally directed and controls almost all aspects of the country’s economic activities.

In the last few years, the Chinese government has been transitioning to a ‘socialist market economy’, which seeks to blend elements of a free-market economy with elements of state control. This shift has seen a number of improvements in living standards throughout the country, with an increase in the per capita Gross Domestic Product and access to basic services such as education and healthcare. This shift also saw significant decentralization and greater openness to foreign investment.

North Korea, on the other hand, has remained largely stagnant in its government system. Aside from a few minor reforms, such as the settlement of private enterprise laws and a reduction in the number of concentration camps, there have been no major changes to the system. This is mainly due to the tremendous amount of influence and control that the Supreme Leader wields over the country; any changes to the system must be authorized by him, and as a result, there has been limited progress in terms of economic and political reform.

In conclusion, both China and North Korea have authoritarian governments, but they differ significantly in terms of their systems of government. China has embraced a more open and market-based system, while North Korea remains strongly committed to a closed, highly centralized state. The different approaches taken by these two countries may serve as a lesson for those countries that view democracy and free markets as the only way to achieve success.

Political Systems

The political systems of both countries differ in important ways. In China, the government is formed by a combination of elected representatives and technocrats, with the majority of power being held by the Communist Party. This system allows for a degree of autonomy at the local level, and there are regular elections for both local and provincial level offices. In North Korea, on the other hand, the government is centred around a powerful Supreme Leader, and only a few changes have been made to the system in recent years.

China has a multi-party system, in which several parties compete democratically for influence and power. These parties include the Chinese Communist Party, the Democratic Progressive Party, the People’s Liberation Army and the China Democratic League. In North Korea, however, the political system is centred around one party: the Korean Workers’ Party. As a result, there is little room for competing voices or opposition.

China’s government also has more formal institutions than North Korea’s; it has a legislature in the form of the National People’s Congress, as well as an executive branch in the State Council and a judicial branch in the Supreme People’s Court. North Korea does not have any formal institutions, aside from the Supreme Leader, who is responsible for all decision-making. As such, there is a very clear distinction between the governments of China and North Korea.


The two economic systems also differ in significant ways. In China, the government has sought to balance the demands of the market with the demands of the state; this has enabled the country to experience rapid economic growth in recent years. North Korea, however, remains largely isolated from the global economy and its government has been resistant to any meaningful market reforms.

China’s economy is driven by market forces, with large conglomerates dominating industry, particularly in the technology sector. The government plays an important role in managing the economy, with a fair amount of control exerted over the direction of the economy. North Korea’s economy, however, is heavily reliant on foreign aid and its government has no real control over the direction of the economy.

The economies of both countries also differ in terms of their trade policies. China has adopted a largely open trade policy, allowing for the free flow of goods and services into and out of the country. North Korea, on the other hand, has adopted a highly protectionist trade policy, prohibiting foreign imports and strictly controlling foreign exports. As a result, North Korea’s economy remains much more isolated than that of China.

Impact On Society

The type of government in place in both countries also has a direct impact on their respective societies. In China, citizens have greater freedom and rights than in North Korea; there are laws in place to protect civil liberties, and dissent is tolerated to a certain degree. In North Korea, by contrast, dissent is not tolerated, and citizens have fewer rights and freedoms.

The government of China has also allowed for a degree of decentralization, with the provinces and local governments having autonomy and room to experiment with different policies. This has resulted in greater diversity and innovation in areas such as education and healthcare, resulting in improved living standards for many people. North Korea, however, remains highly centralized and its citizens have limited access to basic services.

Finally, the different types of government in both countries have had an impact on their international relations. China has sought to build relationships with the international community and is now a major global power. North Korea, however, has chosen a more isolated path, and its diplomatic relations are very limited. This approach has resulted in a great deal of instability and tension in the region.


In conclusion, both China and North Korea have authoritarian governments, with each taking a unique approach towards governing their respective countries. China has embraced a more open and market-oriented system, and its government has been successful in improving living standards and attracting foreign investment. North Korea, on the other hand, remains isolated from the rest of the world, and its authoritarian system has resulted in limited economic and political reform.

The differences between the two countries demonstrate the impact that a type of government can have on a society, and serve as a lesson for those countries seeking to move towards democracy and greater economic freedom.

Cassie Grissom is an American journalist and author living in Seoul, South Korea. She has been studying the Korean peninsula since 2011, and her work focuses on understanding human rights issues in North Korea. In addition to her work as an author, Cassie is an active advocate for human rights in North Korea. She regularly shares stories about life in North Korea with international audiences to raise awareness of the plight of its citizens.

Leave a Comment