China’s Communist Party is the world’s largest political party, with more than 80 million members. With its unmatched reach, the party is the most influential instrument in contemporary Chinese society. Its influence extends across cities, towns, villages, universities, schools and workplaces. Members of the party include government officials, army officers, farmers, workers and employees of state-owned companies. China is a one-party state, so all political participation must occur through the Chinese Communist Party. Dissent or difference of opinion can invite severe consequences. The party has a pyramid structure, with village members at the bottom and Beijing-based decision-making bodies at the top. Party members choose delegates to attend the National Congress.
more from Al Jazeera (with helpful video) here.