According to Xinhua News Agency, China Daily and other official media outlets of English language of China, 中央纪律检查委员会 is Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, but 中央政法委员会 is Committee of Polictical and Legal Affairs,发展和改革委员会 is National Development and Reform Commission,中央直属机关工作委员会 is Work Committee for Departments Directly Under the CPC Central Committee.

Commission and committee are both used to mean 委员会, what is the difference?

  • search web using e.g. "difference between commission and committee ?" get e.g. painintheenglish.com/case/3801 bkrs:委员会 (1) [commission; board; council; committee; panel] (2) 具有行政、 立法或司法权力的政府机构 贸易委员会 (3) 被指示去完成某项职责或执行某项信托责任的一级组织机构
    – user6065
    Oct 28, 2017 at 9:38
  • @user6065 A further question is within the same party or under the same ruler, why are there still different choice as you can see in the above cases? Because different names mean different tasks or functions, however slight they will be and there seems no obvious reason for such practice. Oct 29, 2017 at 1:09
  • with the promotion of English every government agency seems to have an official English name, translating in the opposite direction obviously is no problem,
    – user6065
    Oct 29, 2017 at 15:23

1 Answer 1


You are not the first person to wonder about the difference between 'commission and committee.'


Seems to me, in English, the difference is how they are formed: a committee is formed of volunteers, a commission is appointed. In China this distinction seems not so apparent, so they use 委员会 for both.

The original meaning of committ-ee was 'person to whom something is committed/entrusted'. The original meaning of commission was 'authority entrusted to someone'. So, actually, there is not much difference in English either! Both come from Latin 'committere'.

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