Constitution of the People's Republic of China (Revised in 2004)

Constitution of the People's Republic of China (Revised in 2004)
Constitution of the People's Republic of China (Revised in 2004)

March 14, 2004

(Adopted at the Fifth Session of the Fifth National People's Congress on December 4, 1982 and promulgated on that same date. Amended according to the Amendment to the Constitution of the People's Republic of China (1988) adopted at the First Session of the Seventh National People's Congress on April 12, 1988, the Amendment to the Constitution of the People's Republic of China(1993) adopted at the First Session of the Eighth National People's Congress on March 29, 1993, the Amendment to the Constitution of the People's Republic of China (1999) adopted at the Second Session of the Ninth National People's Congress on March 15, 1999, and the Proposed Amendments to Constitution of the People's Republic of China adopted at the Second Session of the Tenth National People's Congress on March 14, 2004)

Contents
Preamble
Chapter I General Principles
Chapter II The Fundamental Rights and Duties of Citizens
Chapter III The Organization of the State
Section 1 The National People's Congress
Section 2 The President Of The People's Republic of China
Section 3 The State Council
Section 4 The Central Military Commission
Section 5 The Various Level of Local People's Congresses and the Various Levels of Local People's Governments
Section 6 The Institutions of Self-government in Minority Autonomous Areas
Section 7 The People's Courts and the People's Procuratorates
Chapter IV The National Flag, The National Anthem, The National Emblem, and the Capital

Preamble

China is a country with one of the longest histories in the world. The various peoples of China have come together to create a magnificent culture, with a glorious revolutionary tradition.

In the years after 1840, feudal China was gradually transformed into a semi-colonial, semi-feudal nation. The Chinese people have struggled, making heroic sacrifices time and again to achieve national liberation and independence, democracy, and freedom.

Great, earth-shattering changes took place in China during the 20th century.

The Revolution of 1911, led by Dr. Sun Yat-sen, put an end the feudal imperial system and gave birth to the Republic of China. But the Chinese people's historic task to overthrow imperialism and feudalism remained unfulfilled.

In 1949, after an arduous struggle and an endless series of twists and turns, including armed conflict as well as other forms, the various peoples of China, led by the Chinese Communist Party with Chairman Mao Zedong as its leader, abolished the imperial, feudal, and bureaucratic-capitalist systems of governance, and, in founding the People's Republic of China, won a great victory for the New Democratic Revolution. Since then, the Chinese people have had control of state power, becoming masters of their own country.

After the founding of the People's Republic, China gradually realized the transition from a New Democratic society to a socialist society. The socialist reform of the system of private ownership of the means of production has already been completed, the exploitation of man by man abolished and the socialist system established. The people's democratic dictatorship, led by the working class, founded on an alliance of workers and peasants, and essentially forming a dictatorship of the proletariat, has been strengthened and developed. The Chinese people and the Chinese People's Liberation Army have triumphed over imperialist and hegemonic aggression, sabotage, and armed provocation, thus safeguarding China's independence and national security and strengthening its national defense. There have been major successes in the area of economic development; an independent and relatively comprehensive socialist industrial system has already taken basic shape. Levels of agricultural production have increased significantly. Major advances have been made in the fields of education, science and culture, while education in socialist ideology has achieved clear results. The life of the average person has improved considerably.

The victory of China's New Democratic Revolution and the successes of the socialist cause are the achievements of all the peoples of China, as led by the Chinese Communist Party and guided by Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought, secured by upholding truth, correcting errors, and overcoming numerous hardships and obstacles. China will remain in the first phrase of socialism for a significant length of time. The primary task of the nation is to concentrate efforts for socialist modernization along the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China and the guidance of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, and the important "Three Represents" thought, all the peoples of China will continue to sustain the people's democratic dictatorship, the path of socialism, and the reform and opening up of China, improve steadily the various institutions of socialism, develop the socialist market economy, socialist democracy, and the socialist legal system, foster self-reliance and hard work to progressively modernize the country's industry, agriculture, national defense, and the fields of science and technology, promoting the coordinated development of the material, political, and spiritual facets of civilization, building China into a prosperous, powerful, democratic, and culturally-advanced socialist state.

The exploiting classes as such no longer exist in our country. However, class struggle will continue within a certain range for a long time to come. The Chinese people must battle against those forces and elements that are hostile to China's socialist system and are trying to undermine it, either within China or abroad.

Taiwan is part of the hallowed ground that is the People's Republic of China. It is the inviolable duty of all the people of China, including our compatriots in Taiwan, to carry out the great task of reunifying the motherland.

The process of socialist construction must rely on the workers, peasants and intellectuals, uniting all the strength it is possible to unite. During the long years of revolution and construction, a united patriotic front has formed under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, broadly composed of various democratic parties and people's organizations, including all workers under socialism, those who advance the socialist cause, all patriots who uphold socialism, and all patriots who stand for reunification of the motherland. This united front will continue to strengthen and develop. The Chinese People's Political Consultation Association, an organization of this united front which is broadly representative and which has played a significant historical role, will, in the future, play an even more vital role in the political and social life of the nation and the promotion of friendship with other countries, as well as in the efforts to achieve socialist modernization, reunification, and unity of the country. The current system of multi-party cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party will exist and continue its development for the foreseeable future.

The People's Republic of China is a unified multi-ethnic state founded jointly by all the peoples within its borders. The socialist ideas of equality, unity, and mutual assistance as key parts of the relationships between ethnic groups have been established and will continue to be strengthened. In the struggle to ensure national unity, majority ethnic chauvinism, particularly Han chauvinism, must be opposed along with minority ethnic chauvinism. The state shall do everything possible to promote the common prosperity of all the peoples of China.

The revolutionary and developmental achievements of China could not have been possible without support of the people around the globe. The future of China is closely linked to the future of the entire planet. China maintains an independent foreign policy; when establishing diplomatic relations and promoting economic and cultural exchanges with other countries, China adheres to five foreign policy principles: mutual respect of sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, mutual non-interference in internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence. China strictly opposes imperialism, hegemony, and colonialism, working to strengthen unity between the Chinese and the people of other countries, supporting oppressed peoples and developing countries in their righteous struggle to win or preserve national independence and develop their economies, striving to preserve world peace and to promote the goal of human progress.

This Constitution affirms in legal form the achievements gained from the struggles of all the peoples of China, defining the basic system of government and duties of the state; it is the primary national law and has supreme legal authority. The people of all ethnicities, all state institutions including the armed forces, all political parties and social organizations, and all enterprises and public institutions throughout the country must view the Constitution as the fundamental standard of conduct; each group has the duty to defend the dignity of the Constitution and to ensure its implementation.

Chapter I General Principles

Article 1 The People's Republic of China is a socialist state ruled by a people's democratic dictatorship, led by the working class with the alliance of workers and peasants as its foundation.
The socialist system is the fundamental system of the People's Republic of China. The undermining of the socialist system by any organization or individual is prohibited.

Article 2 In the People's Republic of China, all power belongs to the people.
The institutions through which the people exercise state power are the National People's Congress and the various levels of local people's congresses.
On the basis of legal statutes and by various means and in various forms, the people manage state, economic, cultural, and social affairs.

Article 3 The state institutions of the People's Republic of China put into practice the principle of democratic centralism.
The National People's Congress and the various levels of local people's congresses are formed by democratic elections. They are responsible to the people and subject to their supervision.
All administrative, judicial, and procuratorial bodies of the state are created by the people's congresses; they are responsible to and supervised by their respective congresses.
The division of functions and powers among the central and local state institutions is made according to the principle of giving full range to the initiative and enthusiasm of the local authorities, under the unified leadership of the central government.

Article 4 All peoples in the People's Republic of China are equal. The state guarantees the lawful rights and interests of ethnic minorities, defending and developing relationships of equality, unity, and mutual assistance among all of China's peoples. Discrimination against or oppression of any ethnic group is prohibited; any act which undermines the unity of the peoples of China or creates division between them is prohibited.
According to the special status and needs of the various ethnic minorities, the state provides assistance to regions inhabited by ethnic minorities in order to accelerate their economic and cultural development.
Regional autonomy is exercised in the various regions where ethnic minorities live in compact communities; in these areas institutions of autonomous government are established wielding autonomous power. All minority autonomous regions are integral parts of the People's Republic of China.
All minorities have the freedom to employ and develop their own spoken and written languages, and to preserve or reform their traditional lifestyle and customs.

Article 5 The People's Republic of China shall adopt rule of law, and develop a socialist state under rule of law
The state upholds the uniformity and defends the dignity of the socialist legal system.
No laws, administrative rules, or local regulations may contravene the Constitution.
All state institutions including the armed forces, all political parties, all social organizations, all enterprises, and all public institutions must abide by the Constitution and the law. All violations of the Constitution or the law must be prosecuted.
No organization or individual has privilege such that they are above the law or the Constitution.
(Relevant articles: Articles 1)

Article 6 The basis of the socialist economic system of the People's Republic of China is public ownership of the means of production, which is to say ownership by the people as a whole and collective ownership by the working people.
The socialist system of public ownership puts an end to the system of exploitation of man by man, implementing the principle of "from each according to his ability, to each according to his labor."

Article 7 The state-owned economy, which is to say the socialist economy under ownership by the people as a whole, is the guiding force of the national economy. The state ensures the stability and growth of the state-owned economy.

Article 8 As their foundation, the rural collective economic organizations implement the household contract responsibility system that links remuneration to output, a dual-layered system that integrates unified management with decentralized management. Various forms of cooperative economy, such as production, sales, credit, and consumer cooperatives, belong to the sector of socialist economy held in collective ownership by the working people. Working people who are members of rural economic collectives have the right, within the limits prescribed by law, to maintain various kinds of private plots, to engage in household sideline production, or to raise privately-owned livestock.
Various forms of cooperative economy found in cities and towns, such as the handicraft, industrial, construction, transportation, commercial, and service trades, all belong to the sector of socialist economy held in collective ownership by the working people.
The state safeguards the lawful rights and interests of both urban and rural economic collectives, encouraging, guiding, and assisting in the growth of the collective economy.

Article 9 All mineral resources, bodies of water, forests, mountains, grasslands, uncultivated land, wetlands, and other natural resources are owned by the state, that is, by the people as a whole, with the exception of the forests, mountains, grasslands, uncultivated land, and wetlands that are owned by collectives as stipulated by law.
The state ensures the rational use of natural resources and works to protect rare animals and plants. The seizure or destruction of natural resources by any organization or individual through whatever means is prohibited.

Article 10 Urban land is owned by the state.
Except for those areas which belong to the state as stipulated by law, rural and suburban land is owned by collectives. Residential lots and private plots on flat or hilly ground are also owned by collectives.
Acting in the public interest, the state may, as stipulated by law, expropriate or make use of land while paying compensation.
No organization or individual may seize, purchase, sell, or otherwise engage in the unlawful transfer of land by any means. Land use rights may be transferred as stipulated by law.
Any organizations and individuals making use of land must use it rationally.

Article 11 Operating within the limits prescribed by law, non-public sectors of the economy, including individual and private sectors, form an important part of the socialist public economy.
The state protects the lawful rights and interests of the non-public sectors of the economy that include the individual and private sectors.
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