The Constitution of China is a changing document. The current Constitution was adopted in 1982 and it has superseded the previous three constitutions of 1964, 1975 and 1978. It is the highest and ultimate source of legal norms in China. It establishes the framework and principles of government and describes basic or general principles.
(2) General Or Basic Principles Of Constitution Of China
Chapter 11 of the Constitution of China describes the general or basic principles:
- (i) Socialist state
- (ii) Sovereignty
- (iii) Democratic centralism
- (iv) Equality
- (v) Law-based governance & rule of law
- (vi) System of socialist public ownership
- (vii) State sector of economy
- (viii) Urban & rural collective economic organizations
- (ix) Natural resources & rare animals & plants
- (x) Ownership of land
- (xi) Non-public economic sectors
- (xii) Socialist public property
- (xiii) Citizens’ lawful private property
- (xiv) Productive forces, strict economy, accumulation & consumption & sound social security system
- (xv) Socialist market economy
- (xvi) State-owned enterprises
- (xvii) Collective economic organizations
- (xviii) Foreign enterprises
- (xix) Education & language
- (xx) Sciences & scientific & technological knowledge
- (xxi) People’s health
- (xxii) Art, literature, media, natural beauty & cultural & historical
- (xxiii) Socialism & social modernization
- (xxiv) Socialist cultural-ethical advancement
- (xxv) Family Bining
- (xxvi) Environment & pollution
- (xxvii) Administration
- (xxviii) Public order, treason & other criminal activities
- (xxix) Armed forces
- (xxx) Administrative Areas of China
- (xxxi) Special administrative regions
- (xxxii) Foreigners
(i) Socialist State
Article I narrates that the People’s Republic of China is a socialist state:
- (a) Democratic dictatorship of peoples
- (b) Working class
- (c) Violation of system
(a) Democratic Dictatorship Of Peoples
This socialist state is governed by a people’s democratic dictatorship.
(b) Working Class
Country is led by a working class, and this working class is based on an alliance of workers and farmers.
(c) Violation of System
Every organization or individual is prohibited to damage the socialist system.
Article 2 describes that all power in China belongs to the people. And the people are to exercise state power through the National People’s Congress and the local people’s congresses.
(iii) Democratic Centralism
Article 3 states that state institutions of China are to practice the principle of democratic centralism:
- (a) National People’s Congress & local people’s congresses
- (b) Responsible legislatures
(a) National People’s Congress & Local People’s Congresses
The National People’s Congress and the local people’s congresses are created through democratic elections.
(b) Responsible Legislatures
The National People’s Congress and the local people’s congresses are responsible to the people..
Article 4 describes that all ethnic groups of China are equal:
- (a) Rights & interests of ethnic minorities
- (b) Relations of equality, unity, mutual assistance & harmony
- (c) Discrimination & oppression
- (d) Economic & cultural development
- (e) Languages, traditions & customs
(a) Rights & Interests Of Ethnic Minorities
The state is to protect the lawful rights and interests of all ethnic minorities.
(b) Relations Of Equality, Unity, Mutual Assistance & Harmony
The state is to maintain and promote relations of equality, unity, mutual assistance and harmony among all ethnic groups.
(c) Discrimination & Oppression
Discrimination against any ethnic group and oppression of any ethnic group are prohibited.
(d) Economic & Cultural Development
The state is to assist all ethnic minority areas in accelerating their economic and cultural development.
(e) Languages, Traditions & Customs
All ethnic groups have the freedom to use and develop their own spoken and written languages and to preserve or reform their own traditions and customs.
(v) Law-Based Governance & Rule Of Law
Article 5 narrates that there must be law-based governance and rule of law:
- (a) Socialist legal system
- (b) Contradictory laws
- (c) Abidance of Constitution & law
- (d) Accountability
- (d) Privilege beyond Constitution or law
(a) Socialist Legal System The state is to safeguard the unity and sanctity of the socialist legal system.
(b) Contradictory Laws
No law, administrative regulation or local regulation should be in conflict with the Constitution.
(c) Abidance Of Constitution & Law
All state organs and armed forces, all political parties and social organizations, and all enterprises and public institutions must abide by the Constitution and the law.
Accountability must be enforced for all acts that violate the Constitution or laws.
(e) Privilege Beyond Constitution Or Law
No organization or individual has any privilege beyond the Constitution or the law.
(vi) System Of Socialist Public Ownership
Article 6 introduces a system of socialist public ownership:
- (a) Socialist public ownership
- (b) Socialist economic system
(a) Socialist Public Ownership
The socialist public ownership is the ownership by the whole people and collective ownership by the working people.
(b) Socialist Economie System
The foundation of the socialist economic system of China is socialist public ownership of the means of production.
(vii) State Sector Of Economy
Article 7 explains the state sector of the economy:
- (a) Sector of socialist economy
- (b) Leading force in economy
(a) Sector Of Socialist Economy
The state sector of economy should be the sector of socialist economy under ownership by the whole people.
(b) Leading Force In Economy
The state sector of economy should be the leading force in the economy.
(viii) Urban & Rural Collective Economic Organizations
Article 8 provides for urban and rural collective economic organizations. The state is to protect the lawful rights and interests of such organizations.”
(ix) Natural Resources & Rare Animals & Plants
Article 9 provides principles regarding natural resources and rare animals and plants:
- (a) Ownership of natural resources
- (b) Use of natural resources
- (c) Protection of rare animals & plants
- (d) Prohibition for organization or individual
(a) Ownership Of Natural Resources
All natural resources are owned by the state. However, collectives own the forests, mountains, grasslands, unclaimed land and mudflats if it is expressly provided by law.
(b) Use Of Natural Resources
The state is to ensure the rational use of natural resources.
(c) Protection Of Rare Animals & Plants
The state is to protect rare animals and plants.
(d) Prohibition For Organization Or Individual
Any organization or individual is prohibited to seize or damage natural resources.
(x) Ownership Of Land
Article 10 describes that the state owns land in cities, and collectives can own land in rural and suburban areas.
(xi) Non-Public Economic Sectors
Article 11 provides principles for non-public economic sectors:
- (a) Lawful rights & interests
- (b) Development
- (c) Oversight & regulation
(a) Lawful Rights & Interests
The state is to protect the lawful rights and interests of non-public economic sectors.
The state is to encourage, support and guide the development of non-public economic sectors.
(c) Oversight & Regulation
The state is to exercise oversight and regulation over non-public economic sectors in accordance with law.
(xii) Socialist Public Property
Article 12 provides principles for socialist public property:
- (a) Sacred & inviolable
- (b) Protection
- (c) Prohibition
(a) Sacred & Inviolable
Socialist public property is sacred and inviolable.
The state is to protect socialist public property.
Any organization or individual is prohibited to seize or damage state or collective property.
(xiii) Citizens’ Lawful Private Property
Article 13 provides principles regarding citizens’ lawful private property:
- (a) Inviolable
- (b) Protection of right
- (c) Expropriation or requisition
Citizens’ lawful private property is inviolable.
(b) Protection Of Right
The state is to protect the right of citizens to own and inherit private property.
(c) Expropriation Or Requisition
In order to meet the demands of the public interest and in accordance with the provisions of law, the state can expropriate or requisition citizens’ private property and furnish compensation.
(xiv) Productive Forces, Strict Economy, Accumulation & Consumption & Sound Social Security System Article 14 provides the following principles:
- (a) Productive forces
- (b) Strict economy & waste
- (c) Accumulation & consumption
- (d) Sound social security system
(a) Productive Forces
The state is to raise labor productivity and improve economic performance to develop productive forces.
(b) Strict Economy & Waste
The state is to practice strict economy and combat waste.
(c) Accumulation & Consumption
The state is to handle accumulation and consumption.
(d) Sound Social Security System
The state is to establish a sound social security system.
(xv) Socialist Market Economy
Article 15 describes that state is to practice a socialist market economy.
(xvi) State-Owned Enterprises
Article 16 narrates that state-owned enterprises have right to operate autonomously within legally prescribed scope.
(xvii) Collective Economic Organizations
Article 17 states that collective economic organizations have the autonomy to independently conduct economic activities. However, such autonomy is subject to relevant law.
(xviii) Foreign Enterprises
Article 18 states the China shall permit foreign enterprises, other economic organizations and individuals to invest in China and to enter into various forms of economic cooperation with Chinese or other economic organizations.
(xix) Education & Language
Article 19 describes following principles regarding education and language:
- (a) Socialist education
- (b) Preschool education & schools
- (c) Universal compulsory primary education
- (d) Secondary, vocational & higher education
- (e) Educational facilities
- (f) Elimination of illiteracy
- (g) Political, cultural, scientific, technical & field specific education
- (h) Collective economic organizations, state enterprises, public institutions & other social actors
- (f) Promotion of Putonghua
(a) Socialist Education
The state is to develop socialist education to raise the scientific and cultural level of the whole nation.
(b) Preschool Education & Schools
The state is to develop preschool education and is to run schools of all types.
(c) Universal Compulsory Primary Education
The state is to provide universal compulsory primary education.
(d) Secondary, Vocational & Higher Education
The state is to develop secondary, vocational and higher education.
(e) Educational Facilities
The state is to develop different types of educational facilities.
(f) Elimination Of Illiteracy
The state is to eliminate illiteracy.
(g) Political, Cultural, Scientific, Technical & Field
Specific Education The state is to provide political, cultural, scientific, technical and field-specific education for workers, peasants, state employees and other working people.
(h) Collective Economic Organizations, State Enterprises, Public Institutions & Other Social Actors
The state is to encourage collective economic organizations, state enterprises, public institutions and other social actors to run education programs of various types.
(f) Promotion Of Putonghua
The state is to promote nationwide use of putonghua.
(xx) Sciences & Scientific & Technological Knowledge
Article 20 provides following principles:
- (a) Natural & social sciences
- (b) Scientific & technical knowledge
- (c) Research achievements & technological discoveries & inventions
(a) Natural & Social Sciences
The state is to develop the natural and social sciences.
(b) Scientific & Technical Knowledge
The state is to promote scientific and technological knowledge.
(c) Research Achievements & Technological Discoveries & Inventions
The state is to commend and award research achievements and technological discoveries and inventions.
(xxi) People’s Health
Article 21 provides following principles for people’s heath:
- (a) Medical & health care
- (b) Modern medicine & traditional Chinese medicine
- (c) Medical & health facilities
- (d) Health activities
- (e) Sports & public sports activities
(a) Medical & Health Care
The state is to develop medical and health care.
(b) Modern Medicine & Traditional Chinese Medicine
The state is to develop modern medicine and traditional Chinese medicine.
(c) Medical & Health Facilities
The state is to encourage and support the running of various medical and health facilities by rural collective economic organizations, state enterprises, public institutions and neighborhood organizations.
(d) Health Activities
The state is to promote public health activities.
(e) Sports & Public Sports Activities
The state is to develop sports and promote public sports activities.
(xxii) Art, Literature, Media, Natural Beauty & Cultural & Historical Heritage
Article 22 provides following principles:
- (a) Art & literature, media etc
- (b) Public cultural activities
- (c) Places of scenic beauty & historical interest
- (d) Cultural relics & historical & cultural heritage
(a) Art & Literature, Media Etc.
The state is to develop art and literature, the press, radio and television broadcasting. publishing, libraries, museums and cultural centers, and other cultural undertakings.
(b) Public Cultural Activities
The state is to promote public cultural activities.
(c) Places Of Scenic Beauty & Historical Interest
The state is to protect places of scenic beauty and historical interest.
(d) Cultural Relics & Historical & Cultural Heritage
The state is to protect valuable cultural relics and other forms of important historical and cultural heritage.
(xxiii) Socialism & Social Modernization
Article 23 narrates that the state is to train all kinds of specialized personnel to serve socialism, expand the ranks of intellectuals and provide them opportunity to play their role in the development of socialist modernization.
(xxiv) Socialist Cultural-Ethical Advancement
Article 24 describes that the state is to promote socialist cultural-ethical advancement. The state is to promote virtues of love for the motherland. for the people, for work, for science and for socialism. (
Article 25 narrates that the state is to promote family planning.
(xxvi) Environment & Pollution
Article 26 provides principles regarding environment and pollution:
- (a) Living environments & ecological environment
- (b) Pollution
- (c) Afforestation & forests
(a) Living Environments & Ecological Environment
The state is to protect and improve living environments and the ecological environment.
The state is to prevent and control pollution.
(e) Afforestation & Forests
The state is to organize and encourage afforestation and protect forests.
Article 27 describes all state organs are to practice the principle of lean and efficient administration, discourage bureaucratic, and are to rely on the support of the people.
(xxviii) Public Order, Treason & Other Criminal
Activities Article 28 narrates that the state is to maintain public order, suppress treason and other criminal activities that jeopardize national security.
(xxix) Armed Forces
Article 29 states that the armed forces of China belong to the people. Their missions are to strengthen national defense, resist aggression, defend the motherland, safeguard the people’s peaceful work, participate in national development, and work hard to serve the people.
(xxx) Administrative Areas Of China
Article 30 describes principles regarding administrative areas of China; the country consists of provinces, autonomous regions and cities directly under central government jurisdiction.
(xxxi) Special Administrative Regions
Article 31 empowers the state to establish special administrative regions.
Article 32 provides following principles regarding foreigners:
- (a) Lawful rights & interests
- (b) Abidance of law
- (c) Asylum
(a) Lawful Rights & Interests
China is to protect the lawful rights and interests of foreigners in its territory.
(b) Abidance Of Law
Foreigners in the territory of China are to abide by the law of China.
China can grant asylum to foreigners on political grounds.
It can be finally stated that a constitution is usually divided and sub-divided into parts. Such division of the constitution is made to explain what it contains. Among its parts, preliminaries is a that part, which describes the basic or general principles of the government. The Chinese Constitution is also no exception to this rule. Its Chapter describes the general principles.