General Principles

Chapter 1 General Principles

Article 1: Socialist State

1. The People's Republic of China is a socialist state under the people's democratic dictatorship led by the working class and based on the alliance of workers and peasants.

2. The socialist system is the basic system of the People's Republic of China. Sabotage of the socialist system by any organization or individual is prohibited.

Article 2: Sovereignty

1. All power in the People's Republic of China belongs to the people.

2. The organs through which the people exercise state power are the National People's Congress and the local people's congresses at different levels.

3. The people administer state affairs and manage economic, cultural and social affairs through various channels and in various ways in accordance with the law.

Article 3 : Democratic Centralism

1. The state organs of the People's Republic of China apply the principle of democratic centralism.

2. The National People's Congress and the local people's congresses at different levels are instituted through democratic election. They are responsible to the people and subject to their supervision.

3. All administrative, judicial and procuratorial organs of the state are created by the people's congresses to which they are responsible and under whose supervision they operate.

4. The division of functions and powers between the central and local state organs is guided by the principle of giving full play to the initiative and enthusiasm of the local authorities under the unified leadership of the central authorities.

Article 4: Nationalities, Minorities, Regions, Languages

1. All nationalities in the People's Republic of China are equal. The state protects the lawful rights and interests of the minority nationalities and upholds and develops the relationship of equality, unity, and mutual assistance among all of China's nationalities. Discrimination against and oppression of any nationality are prohibited; any acts that undermine the unity of the nationalities or instigate their secession are prohibited. The state helps the areas inhabited by minority nationalities speed up their economic and cultural development in accordance with the peculiarities and
needs of the different minority nationalities.

2. Regional autonomy is practiced in areas where people of minority nationalities live in compact communities; in these areas organs of self-government are established for the exercise of the right of autonomy. All the national autonomous areas are inalienable parts of the People's Republic of China.

3. The people of all nationalities have the freedom to use and develop their own spoken and written languages, and to preserve or reform their own ways and customs.

Article 5: Socialist Legal System, Rule of Law

1. The state upholds the uniformity and dignity of the socialist legal system.

2. No law or administrative or local rules and regulations shall contravene the Constitution.

3. All state organs, the armed forces, all political parties and public organizations, and all enterprises and undertakings must abide by the Constitution and the law. All acts in violation of the Constitution and the law must be looked into.

4. No organization or individual may enjoy the privilege of being above the Constitution and the law.

Article 6: Socialist Public Ownership

1. The basis of the socialist economic system of the People's Republic of China is socialist public ownership of the means of production, namely, ownership by the whole people and collective ownership by the working people.

2. The system of socialist public ownership supersedes the system of exploitation of man by man; it applies the principle of "from each according to his ability, to each according to his work."

Article 7: State Economy

The state economy is the sector of socialist economy under ownership by the whole people; it is the leading force in the national economy. The state ensures the consolidation and growth of the state economy.

Article 8: Agriculture

1. Rural people's communes, agricultural producers co-operatives, and other forms of co-operative economy such as producers', supply and marketing, credit, and consumers' co-operatives, belong to the sector of socialist economy under 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 farm plots of cropland and hilly land allotted for private use, engage in household sideline production and raise privately owned livestock.

2. The various forms of co-operative economy in the cities and towns, such as those in the handicraft, industrial, building, transport, commercial, and service trades, all belong to the sector of socialist economy under collective ownership by the working people.

3. The state protects the lawful rights and interests of the urban and rural economic collectives and encourages, guides, and helps the growth of the collective economy.

Article 9: Resources

1. Mineral resources, waters, forests, mountains, grassland, unreclaimed land, beaches, and other natural resources are owned by the state, that is, by the whole people, with the exception of the forests, mountains, grassland, unreclaimed land, and beaches that are owned by collectives in accordance with the law.

2. The state ensures the rational use of natural resources and protects rare animals and plants. The appropriation or damage of natural resources by any organization or individual by whatever means is prohibited.

Article 10: Land Ownership

1. Land in the cities is owned by the state.

2. Land in the rural and suburban areas is owned by collectives except for those portions which belong to the state in accordance with the law; house sites and privately farmed plots of cropland and hilly land are also owned by collectives.

3. The state may in the public interest take over land for its use in accordance with the law.

4. no organization or individual may appropriate, buy, sell or otherwise engage in the transfer of land by unlawful means. The right to the use of land may be transferred according to law.

5. All organizations and individuals who use land must make rational use of the land.

Article 11: Private Sector of the Economy

1. The individual economy of urban and rural working people, operated within the limits prescribed by law, is a complement to the socialist public economy. The state protects the lawful rights and interests of the individual economy.

2. The state guides, helps, and supervises the individual economy by exercising administrative control.

3. The State permits the private sector of the economy to exist and develop within the limits prescribed by law. The private sector of the economy is a complement to the socialist public economy. The State protects the lawful rights and interests of the private sector of the economy, and exercises guidance, supervision and control over the private sector of the economy.

Article 12: Protection of Socialist Public Property

1. Socialist public property is sacred and inviolable.

2. The state protects socialist public property. Appropriation or damage of state or collective property by any organization or individual by whatever means is prohibited.

Article 13: Protection of Private Property

1. The state protects the right of citizens to own lawfully earned income, savings, houses, and other lawful property.

2. The state protects by law the right of citizens to inherit private property.

Article 14: Labor Productivity

1. The state continuously raises labor productivity, improves economic results and develops the productive forces by enhancing the enthusiasm of the working people, raising the level of their technical skill, disseminating advanced science and technology, improving the systems of economic administration and enterprise, operation and management, instituting the socialist system of responsibility in various forms, and improving organization of work.

2. The state practices strict economy and combats waste.

3. The state properly apportions accumulation and consumption, pays attention to the interests of the collective and the individual as well as of the state and, on the basis of expanded production, gradually improves the material and cultural life of the people.

Article 15: Economic Planning

1. The state practices economic planning on the basis of socialist public ownership. It ensures the proportionate and coordinated growth of the national economy through overall balancing by economic planning and the supplementary role of regulation by the market.

2. Disturbance of the orderly functioning of the social economy or disruption of the state economic plan by any organization or individual is prohibited.

Article 16: State Enterprises

1. State enterprises have decision-making power in operation and management within the limits prescribed by law, on condition that they submit to unified leadership by the state, and fulfill all their obligations under the state plan.

2. State enterprises practice democratic management through congresses of workers and staff and in other ways in accordance with the law.

Article 17: Collective Economic Organizations

1. Collective economic organizations have decision-making power in conducting independent economic activities, on condition that they accept the guidance of the state plan and abide by the relevant laws.

2. Collective economic organizations practice democratic management in accordance with the law, with the entire body of their workers electing or removing their managerial personnel and deciding on major issues concerning operation and management.

Article 18: Foreign Enterprises

1. The People's Republic of China permits foreign enterprises, other foreign economic organizations, and individual foreigners to invest in China and to enter into various forms of economic co-operation with Chinese enterprises and other economic organizations in accordance with the law of the People's Republic of China.

2. All foreign enterprises and other foreign economic organizations in China, as well as joint ventures with Chinese and foreign investment located in China, shall abide by the law of the People's Republic of China. Their lawful rights and interests are protected by the law of the People's Republic of China.

Article 19: Education

1. The state develops socialist educational undertakings and works to raise the scientific and cultural level of the whole nation.

2. The state runs schools of various types, makes primary education compulsory and universal, develops secondary, vocational and higher education, and promotes pre-school education.

3. The state develops educational facilities of various types in order to wipe out illiteracy and provide political, cultural, scientific, technical, and professional education for workers, peasants, state functionaries and other working people. It encourages people to become educated through independent study.

4. The slate encourages the collective economic organizations, state enterprises and undertakings, and other social forces to set up educational institutions of various types in accordance with the law.

5. The state promotes the nationwide use of Putonghua.

Article 20: Science

The state promotes the development of the natural and social sciences, disseminates scientific and technical knowledge, and commends and rewards achievements in scientific research as well as technological discoveries and inventions.

Article 21: Health

1. The state develops medical and health services, promotes modern medicine and traditional Chinese medicine, encourages and supports the setting up of various medical and health facilities by the rural economic collectives, state enterprises and undertakings and neighborhood organizations, and promotes public health activities of a mass character, all to protect the people's health.

2. The state develops physical culture and promotes mass sports activities to build up the people's physique.

Article 22: Culture

1. The state promotes the development of literature and art, the press, broadcasting, and television undertakings, publishing and distribution services, libraries, museums, cultural centers and other cultural undertakings, that serve the people and socialism, and sponsors mass cultural activities.

2. The state protects places of scenic and historical interest, valuable cultural monuments, and treasures and other important items of China's historical and cultural heritage.

Article 23: Intellectual Education

The state trains specialized personnel in all fields who serve socialism, increases the number of intellectuals, and creates conditions to give full scope to their role in collective modernization.

Article 24: Socialist Education

1. The state strengthens the building of socialist spiritual civilization through spreading education in high ideals and morality, general education, and education in discipline and the legal system, and through promoting the formulation and observance of rules of conduct and common pledges by different sections of the people in urban and rural areas.

2. The state advocates the civic virtues of love of the motherland, of the people, of labor, of science, and of socialism; it educates the people in patriotism, collectivism, internationalism, and communism and in dialectical and historical materialism; it combats capitalist, feudal, and other decadent ideas.

Article 25: Family Planning

The state promotes family planning so that population growth may fit the plan for economic and social development.

Article 26: Environment

1. The state protects and improves the living environment and the ecological environment, and prevents and remedies pollution and other public hazards.

2. The state organizes and encourages afforestation and the protection of forests.

Article 27: Administration

1. All state organs carry out the principle of simple and efficient administration, the system of responsibility for work, and the system of training functionaries and appraising their work in order constantly to improve quality of work and efficiency and combat bureaucratism.

2. All state organs and functionaries must rely on the support of the people, keep in close touch with them, heed their opinions and suggestions, accept their supervision and work hard to serve them.

Article 28: Public Order

The state maintains public order and suppresses treasonable and other counter-revolutionary activities; it penalizes actions that endanger public security and disrupt the socialist economy and other criminal activities, and punishes and reforms criminals.

Article 29: Armed Forces

1. The armed forces of the People's Republic of China belong to the people. Their tasks are to strengthen national defense, resist aggression, defend the motherland, safeguard the people's peaceful labor, participate in national reconstruction, and work hard to serve the people.

2. The state strengthens the revolutionization, modernization and regularization of the armed forces in order to increase the national defense capability.

Article 30: Administrative Division

1. The administrative division of the People's Republic of China is as follows:
  1. The country is divided into provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government;
  2. Provinces and autonomous regions are divided into autonomous prefectures, counties, autonomous counties, and cities;
  3. Counties and autonomous counties are divided into townships, nationality townships, and towns.
2. Municipalities directly under the Central Government and other large cities are divided into districts and counties. Autonomous prefectures are divided into counties, autonomous counties, and cities.

3. All autonomous regions, autonomous prefectures, and autonomous counties are national autonomous areas.

Article 31: Special Administrative Regions

The state may establish special administrative regions when necessary. The systems to be instituted in special administrative regions shall be prescribed by law enacted by the National People's Congress in the light of the specific conditions.

Article 32: Rights of Foreigners

1. The People's Republic of China protects the lawful rights and interests of foreigners within Chinese territory, and while on Chinese territory foreigners must abide by the law of the People's Republic of China.

2. The People's Republic of China may grant asylum to foreigners who request it for political reasons.