(Excerpt from the Constitution of the Communist Party of China)
Chapter II Organizational System of the Party
Article 10 The Party is an integral whole organized in accordance with its own Program and Constitution and in line with democratic centralism. The basic principles of the Party’s democratic centralism are:
(1) The individual Party member is subordinate to a Party organization, the minority is subordinate to the majority, the lower level organizations is subordinate to the higher level, each organization and all members of the whole Party are subordinate to the Party’s National Congress and the Central Committee.
(2) Leading bodies at various levels of the Party, except for their agencies and for leading Party groups in non-Party organizations, shall all be elected.
(3) The Party’s supreme leading organ is the National Party Congress and the Central Committee it elects. The Party's leading bodies at all levels in the localities are the Party congresses at these levels and the committees they elect. Party committees at all levels are accountable and report work to the congresses at their respective levels.
(4) Party organizations at a higher level shall frequently listen to the opinions of lower organizations and Party members in general and solve their problems without delay. Lower Party organizations shall ask for instructions from and report on their work to higher organizations, and also be responsible for solving problems independently within the scope of their official duties. Lower and higher organizations shall keep each other informed, and support and supervise each other. Party organizations at all levels shall help Party members to have a better understanding of and more participation in inner-Party affairs.
(5) Party committees at all levels carry out a system that combines collective leadership with division of work and personal responsibility. Major issues shall be discussed and decided collectively by the Party committee; and committee members shall earnestly perform their duties in accordance with the collective decisions and division of work.
(6) The Party prohibits personality cult in any form. There must be a guarantee for the activities of Party leaders to be placed under the supervision of the Party and people, while at the same time safeguarding the prestige of all leaders representing the interests of the Party and people.
Article 11 the election of delegates to Party congresses at all levels and of committees must embody the will of the voters. The method of election is by secret ballot. The lists of candidates shall be thoroughly considered and discussed by Party organizations and voters. The method of multi-candidate election may also be the first adopted for a preliminary election to produce a list of candidates, to be followed by a formal election. The voters have the right to receive information about candidates, demand a change of candidates and refuse to elect any of the candidates, but to elect other persons instead. No organization or individual shall use any method to force voters to elect or not to elect a certain person.
If anything in violation of the Party Constitution occurs during the election of local Party congresses at various levels and grass-roots congresses, a Party committee at the next higher level, after investigation and verification, shall make a decision invalidating the election and adopting appropriate measures; the decision then shall be reported to the Party committee at a still higher level for examination and approval, and its implementation formally declared.
Article 12 The Party Central Committee and local committees at various levels, when necessary, call a representative conference to discuss and decide on major issues needing timely solutions. The number of delegates to a representative conference and the method of electing them shall be decided by the committee which convenes the conference.
Article 13 Establishment of a new Party organization or dissolution of an existing one must be decided by a Party organization at the next higher level.
The Party Central Committee and local committees at various levels may set up agencies.
When the Party congresses at various at various levels and grass-roots congresses are not in session, the Party organization at the next higher level, when it deems necessary, may transfer or assign responsible members to the leading Party group at a lower level.
Article 14 When Party leading bodies at various levels make decisions on important issues related the lower organizations, under normal conditions they shall solicit the opinions of the latter. They shall ensure that lower organizations can normally exercise their functions and powers. Unless under special conditions, the leading bodies at a higher level shall not interfere in matters which should be handled by lower organizations.
Article 15 Only the Party Central Committee has the right to decide on major issues of national policy; Party organizations of various departments and localities may put forward their suggestions to the Central Committee, but must not make decisions without authorization or publish their own proposals in public.
Lower Party organizations must firmly carry out the decisions of higher organizations. Lower organizations may request a change in the decision of the higher organization if they think it does not conform to conditions in their locality or department; if the higher organization insists on its original decision, the lower organizations must carry it out and shall not openly publicize differing opinions, but they have the right to report the matter to the organization at a still higher level.
The newspapers, magazines and other mass media of Party organizations at various levels must publicize the Party’s line, principles, policies and resolutions.
Article 16 In discussing and deciding issues, a Party organization must apply the principle of subordinating the minority to the majority. Decisions on important issues shall be put to the vote. Serious consideration shall be given to the different opinions of a few people. If a dispute over an important issue arises and the number of people on both sides is approximately the same, except when in an emergency the opinions of the majority must be carried out, finalizing a decision shall be deferred, further investigation and study made, views exchanged, and the matter put to vote the next time. Under special circumstances, a report of the case under dispute may be referred to the organization at the next higher levels for a ruling.
If an important proposal published by an individual Party member on behalf of a Party organization exceeds the scope of the original decision, the matter shall be submitted the Party organization for discussion and decision, or instructions shall be sought from the Party organization at the next higher level. No Party member, whether of high or low position, can individually decide on a major issue; if, in an emergency, a decision must be made by an individual, the matter must be promptly reported to the Party organization afterwards. No leaders are allowed to arbitrarily make decisions or place themselves above the organization.
Article 17 The Party Central Committee and local and grass-roots organizations must stress Party building, regularly discuss and examine the Party’s work related to publicity, education, organization, discipline inspection, the masses and the united front, and pay attention to studying the prevailing ideological and political situation inside and outside the Party.
Chapter III Central Organizations of the Party
Article 18 The National Party Congress, held once every five years, is convened by the Central Committee. If and when the Central Committee deems it necessary, or over one-third of the provincial-level organization express a demand, the congress may be held ahead of schedule; and if there is no special situation, its convening shall not be postponed.
The number of delegates to the National Party Congress and the method of election are decided by the Central Committee.
Article 19 The functions and powers of the National Party Congress are:
(1) To hear and examine the report of the Central Committee;
(2) To hear and examine the report of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection;
(3) To discuss and decide on major issues of the Party;
(4) To revise the Party Constitution;
(5) To elect the Central Committee; and
(6) To elect the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.
Article 20 The functions and powers and of the National Party Representative Conference are to discuss and decide on major issues; adjust the number of members and elect additional ones to the Central Committee and the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection. In the case of members and alternate members of the Central Committee, the number adjusted and additionally elected shall not exceed one-fifth of their respective totals elected by the National Party Congress.
Article 21 The Party Central Committee is elected for a term of five years. If the National Congress is held ahead of schedule or deferred, its term of office shall be changed accordingly. Members and alternate members of the Central Committee must have a Party standing of at least five years. The number of members and alternate members of the Central Committee is decided by the National Congress. If posts of members of the Central Committee fall vacant, the vacancies shall be filled in proper order by alternate members in accordance with the number of votes they gain.
A plenary session of the Central Committee is held at least once a year by the Political Bureau of the Central Committee.
When the National Congress is not in session, the Central Committee implements the resolutions of the National Congress, leads all the work of the Party, and represents the CPC outside the Party.
Article 22 The Political Bureau of the Party Central Committee, the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee and the general secretary of the Central Committee are elected by the plenary session of the Central Committee. The general secretary of the Central Committee must be elected from among members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee.
When the plenum of the Central Committee is not in session, the Political Bureau of the Central Committee and its Standing Committee exercise the functions and powers of the Central Committee.
The Secretariat of the Central Committee is the administrative body of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee and its Standing Committee. Its members are nominated by the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee and approved by the plenary session of the Central Committee.
The general secretary of he Central Committee is responsible for calling sessions of both the Political Bureau of the Central Committee and the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee, and is in charge of the work of the Secretariat of the Central Committee.
Members of the Central Military Commission of the Party are decided on by the Central committee.
Leading bodies and leaders of the Central Committee elected by each Central Committee shall continue to take charge of the day-to-day work of the Party while the next National Congress is in session, until a new central leading body and central leaders are elected by the next Central Committee.
Article 23 The Party organization of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) acts in accordance with the directives of the Central Committee. The political work organ of the Central Military Commission is the General Political Department of the PLA, which is in charge of Party affairs and Party political work in the army. The organizational system and structure of the Party in the army are specified by the Central Military Commission.
Chapter IV Local Organizations of the Party
Article 24 Party congresses of various provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the central government, cities with districts and autonomous prefectures are held once every five years.
Party congresses of counties (banners), autonomous counties, cities without districts and districts under the jurisdiction of a city are held once every five years.
Local Party congresses at various levels are called by Party committees at the same level. Under special conditions, they may be held ahead of time or postponed with approval from the committee at the next higher level.
The number of delegates of local Party congresses at various levels and the method of election are decided by the Party committees at the same level and reported to the Party committee at the next higher level for approval.
Article 25 The functions and powers of local Party congresses at various levels are:
(1) To hear and examine the report of the committee at the same level;
(2) To hear and examine the report of the discipline inspection commission at the same level;
(3) To discuss major issues within the scope of the region and pass resolutions; and
(4) To elect Party committees and Party discipline inspection commissions at the same level.
Article 26 Party committees of various provinces, autonomous regions. Municipalities directly under the central government, cities with districts and autonomous prefectures are elected for a term of five years. Members and alternate members of these committees must have a Party standing of at least five years.
Party committees of counties (banners), autonomous counties, cities without districts and districts under the jurisdiction of a city are elected for a term of five years. Members and alternate members of these committees must have a Party standing of at least three years.
If local Party congresses at various levels are held ahead of time or postponed, the term of office of the committees they elected shall be changed accordingly.
The number of members and alternate members of the local Party committees at various levels shall be decided respectively by the committee at the next higher level. Vacancies of the posts for members of local Party committees at various levels shall be filled in proper order by alternate members in accordance with the number of votes gained.
Plenary sessions of local Party committees at various levels shall be held at least twice a year.
When congresses are not in session, local Party committees at various levels carry out directions of the Party organizations at the next higher level and the resolutions of Party congresses at the same level, lead the work of the locality, and report work regularly to the higher Party committee.
Article 27 The plenary sessions of local Party committees at various levels elect their standing committees, secretaries and deputy secretaries, and report the results to the Party committee at the next higher level for approval. The standing committees of local Party committees at various levels exercise the functions and powers of the committees when the plenums of the committees are not in session; they continue to be in charge of day-to-day work while the next congress is in session, until the new standing committees are elected.
Article 28 Regional Party committees and organizations equivalent to regional committees are Party agencies of provinces and autonomous regions within the scope of several counties, autonomous counties and cities. Authorized by provincial and autonomous regional committees, they lead the work of the areas concerned.
Chapter V Grass-Roots Organizations of the Party
Article 29 A grass-roots Party organization shall be set up in enterprises, rural areas, organizations, schools, scientific research institutes, neighborhoods, PLA companies, and other basic units in which there are three or more full Party members.
Grass-roots Party organizations respectively set up grass-roots Party committees, general Party branch committees and Party branch committees in accordance with the requirements of the work and the number of Party members, after approval by the next higher level Party organization. Grass-roots Party committees are elected by meetings or congresses of Party members. General Party branch committees and Party branch committees are elected by meetings of Party members.
Article 30 The grass-roots Party committees are elected for a term of three or four years. The general Party branch committees and the Party branch committees are elected for a term of two or three years. The names of the secretaries and deputy secretaries elected by grass-roots Party committees, general Party branch committees and Party branch committees shall be submitted to the Party organization at the next higher level for approval.
Article 31 The grass-roots Party organizations are combat bastions of the Party among grass-roots social organizations and are the foundation of all the Party’s work and combat effectiveness. Their basic tasks are:
(1) To publicize and implement the Party’s line, principles and polices, the resolutions of the Party Central Committee, the organization at a higher level and the Party organization itself, give full play to the vanguard and exemplary role of Party members, unite with and organize cadres and masses inside and outside the Party and make every effort to fulfill the tasks undertaken by the unit itself;
(2) To organize Party members to conscientiously study Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory, and the Party’s line, principles, policies and resolutions, study the basic knowledge of the Party, and pursue studies of science, culture and professional fields;
(3) To educate, administer and supervise Party members, improve their qualities, heighten their Party spirit, persist in strict observance of Party organizational activities, carry out criticism and self-criticism, uphold and implement Party discipline, supervise Party members to ensure that they earnestly perform their duties and protect Party members’ rights against infringement;
(4) To maintain close ties with the masses, keep abreast of the masses’ criticisms and opinions about Party members and the Party’s work, safeguard the masses’ legitimate rights and interests, and do a good job of ideological and political work with the masses;
(5) To give full play to the initiative and creativity of Party members and the masses, find, cultivate and recommend outstanding people from among them, encourage and support them to contribute their wisdom and ability to the reform and opening and the socialist modernization drive;
(6) To educate and cultivate activists applying to join the Party, do a good job of the regular work of admitting applicants into the Party, and pay attention to accepting outstanding persons into the Party from among workers, farmers and intellectuals engaging in production and work on the frontline;
(7) To supervise Party cadres and any other personnel to ensure that they strictly abide by state laws and administrative disciplines, strictly observe the state’s financial and economic regulations and personnel system, and refrain from encroaching on the interests of the state, the collectives and the masses; and
(8) To educate Party members and the masses to consciously resist unhealthy tendencies and wage resolute struggle against all kinds of lawless and criminal activities.
Article 32 The Party committees in neighborhoods, townships and towns and village Party branches lead the work of their own localities, and support and ensure that administrative organizations, economic organizations and the mass self-governing organizations fully exercise their functions and powers.
Grass-roots Party organizations in enterprises owned by the whole people give play to their role as a political core and carry out work centered around production and management. They shall work to guarantee and supervise the implementation of the Party and state principles and policies in their own enterprises; support factory directors (managers) in exercising their functions and powers according to law; uphold and perfect the factory director (manager) responsibility system; wholeheartedly rely on the employees in general; support workers’ congresses in carrying out their work; participate in decision-making concerning major issues of the enterprise; strengthen self-construction of Party organizations; and exercise leadership over ideological and political work, trade unions; and Communist Youth League and other mass organizations.
Grass-roots Party organizations in institutions which follow the administrative leader responsibility system give play to their roles as a political core. Grass-roots Party organizations in institutions which follow the administrative leader responsibility system under the leadership of the Party committee conduct discussions and make decisions on major issues, and at the same time ensure that administrative leaders fully exercise their own functions and powers.
Grass-roots Party organizations in Party and state organs at various levels assist administrative responsible persons in fulfilling their tasks and improving work, and conduct supervision over all Party members including persons exercising administrative responsibilities; they do not lead the professional work of their own units.