(Partially revised by the 15th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and adopted on September 18, 1997)
The Communist Party of China (CPC) is the vanguard of the Chinese working class, the faithful representative of the interests of the Chinese people of all nationalities and the core of leadership over the socialist cause of China. Its ultimate goal is to realize the communist social system.
The CPC takes Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory as its guide to action.
Marxism-Leninism elucidates the general laws governing the historical development of human society and analyzes the inherent contradictions in capitalism which the system itself cannot solve, pointing out that socialist society is bound to replace capitalist society and develop finally into communist society. History over the past century and more since the publication of the Manifesto of the Communist Party proves that the theory of scientific socialism is correct, and that socialism is imbued with great vitality. The nature of socialism is to liberate and develop productive forces, eliminate exploitation, do away with polarization and ultimately achieve common prosperity. Development and perfection of the socialist system is a lengthy historical process. Socialism in its process of development may undergo twists and turns and reversals, but nevertheless, the inevitable replacement of capitalism by socialism is an irreversible general trend in the historical development of society. Beyond any doubt, victory will be won gradually by pursuing a path freely chosen by the peoples of various countries and suited to the characteristics of their own countries.
The Chinese Communists, represented mainly by Comrade Mao Zedong, have created Mao Zedong Thought by combining the basic theory of Marxism-Leninism with the concrete practice of the Chinese revolution. Mao Zedong Thought, which represents the application and development of Marxism-Leninism in China, has been proved in practice to be the correct theoretical principle for and summary of experiences in China's revolution and construction, and is the crystallization of the collective wisdom of the CPC.
The people of all nationalities of the country led by the CPC, under the guidance of Mao Zedong Thought, have won victory in the New-Democratic Revolution after waging protracted revolutionary struggles against imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism, and founded the People's Republic of China under the people's democratic dictatorship; after the establishment of New China, they successfully carried out socialist transformation, effected the transition from New Democracy to socialism, established the socialist system and developed socialist economy, politics and culture.
Since the Third Plenum of the 11th CPC Central Committee, the Chinese Communists, represented mainly by Comrade Deng Xiaoping, have summed up both the positive and negative experiences gained since the founding of New China, implemented the principle of emancipating the mind and seeking truth from facts, shifted the focus of the Party's work to economic development, introduced reform and opening, ushered in a new period for the development of the socialist cause, gradually formed the line, principles and policies on building socialism with Chinese characteristics, expounded the basic issues concerning building, consolidating and developing socialism in China, and created Deng Xiaoping Theory. Deng Xiaoping Theory is a product of the integration of the basic theory of Marxism-Leninism with the practice of modern China and the characteristics of the present era, the inheritance and development of Mao Zedong Thought under new historical conditions, a new stage of the development of Marxism in China, Marxism of modern China, and the crystallization of the collective wisdom of the CPC, guiding the cause of China's socialist modernization steadily forward.
China is now in the primary stage of socialism. This is the historical stage for mounting a socialist modernization drive in an economically and culturally backward China -- a stage that cannot be skipped over and that will require a period of more than 100 years. China's socialist construction must be based on its national situation and follow the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics. At the present stage, the principal contradiction in Chinese society is one between the growing material and cultural needs of the people and backward social production. Owing to domestic factors and international influences, class struggle will continue to exist for a long time within a definite scope, and may even intensify under certain conditions, but it is no longer the principal contradiction. The fundamental tasks for China's socialist construction are to further liberate and develop productive forces and gradually bring about socialist modernization and, to this end, reform aspects and links in the relations of production and the superstructure which are unsuited to the development of productive forces. Efforts must be made to uphold the system of ownership with public ownership of the means of production as the main form and coexistence of many different kinds of economic sectors, carry out the distribution system based on the principle of "to each according to his work" as the main form and other distribution forms as complementary. Some regions and some people are encouraged to become affluent before others, and efforts made to gradually eliminate poverty and achieve common prosperity, and continually satisfy people's growing material and cultural needs on the basis of the development of production and the growth of social wealth. The general starting point and criterion for all work must be based on its advantageousness to developing socialist society's productive forces, to enhancing the socialist country's national strength, and to raising the people's living standards. The strategic goals for China's economic development are to quadruple the 1980 GNP by the end of this century and to reach the level of a moderately developed country in terms of per-capita GNP by the middle of the next century.
The CPC's basic line for the primary stage of socialism is to unite with and lead the people of all nationalities of the country in the endeavor to build China into a prosperous, strong, democratic and highly civilized modern socialist state by taking economic development as the central task, adhering to the four cardinal principles, persisting in reform and opening, developing the spirit of self-reliance and pioneering enterprises with painstaking efforts.
In leading the cause of socialism, the CPC must persist in taking economic development as the central task, which various other fields of work shall be subordinated to and serve; seize opportunities, speed up development, and give full play to the role of science and technology as primary productive forces; and rely on scientific and technological progress, improve laborers' competence, ensure high efficiency, good quality and fast speed, and work hard to expedite economic development.
Adhering to the four cardinal principles -- the socialist road, people's democratic dictatorship, the CPC leadership, and Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought -- is the foundation for building up the country. Throughout the entire process of the socialist modernization drive, the four cardinal principles must be adhered to, and bourgeois liberalization opposed.
The only way to liberate and develop productive forces is through reform and opening. It is imperative to fundamentally reform the economic structure that hampers development of the productive forces and establish a socialist market economic structure; and carry out corresponding political restructuring and reform in other fields. Opening includes comprehensive opening both externally and internally. Foreign economic and technological exchange and cooperation shall be promoted to make more and better use of external funds, resources and technologies, and to absorb and draw on all achievements of civilization created by human society, including all advanced methods of management and administrative means that reflect modern socialized production laws from developed Western countries. In reform and opening, efforts shall be made to undertake bold explorations, courageously engage in development, and blaze new trails in the course of practice.
While leading the people in material construction, the CPC tries hard to promote socialist ethical and ideological progress. Development of socialist cultural and ideological progress provides a strong ideological motive force and intelligent support for economic construction, reform and opening, and creates a favorable social environment. Efforts shall be made to vigorously develop education, science and cultural pursuits, respect knowledge and talented people, improve the ideological, moral, scientific and cultural fiber of the whole nation, carry on our fine national traditional culture, and enrich and expand socialist culture. The CPC shall educate its members and the masses of the people in the Party's basic line, patriotism, collectivism and socialist ideology, and enhance the national spirit of self-respect, self-confidence and self-improvement. Party members shall also be educated in the lofty ideals of communism to resist the corrosive influence of decadent capitalist and feudal ideology and wipe out all sorts of social evils. Efforts shall be made to cultivate the Chinese people into citizens with lofty ideals, moral integrity, a good education and a sense of discipline.
The CPC leads the people in the endeavor to develop socialist democracy, perfect the socialist legal system and consolidate the people's democratic dictatorship. The Party upholds the system of the People's Congresses and the system of multi-party cooperation and political consultation led by the CPC. It actively supports the people to be masters of their own affairs and earnestly guarantees their rights to administer state and social affairs and manage economic and cultural undertakings. It provides wide opportunities for airing views by establishing and perfecting the systems and procedures for democratic decisions and democratic supervision, and works to strengthen the state's legislative work and law enforcement, so as to gradually enable various aspects of the country's work to set out on the road to institutionalization. Efforts shall be made to strengthen comprehensive control of public order and maintain long-term social stability; crack down on criminal activities and offenders jeopardizing state security and interests or harming social stability and economic development; and strictly differentiate and correctly handle the two types of contradictions -- those between the enemy and ourselves and those among the people.
The CPC upholds its leadership over the People's Liberation Army (PLA) and other people's armed forces, strengthens construction of the PLA and gives full play to its role in consolidating national defense, defending the motherland and participating in tile drive for socialist modernization.
The CPC safeguards and develops relations of equality, unity and mutual assistance among the country's nationalities, steadily implements and keeps perfecting the system of regional national autonomy, actively cultivates and selects minority nationality cadres, and helps various minority nationality regions develop the economy and culture in their own regions to attain common prosperity and all-round progress.
The CPC unites with workers, farmers and intellectuals of all nationalities of the country; unites with various democratic parties, democrats without party affiliation and patriotic forces of various nationalities: further develops and expands the broadest patriotic united front composed of all socialist laborers, patriots supporting socialism and patriots supporting unification of the motherland; and constantly strengthens unity among the people throughout the country, including compatriots from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao and overseas Chinese. The great cause of the reunification of the motherland shall be accomplished in accordance with the principle of "one country, two systems".
The CPC advocates vigorous development of foreign relations, and works hard to cultivate a favorable international environment for China's reform, opening and modernization. In international affairs, it persists in a foreign policy of independence and peace, safeguards China's independence and sovereignty, opposes hegemonism and power politics, defends world peace and promotes human progress. On the basis of the Five Principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence, it develops China's relations with other countries around the world. It continuously develops China's friendly and good-neighborly relations with surrounding countries, and strengthens unity and cooperation with other developing countries. In line with the principles of independence, complete equality, mutual respect and non-interference in each other's internal affairs, it develops its relations with communist parties and other political parties in various countries.
In leading the people of all nationalities of the country to achieve the magnificent goal of socialist modernization, the CPC must strengthen Party building closely around its basic line, persist in strictly administering the Party, carry on its fine tradition and work style and raise its combat effectiveness, so as to become a strong core for leading the people of the country in their steady advance along the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Party building must firmly meet the following four basic requirements:
First, uphold the Party's basic line. The whole Party shall use the theory of building socialism with Chinese characteristics and the Party's basic line to unify thinking and action, and unswervingly carry this on over a long period of time. It must integrate the reform and opening program with the four cardinal principles, comprehensively implement the Party's basic line, oppose all "Left" and Right erroneous tendencies and maintain vigilance against a Right, but mainly guard against "Left", deviation. To strengthen the building of leading bodies at various levels, cadres who have made exceptional achievements in reform and opening and the socialist modernization drive, and who are trusted by the masses shall be selected and appointed. Tens of millions of successors to the cause of socialism shall be cultivated, thereby organizationally guaranteeing implementation of the Party's basic line.
Second, adhere to the principle of emancipating the mind and seeking truth from facts. The Party's ideological line is proceeding from reality in work, linking theory with practice, seeking truth from facts, and testing and developing truth in practice. Following this ideological line, the whole Party shall engage in active explorations, make bold experiments, carry out work creatively, constantly study new situations, sum up fresh experiences, solve new problems, and enrich and develop Marxism in practice.
Third, persist in serving the people wholeheartedly. Outside of the interests of the working class and the masses in general, the Party does not seek any special interests of its own. At all times, the Party puts the interests of the masses to the fore, shares weal and woe with them and maintains the closest relations with them. No Party member is allowed to divorce himself or herself from the masses and stand above them. In its work, the Party follows the mass line. Everything is done for the masses and by relying on them. Through what is meant by "from the masses, to the masses", the Party's correct proposals are transformed into the conscious action of the masses. The issues regarding the Party's style of work and ties with the masses are issues impinging on the very life and death of the Party. The Party unremittingly combats corruption, and strengthens the building up of the Party's style of work and of a clean and honest administration.
Fourth, uphold democratic centralism. Democratic centralism means the integration of centralism on the basis of democracy and democracy under centralized guidance. It is both the fundamental organizational principle of the Party and the application of the mass line in Party life. Inner-Party democracy must be developed to give play to the initiative and creativeness of Party organizations at all levels and Party members in general. Correct centralism must be exercised to ensure that the Party acts in unison, and that Party decisions are quickly and effectively implemented. Sense of organization and discipline must be strengthened to ensure that all Party members are equal under Party discipline. In its political life, the Party correctly carries out criticism and self-criticism, wages ideological struggle on questions of principle, upholds truth and corrects mistakes, striving to create a kind of vigorous and lively political situation in which there are both centralism and democracy, both discipline and freedom, and both unity of will and personal ease of mind.
Party leadership refers mainly to political, ideological and organizational leadership. The Party shall adapt to the requirements of reform and opening and the socialist modernization drive, and strengthen and improve its leadership. It must concentrate its efforts on leading economic construction, organizing and coordinating energies from all sides to work together with one heart to accomplish the task of economic construction. The Party must make democratic and scientific decisions, formulate and implement the correct line, principles and policies, do organizational, publicity and educational work well and give play to the vanguard and exemplary role of all Party members. The Party must launch activities within the scope of the PRC Constitution and laws. The Party must ensure that the country's legislative, judicial and administrative organs, economic and cultural establishments and people's organizations work in an active, independent, responsible and coordinated way. The Party must strengthen its leadership over the trade unions, the Communist Youth League, the women's federations and other mass organizations, and give full play to their roles. The Party must adapt to the development of the situation and changes in conditions, constantly improve its style and methods of leadership and raise its level of leadership. Party members must cooperate closely with non-Party people and work together with them in building socialism with Chinese characteristics.
Chapter I Party Members
Article 1 Chinese workers, farmers, soldiers, intellectuals and other revolutionaries at 18 full years of age, who accept the Party Program and Party Constitution, are willing to participate in one Party organization and actively work in it, carry out Party resolutions and pay regular Party dues, may apply for membership in the CPC.
Article 2 Party members are fighters of the Chinese working-class vanguard with communist consciousness.
Party members must serve the people wholeheartedly, not balk at any personal sacrifice and wage a lifelong struggle for the realization of communism.
A Party member is always an ordinary person among the laboring people. Over and above the interests of a personal nature and authority accruing to assigned work within the scope stipulated by law and policy, no Party member is allowed to seek any personal gains or privileges.
Article 3 Party members must perform the following duties:
(1) Conscientiously study Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory; study the Party's lines, principles, policies and resolutions; study the basic knowledge of the Party; and study scientific, cultural and professional knowledge, and work hard to enhance skills needed for serving the people.
(2) Implement the Party's basic line and various principles and policies; take the lead to participate in reform and opening and the socialist modernization drive; lead the masses to work hard to bring about economic development and social progress; and play an exemplary, vanguard role in production, work, study and social life.
(3) Persistently place the interests of the Party and people above everything else, subordinate personal interests to the interests of the Party and people, be the first to bear hardships and the last to enjoy comforts, work selflessly for the public interest, and make numerous contributions.
(4) Consciously abide by Party discipline and state laws, strictly guard Party and state secrets, carry out Party decisions, accept work assigned by the organization, and actively fulfill the tasks set by the Party.
(5) Safeguard the Party's unity and indivisibility, be honest and faithful to the Party, match words with deeds, resolutely oppose all factional organizations and small-group activities, and oppose double-faced behavior marked by compliance in public but opposition in private, and all conspiracies and plots.
(6) Earnestly carry out criticism and self-criticism, bravely expose and correct shortcomings and mistakes in work, and resolutely struggle against negative and corrupt behaviour.
(7) Maintain close ties with the masses, publicize the Party's propositions among the masses, consult with the masses when matters arise, make timely reports to the Party concerning the opinions and demands of the masses, and safeguard their legitimate interests.
(8) Carry forward socialist new customs, advocate communist morality, and, to protect the interests of the country and people, come forward boldly at all times of difficulty and danger, struggle heroically and fear no sacrifice.
Article 4 Party members enjoy the following rights:
(1) Attend relevant Party conferences, read relevant Party documents, and receive the Party's education and training.
(2) Participate in the discussion of questions concerning the Party's policies at Party conferences and in Party newspapers and magazines.
(3) Put forward suggestions and proposals regarding the Party's work.
(4) Criticize any Party organization and any Party member on a well-founded basis at Party meetings, expose and report facts to the Party in a responsible manner concerning law infractions and breaches of discipline by any Party organization and any Party member, call for disciplinary measures against Party members for violating laws and disciplines and demand the recall or replacement of incompetent cadres.
(5) Exercise the right to vote, to elect and to be elected.
(6) When the Party organization discusses a decision to discipline or appraise a Party member, the person concerned has the right to participate and argue his or her case, while other Party members can testify on his or her behalf and speak in the defense.
(7) When a Party member has a difference of opinion concerning a Party resolution or policy, he or she may declare reservations on the premise of resolute implementation, and may forward his or her opinion to a higher organization up to the Central Committee.
(8) Make a request, appeal or accusation to a higher Party organization up to the Central Committee, and demand that the organization concerned give a responsible reply.
No Party organization of any level up to the Central Committee has the right to deprive a Party member of the above-mentioned rights.
Article 5 Party members must be admitted through a Party branch according to the principle of admitting members individually only, without exception.
An applicant must fill in the form for Party membership and have two full Party members as sponsors. The applicant can become a full Party member only when his or her application has been passed by the Party branch meeting and approved by the Party organization at the next higher level, and only after assessment over a probationary period.
The sponsors shall make a conscientious effort to know the thinking, character, experience and behavior at work of the applicant, explain the Party Program and Party Constitution to him or her, tell him or her what requirements, duties and rights Party members have, and present a responsible report to the Party organization.
The Party branch committee shall solicit opinions about the applicant from appropriate masses inside and outside the Party, conduct a strict examination and submit the application to the Party branch meeting only after the applicant is considered to be qualified.
Before approving admission of the applicant, the Party organization at the next higher level shall have someone talk with him or her for further understanding, and help him or her gain a better understanding of the Party.
Under special circumstances, the Party Central Committee, and provincial, autonomous regional and municipal Party committees can directly accept Party members.
Article 6 On being admitted, probationary Party members must take an oath facing the Party flag. The oath reads as follows: I volunteer to join the CPC, pledge to support the Party Program, abide by the Party Constitution, perform the duties of a Party member, carry out the Party decisions, strictly observe Party discipline, guard Party secrets, be loyal to the Party, work hard and fight all my life for the realization of communism, stand ready at all times to sacrifice everything for the Party and the people, and never betray the Party.
Article 7 The probationary period of a probationary Party member extends one year. A Party organization shall conscientiously educate and observe a probationary Party member.
A probationary Party member shall perform the same duties as those of a full Party member. With the exception of the right to vote, to elect and to be elected, a probationary Party member has all the other rights same as those of a full Party member.
When the period of probation is over, the Party branch shall discuss whether he or she can become a full Party member or not. Those who conscientiously fulfill the duties of a Party member and qualify for membership shall become full Party members on schedule; for those needing further assessment and education, the probationary period may be extended, but shall not exceed one year; and those who fail to fulfill the duties of a Party member and fail to qualify as Party members shall be disqualified as probationary Party members. Decisions to admit probationary Party members to full Party membership, or extend their probationary periods, or disqualify them as probationary Party members shall all be discussed and passed by a Party branch meeting and approved by the Party organization at the next higher level.
The probationary period of a probationary Party member is counted from the day the Party branch meeting passes a decision to accept him or her as a probationary Party member. The standing of a Party member is counted from the day he or she becomes a full Party member following the expiration of his or her probationary period.
Article 8 Each Party member, regardless of whether his or her post is high or low, must be entered into a Party branch, group or other specific organization, and must participate in the Party's regular organizational activities and accept supervision from the masses inside and outside the Party. Leading Party cadres must also participate in democratic meetings of Party committees or leading Party groups. There shall be no special Party members who do not participate in the Party's regular organizational activities or who refuse to accept supervision from the masses inside and outside the Party.
Article 9 Party members are free to withdraw from the Party. When a Party member asks to withdraw from the Party, following discussion at a general meeting of the Party branch concerned, his or her name must be declared struck from the rolls, and the matter reported to the next higher level Party organization for the record.
When a Party member lacks revolutionary will, neglects to perform the duties of a Party member and fails to meet the requirements for a Party member, the Party branch shall educate him or her and require that he or she correct his or her shortcomings within a time limit; if after education he or she still shows no change, the Party branch shall persuade him or her to withdraw from the Party. The matter of persuading a Party member to withdraw shall be discussed and decided by a general meeting of the Party branch concerned and reported to the Party organization at the next higher level for approval. If the Party member persists in refusing to withdraw from the Party after being advised, the matter shall be referred to the Party branch for discussion at a general meeting, a decision taken to have his or her name struck from the rolls, and a report made to the Party organization at the next higher level for approval.
A Party member who neglects to participate in the Party's organizational activities, pay Party dues, or do the work assigned by the Party for six consecutive months without sound reasons shall be regarded as quitting the Party on his own. The Party branch meeting shall decide to expel such a member and report the matter to the Party organization at a higher level for approval.
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.
Chapter VI Party Cadres
Article 33 Party cadres are the backbone of the Party cause and the public servants of the people. The Party selects cadres on the principle of stressing their political integrity and ability, makes a point of appointing people on merit and opposes using favoritism, and tries hard to cultivate ranks of cadres who are more revolutionary, younger in average age, better educated and more professionally competent.
The Party attaches great importance to the education, training, selecting and assessing of cadres, particularly the cultivating and selecting of outstanding young cadres. It actively seeks to promote reform of the cadre system.
The Party pays attention to cultivating and selecting female cadres and minority nationality cadres.
Article 34 Leading Party cadres at various levels must serve as examples in carrying out the various duties set in Article 3 of the Constitution for Party members and must fulfill the following basic requirements:
(1) Reach a level of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory necessary for performing their responsibilities, and work hard to adopt the Marxist stand, viewpoint and method in analyzing and solving practical problems.
(2) Firmly carry out the Party's basic line and various principles and policies, determine to carry out reform and opening, dedicate their all to the cause of modernization, in socialist construction build an enterprise through arduous effort, advance in a pioneering spirit, blaze new trails, and achieve practical results.
(3) Persist in seeking truth from facts, conscientiously carry out investigation and study, succeed in integrating the Party's principles and policies with the actual conditions of their own regions and departments, tell the truth, do practical things and seek practical results, and oppose formalism.
(4) Be strongly dedicated to the revolutionary cause and have a strong political sense of responsibility, and have the rich practical experience, good organizational ability, adequate educational level and professional knowledge required for the work of leadership.
(5) Correctly exercise the power entrusted by the people, be honest in performing official duties, diligently do administrative work for the people, set an example for others, work hard and live plainly, maintain close ties with the masses, adhere to the Party's mass line, consciously accept criticism and supervision from the Party and the masses, oppose bureaucratism, and oppose unhealthy tendencies such as misuse of power and seeking selfish ends.
(6) Uphold and safeguard the Party's democratic centralism, have a democratic style of work and a view of the overall situation, and be good at uniting with other comrades, as well as working together with comrades holding opinions different from their own.
Article 35 Cadres who are Party members shall be good at working together with non-Party cadres, respect them, and modestly learn from their strong points.
Party organizations at various levels shall be experienced in discovering and recommending talented and knowledgeable non-Party cadres to undertake leading work, and ensure that they have the functions and powers to give full play to their role.
Article 36 Leading Party cadres at all levels, whether elected democratically or appointed by leading bodies, do not hold lifelong posts and may be transferred or relieved of their duties.
Cadres of advanced age or in poor health, for whom it is not suitable to continue work, shall retire in accordance with state regulations.
Chapter VII Party Discipline
Article 37 Party discipline is the rule of conduct that Party organizations at various levels and all Party members must observe, and the guarantee safeguarding the Party's solidarity and unity and for fulfillment of the Party's tasks. Party organizations must strictly implement and uphold Party discipline, and Party members must consciously accept the restraint of Party discipline.
Article 38 When Party members violate Party discipline, Party organizations shall, in the spirit of learning from past mistakes to avoid future ones, and of curing the sickness to save the patient, criticize and educate and even take disciplinary measures against them in accordance with the nature of the infraction and the seriousness of the case.
Party members who seriously violate the criminal law must be expelled from the Party.
The use of any means that violate the Party Constitution or state laws to deal with Party members is strictly prohibited within the Party; and the practice of taking revenge and making false charges against somebody is also strictly prohibited. Organizations and individuals violating these regulations are subject to Party disciplinary and state legal action.
Article 39 There are five kinds of Party disciplinary measures: warning, serious warning, dismissal from inner-Party posts, placement on probation within the Party, and expulsion from the Party.
The term of placement on probation within the Party shall not exceed two years. Any Party member who is placed on probation within the Party shall have no right to vote, to elect and to be elected. A Party member who has truly corrected his or her mistakes after being placed on probation within the Party shall have his or her rights as a Party member restored; and the one who persists in error and refuses to mend his or her ways shall be expelled from the Party.
Expulsion from the Party is the severest inner-Party penalty. While deciding on or approving expulsion of a member from the Party, Party organizations at various levels shall adopt a very prudent attitude by fully examining related materials and opinions.
Article 40 The taking of disciplinary measures against a Party member must be discussed and decided by a Party branch meeting and reported to the grass-roots Party committee for approval; if the problems involved are relatively serious or complicated, or if the disciplinary measure of expelling a member from the Party is to be taken, the circumstances shall be differentiated and reported to the Party discipline inspection commission either at or above the county level for examination and approval. Under special circumstances, Party committees and discipline inspection commissions at or above the county level have the right to directly decide on taking disciplinary measures against a Party member.
The punishment of dismissal from inner-Party posts, placement on probation within the Party or expulsion from the Party meted out to members and alternate members of the Party Central Committee and local committees at various levels must be decided by at least a two-thirds majority at the plenary session of the committee to which the person concerned belongs. Under special circumstances, a decision on handling the case can first be made by the Political Bureau of the Central Committee and the standing committees of local Party committees at various levels, and subsequently be confirmed by the plenary session of the Party committee. The above-mentioned punishment to members and alternate members of local Party committees at various levels must be approved by the Party committee at the next higher level.
With regard to members and alternate members of the Central Committee who seriously violate the criminal law, a decision shall be made by the Political Bureau of the Central Committee to expel them from the Party; and for members and alternate members of local committees at various levels who seriously violate the criminal law, a decision shall be made by the standing committee of the Party committee at the same level to expel them from the Party.
Article 41 When making a decision to mete out punishment to a Party member, a Party organization shall investigate the facts in a realistic manner. The factual materials taken as a basis for the decision and punishment and the results must be brought before the person involved; his or her explanations and arguments shall be heard. If the person concerned refuses to accept the decision and punishment, he or she may make an appeal. The Party organization concerned must be responsible for handling the appeal itself or transmitting it without delay and not withholding it. It shall criticize and educate anyone who sticks to his or her erroneous opinions and makes unreasonable demands.
Article 42 If a Party organization neglects its duty in safeguarding Party discipline, it must be subject to sanctions.
With regard to a Party organization which seriously violates Party discipline and itself cannot correct the mistake, the Party committee at the next higher level, after investigation and verification, shall, in accordance with the seriousness of the case, make a decision either to reorganize or dissolve it, and report the decision to the Party committee at a still higher level to examine and approve, and then formally put it into effect.
Chapter VIII Discipline Inspection Organizations Of the Party
Article 43 The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection works under the leadership of the Party Central Committee. The local Party commissions for discipline inspection at various levels and the grass-roots Party commissions for discipline inspection work under the dual leadership of the Party committee at the same level and Party commission for discipline inspection at the next higher level.
The term of each Party commission for discipline inspection is the same as that of the Party committee at the same level.
The plenary session of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection elects its standing committee, secretary and deputy secretaries and reports this to the Party Central Committee for approval. The plenary sessions of local Party commissions for discipline inspection at various levels elect the standing committee and secretary and deputy secretaries, and the results are passed by the Party committee at the same level and reported to the Party committee at the next higher level for approval. Whether a discipline inspection commission or discipline inspection members for a grass-roots Party committee shall be established is to be decided by a Party organization at the next higher level in light of specific conditions. A general Party branch committee and a Party branch committee shall include discipline inspection members.
The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection may, if needed, accredit a discipline inspection group or discipline inspectors to central Party and state organs. Leaders of the discipline inspection group or discipline inspectors may attend, as non-voting members, related conferences organized by Party leaders of the organ concerned. Their work must be supported by the Party leaders and organizations of the organ concerned.
Article 44 The main tasks of the Party commissions for discipline inspection at various levels are: safeguarding the Party Constitution and other inner-Party regulations, assisting the Party committee in strengthening construction of the Party style of work, and inspecting implementation of the Party's line, principles, policies and resolutions.
Discipline inspection commissions at various levels shall frequently educate Party members on the need to observe discipline, and make decisions on safeguarding Party discipline; examine and handle relatively important or complicated cases regarding violations of the Party Constitution and other inner-Party regulations by Party organizations and Party members, decide on or rescind penalties of Party members involved in these cases; and handle accusations and appeals of Party members.
Discipline inspection commissions at various levels shall report to the Party committee at the same level about the handling of problems related to especially important or complex cases and the results. Local Party discipline inspection commissions at various levels and grass-roots discipline inspection commissions shall simultaneously report to the discipline inspection commission at the next higher level.
When discipline inspection commissions at various levels discover that members of a Party committee at the same level perpetrate acts in violation of Party discipline, they can first conduct preliminary verification; if it is necessary to place the case on file for further examination, they must report this to the Party committee at the same level for approval. If the case involves standing committee members, the case must be reported to the Party committee at the same level and then to the discipline inspection commission at the next higher level for approval.
Article 45 A discipline inspection commission at a higher level has the right to check on the work of a discipline inspection commission at a lower level and has the right to approve or change decisions regarding cases made by the discipline inspection commission at a lower level. If a decision made by a lower commission is to be changed and the change has already been approved by the Party committee at the same level, the change must be approved by the Party committee at the next higher level.
If local Party discipline inspection commissions at various levels and grass-roots discipline inspection commissions have different opinions about the decision made in handling a case by the Party committee at the same level, they may request the discipline inspection commission at the next higher level to review the case; and if they discover a case involving violation of Party discipline by the Party committee at the same level or its members, but the Party committee at the same level does not solve or does not correctly solve the case, at this time, they have the right to appeal to the discipline inspection commission at a higher level to assist in solving the case.
Chapter IX Leading Party Group
Article 46 A leading Party group can be established in the leading bodies of central and local state organs, people's organizations, economic and cultural organizations and other non-Party organizations. The tasks for the leading Party group are to take as its main responsibility the realization of the Party's line, principles and policies; discuss and decide on major issues of its own department; unite with non-Party cadres and masses in fulfilling the tasks assigned by the Party and the state; and direct the work of the Party organizations of the organ and the work units directly under it.
Article 47 Members of a leading Party group are appointed by the Party committee that approves establishment of the leading Party group. The leading Party group consists of a secretary and deputy secretaries.
The leading Party group must follow the leadership of the Party committee which approves its establishment.
Article 48 A Party committee can be established in a state work department which exercises unified leadership over its affiliates. The election method, functions, powers and tasks of the Party committee are specified separately by the Central Committee.
Chapter X Relations Between the Party and The Communist Youth League
Article 49 The Chinese Communist Youth League is a mass organization of advanced youths led by the CPC, a school where young people in general learn about communism in practice, and a helper and a reserve contingent of the Party. The Central Committee of the Communist Youth League is led by the Party Central Committee. Local organizations of the Communist Youth League at various levels are led by the Party committee at the same level and are at the same time subject to the leadership of the Communist Youth League organization at the next higher level.
Article 50 Party committees at various levels shall strengthen leadership over the Communist Youth League organizations and pay attention to the selection and training of youth league cadres. The Party shall resolutely support the Communist Youth League in its effort to vigorously, lively and creatively carry out its work in light of the characteristics and needs of youth in general, and give full play to the league's function as a shock force and its role as a bridge linking young people in general.
Secretaries of Communist Youth League committees at and below county level and secretaries of communist youth league committees of enterprises and institutions, who are Party members, may attend, in the capacity of non-voting members, the conferences of Party committees and standing committees at the same level.