The Constitution is the fundamental law of the state.
The existing Constitution was adopted for implementation by the 5th
Session of the 5th National People's Congress on December 4, 1982.
Amendments were made to the Constitution respectively at the 1st
Session of the 7th National People's Congress on April 12, 1988,
the 1st Session of the 8th National People's Congress on March 29,
1993 and the 2nd Session of the 9th National People's Congress on
March 15, 1999.
I. Major stipulations in the Constitution in regard to China's
1. Major political principles in China
(1) The Communist Party of China is the country's sole political
party in power.
The People's Republic of China was founded by the Communist Party
of China which is the leader of the Chinese people.
(2) The socialist system
The socialist system led by the working class and based on the
alliance of the workers and farmers is the fundamental system of
the People's Republic of China
(3) All rights belong to the people
All the power in the country belongs to the people who exercise
their power through the National People's Congress and local
people's congresses at all levels.
The people manage the state, economy, culture and other social
affairs through a multitude of means and forms.
(4) The fundamental task and goals of the state
concentrate on the socialist modernization drive along the road of
building socialism with Chinese characteristics; to adhere to the
socialist road, persist in the reform and opening up program,
improve the socialist system in all aspects, develop the market
economy, expand democracy, and improve the rule of law; to be
self-reliance and work hard to gradually realize the modernization
of the industry, agriculture, national defense, science and
technology so as to build China into a strong and democratic
socialist country with a high degree of cultural development.
(5) Democratic centralism
The organizational principle for the state organs is democratic
(6) The armed forces of the people
The armed forces of the People's Republic of China belong to the
The tasks of the armed forces are to consolidate national defense,
resist invasion, defend the country, safeguard the people in their
peaceful work and life, take part in the country's economic
construction and strive to serves the people.
(7) To govern the country through the rule of law
All individuals, political parties and social organizations must
abide by the Constitution in all their actions and shall not be
privileged to be above the Constitution or the law.
All acts in violation of the Constitution and law must be
The rule of law is practiced to build China into a socialist
country with the rule of law.
(8) The system of ethnic regional autonomy
All ethnic groups are equal.
All prejudice and oppression against any ethnic group is forbidden.
All behaviors harmful to ethnic unity and aimed at ethnic
separation are forbidden.
2. The position and rights of the citizen in the political life
of the country
(1) All citizens are equal before the law.
(2) The right to vote and stand for election
All citizens who have reached the age of 18 have the right to vote
and stand for election, regardless of ethnic status, race, sex,
occupation, family background, religious belief, education,
property status or length of residence, except persons deprived of
political rights according to law.
(3) The freedom of speech and thought
All citizens enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, or assembly, of
association, of procession and of demonstration
(4) The freedom of religious belief
Citizens enjoy the freedom of religious belief.
state organ, public organization or individual may compel citizens
to believe in, or not to believe in, any religion.
(5) Inviolable freedom of the person
citizen may be arrested except with the approval or by decision of
a people's procuratorate or by decision of a people's court, and
arrests must be made by a public security organ.
Unlawful detention or deprivation or restriction of citizens'
freedom of the person by other means is prohibited, and unlawful
search of the person of citizens is prohibited.
The personal dignity of citizens is inviolable, so are their
(6) Freedom of correspondence
The freedom and privacy of correspondence of citizens are protected
organization or individual may, on any ground, infringe upon
citizens' freedom and privacy of correspondence, except in cases
where, to meet the needs of state security or of criminal
investigation, public security or procuratorial organs are
permitted to censor correspondence in accordance with procedures
prescribed by law.
(7) The right to criticize and make suggestions
Citizens have the right to criticize and make suggestions regarding
any state organ or functionary. They have the right to make to
relevant state organs complaints or charges against, or exposures
of, any state organ or functionary for violation of the law or
dereliction of duty.
(8) The right to compensation
Citizens who have suffered losses as a result of infringement of
their civic rights by any state organ or functionary have the right
to compensation in accordance with law.
(9) The right to work
Citizens have the right as well as duty to work.
The state should, through various channels, create conditions for
employment, enhance occupational safety and health, improve working
conditions and, on the basis of expanded production, increase
remuneration for work and welfare benefits.
(10) The right to welfare
Citizens have the right to material assistance from the state and
society when they are old, ill or disabled.
The state and society ensure the livelihood of disabled members of
the armed forces, provide pensions to the families of martyrs and
give preferential treatment to the families of military
The state and society help make arrangements for the work,
livelihood and education of the blind, deaf-mutes and other
(11) The right to receive education
Citizens have the right and duty to receive education.
(12) The freedom to engage in academic studies and literary
Citizens have the freedom to engage in scientific research,
literary and artistic creation and other cultural pursuits.
(13) The equality of men and women
Women enjoy equal rights with men in all spheres of life, in
political, economic, cultural, social and family life.
(14) Both husband and wife have the duty to practice family
(15) Citizens have the obligation to pay taxes in accordance
with the law.
(16) Citizens have the obligation to perform military service
and join the militia in accordance with the law.
II. The interpretation and revision of the Constitution and the
system of supervision of its implementation
1. The right of interpretation of the Constitution
The right to interpret the Constitution rests with the Standing
Committee of the National People's Congress.
2. The amendment of the Constitution
The National People's Congress holds the right to make amendments
to the Constitution.
The revision of the Constitution shall be proposed by the Standing
Committee of the National People's Congress or more than one-fifth
of the delegates to the National People's Congress and it must be
approved by a two-thirds majority of a session of the National
3. The system of supervision
The National People's Congress has the duty to supervise the
enforcement of the Constitution.
The National People's Congress has the right to change or withdraw
interpretations to the Constitution by the Standing Committee of
the National People's Congress.