Basic Law Full Text - PDA - chapter (1)


Chapter I General Principles

Article 1
The People’s Republic of China is a socialist state governed by a people’s democratic dictatorship that is led by the working class and based on an alliance of workers and peasants.

The socialist system is the fundamental system of the People’s Republic of China. Leadership by the Communist Party of China is the defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics. It is prohibited for any organization or individual to damage the socialist system.

Article 2
All power in the People’s Republic of China belongs to the people.

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

The people shall, in accordance with the provisions of law, manage state affairs, economic and cultural undertakings, and social affairs through various channels and in various ways.

Article 3
The state institutions of the People’s Republic of China shall practice the principle of democratic centralism.

The National People’s Congress and the local people’s congresses at all levels shall be created through democratic election and shall be responsible to the people and subject to their oversight.

All administrative, supervisory, adjudicatory and procuratorial organs of the state shall be created by the people’s congresses and shall be responsible to them and subject to their oversight.

The division of functions and powers between the central and local state institutions shall honor the principle of giving full play to the initiative and motivation of local authorities under the unified leadership of the central authorities.

Article 4
All ethnic groups of the People’s Republic of China are equal. The state shall protect the lawful rights and interests of all ethnic minorities and uphold and promote relations of equality, unity, mutual assistance and harmony among all ethnic groups. Discrimination against and oppression of any ethnic group are prohibited; any act that undermines the unity of ethnic groups or creates divisions among them is prohibited.

The state shall, in light of the characteristics and needs of all ethnic minorities, assist all ethnic minority areas in accelerating their economic and cultural development.

All areas inhabited by ethnic minorities shall practice regional autonomy, establish autonomous organs, and exercise the power to selfgovern. All ethnic autonomous areas are inseparable parts of the People’s Republic of China.

All ethnic groups shall have the freedom to use and develop their own spoken and written languages and to preserve or reform their own traditions and customs.

Article 5
The People’s Republic of China shall practice law-based governance and build a socialist state under the rule of law.

The state shall safeguard the unity and sanctity of the socialist legal system.

No law, administrative regulation or local regulation shall be in conflict with the Constitution.

All state organs and armed forces, all political parties and social organizations, and all enterprises and public institutions must abide by the Constitution and the law. Accountability must be enforced for all acts that violate the Constitution or laws.

No organization or individual shall have any privilege beyond the Constitution or the law.

Article 6
The foundation of the socialist economic system of the People’s Republic of China is socialist public ownership of the means of production, that is, ownership by the whole people and collective ownership by the working people. The system of socialist public ownership has eradicated the system of exploitation of man by man, and practices the principle of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his work.”

In the primary stage of socialism, the state shall uphold a fundamental economic system under which public ownership is the mainstay and diverse forms of ownership develop together, and shall uphold an income distribution system under which distribution according to work is the mainstay, while multiple forms of distribution exist alongside it.

Article 7
The state sector of the economy, that is, the sector of the socialist economy under ownership by the whole people, shall be the leading force in the economy. The state shall ensure the consolidation and development of the state sector of the economy.

Article 8
Rural collective economic organizations shall practice a two-tiered system of both unified and separate operations with household contract management as its basis. Rural economic cooperatives — producer, supply and marketing, credit and consumer cooperatives — are part of the socialist economy under collective ownership by the working people. Working people who belong to rural collective economic organizations shall have the right, within the scope prescribed by law, to farm cropland and hillsides allotted to them for their private use, engage in household sideline production, and raise privately owned livestock.

The various forms of cooperative economic activities in cities and towns, such as those in the handicraft, industrial, building, transport, commercial and service trades, shall all be part of the socialist economy under collective ownership by the working people.

The state shall protect the lawful rights and interests of urban and rural collective economic organizations and shall encourage, guide and assist the growth of the collective sector of the economy.

Article 9
All mineral resources, waters, forests, mountains, grasslands, unreclaimed land, mudflats and other natural resources are owned by the state, that is, by the whole people, except for the forests, mountains, grasslands, unreclaimed land and mudflats that are owned by collectives as prescribed by law.

The state shall ensure the rational use of natural resources and protect rare animals and plants. It is prohibited for any organization or individual to seize or damage natural resources by any means.

Article 10
Land in cities is owned by the state.

Land in rural and suburban areas is owned by collectives except for that which belongs to the state as prescribed by law; housing sites and cropland and hillsides allotted for private use are also owned by collectives.

The state may, in order to meet the demands of the public interest and in accordance with the provisions of law, expropriate or requisition land and furnish compensation.

No organization or individual shall unlawfully transfer land through seizure, sale and purchase, or in any other form. Land-use rights may be transferred in accordance with the provisions of law.

All organizations and individuals using land must use it in an appropriate manner.

Article 11
Non-public economic sectors that are within the scope prescribed by law, such as individually owned and private businesses, are an important component of the socialist market economy.

The state shall protect the lawful rights and interests of non-public economic sectors such as individually owned and private businesses. The state shall encourage, support and guide the development of non-public economic sectors and exercise oversight and regulation over non-public economic sectors in accordance with law.

Article 12
Socialist public property is sacred and inviolable.

The state shall protect socialist public property. It is prohibited for any organization or individual to seize or damage state or collective property by any means.

Article 13
Citizens’ lawful private property is inviolable.

The state shall protect the right of citizens to own and inherit private property in accordance with the provisions of law.

The state may, in order to meet the demands of the public interest and in accordance with the provisions of law, expropriate or requisition citizens’ private property and furnish compensation.

Article 14
The state shall continually raise labor productivity and improve economic performance to develop productive forces by increasing working people’s motivation and level of technical skill, promoting advanced science and technology, improving the systems of economic management and enterprise operation and management, practicing different forms of socialist responsibility system and improving the organization of work.

The state shall practice strict economy and combat waste.

The state shall appropriately handle accumulation and consumption, give due consideration at once to the interests of the state, collectives and individuals and, based on the development of production, gradually improve the material and cultural wellbeing of the people.

The state shall establish a sound social security system compatible with the level of economic development.

Article 15
The state shall practice a socialist market economy.

The state shall strengthen economic legislation and improve macro regulation.

The state shall, in accordance with law, prohibit disruption of the socioeconomic order by any organization or individual.

Article 16
State-owned enterprises shall, within the scope prescribed by law, have the right to operate autonomously.

State-owned enterprises shall, in accordance with the provisions of law, practice democratic management through employee congresses and other means.

Article 17
Collective economic organizations shall, on the condition that they abide by relevant laws, have the autonomy to independently conduct economic activities.

Collective economic organizations shall practice democratic management and shall, in accordance with the provisions of law, elect and remove their management personnel and decide on major issues concerning their operations and management.

Article 18
The People’s Republic of China shall permit foreign enterprises, other economic organizations and individuals, to invest in China and to enter into various forms of economic cooperation with Chinese enterprises or other economic organizations in accordance with the provisions of law of the People’s Republic of China.

All foreign enterprises, other foreign economic organizations and Chinese-foreign joint ventures in the territory of China shall abide by the law of the People’s Republic of China. Their lawful rights and interests shall be protected by the law of the People’s Republic of China.

Article 19
The state shall develop socialist education to raise the scientific and cultural level of the whole nation.

The state shall run schools of all types, provide universal compulsory primary education, develop secondary, vocational and higher education, and also develop preschool education.

The state shall develop different types of educational facilities, eliminate illiteracy, provide political, cultural, scientific, technical and field-specific education for workers, peasants, state employees and other working people, and encourage people to become accomplished individuals through self-study.

The state shall encourage collective economic organizations, state enterprises, public institutions and other social actors to run education programs of various types in accordance with the provisions of law.

The state shall promote the common speech — putonghua — used nationwide.

Article 20
The state shall develop the natural and social sciences, disseminate scientific and technological knowledge, and commend and award research achievements and technological discoveries and inventions.

Article 21
To protect the people’s health, the state shall develop medical and health care, develop modern medicine and traditional Chinese medicine, encourage and support the running of various medical and health facilities by rural collective economic organizations, state enterprises, public institutions and neighborhood organizations, and promote public health activities.

To improve the people’s physical fitness, the state shall develop sports and promote public sports activities.

Article 22
The state shall develop art and literature, the press, radio and television broadcasting, publishing, libraries, museums and cultural centers, and other cultural undertakings that serve the people and socialism; and shall promote public cultural activities.

The state shall protect places of scenic beauty and historical interest, valuable cultural relics and other forms of important historical and cultural heritage.

Article 23
The state shall train all kinds of specialized personnel to serve socialism, expand the ranks of intellectuals, and create the conditions for giving full play to their role in socialist modernization.

Article 24
The state shall promote socialist cultural-ethical advancement through widely accessible education on ideals, morality, culture, discipline and law, and through the formulation and observance of different forms of rules of conduct and public pledges among different urban and rural populations.

The state shall champion core socialist values; advocate the civic virtues of love for the motherland, for the people, for work, for science and for socialism; educate the people in patriotism and collectivism, in internationalism and communism, and in dialectical and historical materialism; and combat capitalist, feudal and other forms of decadent thought.

Article 25
The state shall promote family planning to see that population growth is consistent with economic and social development plans.

Article 26
The state shall protect and improve living environments and the ecological environment, and prevent and control pollution and other public hazards.

The state shall organize and encourage afforestation and protect forests.

Article 27
All state organs shall practice the principle of lean and efficient administration, a work responsibility system, and a system of employee training and evaluation in order to keep improving the quality and efficiency of their work and combat bureaucratism.

All state organs and state employees must rely on the support of the people, stay engaged with them, listen to their opinions and suggestions, accept their oversight, and work hard to serve them.

State employees, when assuming office, should make a public pledge of allegiance to the Constitution in accordance with the provisions of law.

Article 28
The state shall maintain public order, suppress treason and other criminal activities that jeopardize national security, punish criminal activities, including those that endanger public security or harm the socialist economy, and punish and reform criminals.

Article 29
The armed forces of the People’s Republic of China belong to the people. Their missions are to strengthen national defense, resist aggression, defend the motherland, safeguard the people’s peaceful work, participate in national development, and work hard to serve the people.

The state shall make the armed forces more revolutionary, more modernized and better regulated in order to strengthen national defense capabilities.

Article 30
The administrative areas of the People’s Republic of China shall be delineated as follows:

(1) The country consists of provinces, autonomous regions and cities directly under central government jurisdiction;
(2) Provinces and autonomous regions consist of autonomous prefectures, counties, autonomous counties and cities; and
(3) Counties and autonomous counties consist of townships, ethnic townships and towns.

Cities directly under central government jurisdiction and other large cities consist of districts and counties. Autonomous prefectures consist of counties, autonomous counties and cities.

All autonomous regions, autonomous prefectures and autonomous counties are ethnic autonomous areas.

Article 31
The state may establish special administrative regions when necessary. The systems instituted in special administrative regions shall, in light of specific circumstances, be prescribed by laws enacted by the National People’s Congress.

Article 32
The People’s Republic of China shall protect the lawful rights and interests of foreigners in the territory of China; foreigners in the territory of China must abide by the law of the People’s Republic of China.

The People’s Republic of China may grant asylum to foreigners who request it on political grounds.


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