Adopted on December 4, 1982
China is one of the countries with the longest histories in the world.
The people of all nationalities in China have jointly created a splendid
culture and have a glorious revolutionary tradition.
Feudal China was gradually reduced after 1840 to a semi-colonial and
semi- feudal country. The Chinese people waged wave upon wave of heroic
struggles for national independence and liberation and for democracy and
freedom. Great and earth-shaking historical changes have taken place in
China in the 20th century.
The Revolution of 1911, led by Dr Sun Yat-sen, abolished the feudal
monarchy and gave birth to the Republic of China. But the Chinese people
had yet to fulfil their historical task of overthrowing imperialism and
After waging hard, protracted and tortuous struggles, armed and
otherwise, the Chinese people of all nationalities led by the Communist
Party of China with Chairman Mao Zedong as its leader ultimately, in
1949, overthrew the rule of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat
capitalism, won the great victory of the new-democratic revolution and
founded the People's Republic of China. Thereupon the Chinese people
took state power into their own hands and became masters of the country.
After the founding of the People's Republic, the transition of Chinese
society from a new-democratic to a socialist society was effected step
by step. The socialist transformation of the private ownership of the
means of production was completed, the system of exploitation of man by
man eliminated and the socialist system established. The people's
democratic dictatorship led by the working class and based on the
alliance of workers and peasants, which is in essence the dictatorship
of the proletariat, has been consolidated and developed.
The Chinese people and the Chinese People's Liberation Army have
thwarted aggression, sabotage and armed provocations by imperialists and
hegemonists,safeguarded China's national independence and security and
strengthened its national defence. Major successes have been achieved in
economic development. An independent and fairly comprehensive socialist
system of industry has in the main been established. There has been a
marked increase in agricultural production. Significant progress has
been made in educational, scientific, cultural and other undertakings,
and socialist ideological education has yielded noteworthy results. The
living standards of the people have improved considerably.
Both the victory of China's new-democratic revolution and the successes
of its socialist cause have been achieved by the Chinese people of all
nationalities under the leadership of the Communist Party of China and
the guidance of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought, and by
upholding truth, correcting errors and overcoming numerous difficulties
and hardships. The basic task of the nation in the years to come is to
concentrate its effort on socialist modernization.
Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China and the guidance of
Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought, the Chinese people of all
nationalities will continue to adhere to the people's democratic
dictatorship and follow the socialist road, steadily improve socialist
institutions, develop socialist democracy, improve the socialist legal
system and work hard and self-reliantly to modernize industry,
agriculture, national defence and science and technology step by step to
turn China into a socialist country with a high level of culture and
The exploiting classes as such have been eliminated in our country.
However, class struggle will continue to exist within certain limits for
a long time to come. The Chinese people must fight against those forces
and elements, both at home and abroad, that are hostile to China's
socialist system and try to undermine it.
Taiwan is part of the sacred territory of the People's Republic of
China. It is the lofty duty of the entire Chinese people, including our
compatriots in Taiwan, to accomplish the great task of reunifying the
motherland. In building socialism it is imperative to rely on the
workers, peasants and intellectuals and unite with all the forces that
can be united.
In the long years of revolution and construction, there has been formed
under the leadership of the Communist Party of China a broad patriotic
united front that is composed of democratic parties and people's
organizations and embraces all socialist working people, all patriots
who support socialism and all patriots who stand for reunification of
the motherland. This united front will continue to be consolidated and
The Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference is a broadly
representative organization of the united front, which has played a
significant historical role and will continue to do so in the political
and social life of the country, in promoting friendship with the people
of other countries and in the struggle for socialist modernization and
for the reunification and unity of the country.
The PRC is a unitary multi-national state built up jointly by the people
of all its nationalities. Socialist relations of equality, unity and
mutual assistance have been established among them and will continue to
be strengthened. In the struggle to safeguard the unity of the
nationalities, it is necessary to combat big-nation chauvinism, mainly
Han chauvinism, and also necessary to combat local-national chauvinism.
The state does its utmost to promote the common prosperity of all
nationalities in the country. China's achievements in revolution and
construction are inseparable from support by the people of the world.
The future of China is closely linked with that of the whole world.
China adheres to an independent foreign policy as well as to 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 in
developing diplomatic relations and economic and cultural exchanges with
other countries; China consistently opposes imperialism, hegemonism and
colonialism, works to strengthen unity with the people of other
countries, supports the oppressed nations and the developing countries
in their just struggle to win and preserve national independence and
develop their national economies, and strives to safeguard world peace
and promote the cause of human progress.
This Constitution affirms the achievements of the struggles of the
Chinese people of all nationalities and defines the basic system and
basic tasks of the state in legal form; it is the fundamental law of the
state and has supreme legal authority. The people of all nationalities,
all state organs, the armed forces, all political parties and public
organizations and all enterprises and undertakings in the country must
take the Constitution as the basic norm of conduct, and they have the
duty to uphold the dignity of the Constitution and ensure its
CHAPTER I. GENERAL PRINCIPLES
Article 1. The PRC is a socialist state under the people's democratic
dictatorship led by the working class and based on the alliance of
workers and peasants. The socialist system is the basic system of the
PRC. Sabotage of the socialist system by any organization or individual
Article 2. All power in the PRC belongs to the people....
Article 5. The state upholds the uniformity and dignity of the socialist
legal system. No law or administrative or local rules and regulations
shall contravene the constitution. All state organs, the armed forces,
all political parties and public organizations and all enterprises and
undertakings must abide by the Constitution and the law. All acts in
violation of the Constitution and the law must be investigated. No
organization or individual may enjoy the privilege of being above the
Constitution and the law.
Article 6. The basis of the socialist economic system of the PRC is
socialist public ownership of the means of production, namely, ownership
by the whole people and collective ownership by the working people. The
system of socialist public ownership supersedes the system of
exploitation of man by man; it applies the principle of 'from each
according to his ability, to each according to his work.'
Article 10. Land in the cities is owned by the state. Land in the rural
and suburban areas is owned by collectives except for those portions
which belong to the state in accordance with the law; house sites and
private plots of cropland and hilly land are also owned by
Article 12. Socialist public property is sacred and inviolable. The
state protects socialist public property. Appropriation or damage of
state or collective property by any organization or individual by
whatever means is prohibited.
Article 13. The state protects the right of citizens to own lawfully
earned income, savings, houses and other lawful property. The state
protects by law the right of citizens to inherit private property.
Article 18. The PRC permits foreign enterprises, other foreign economic
organizations and individual foreigners to invest in China and to enter
into various forms of economic co-operation with Chinese enterprises and
other economic organizations in accordance with the law of the PRC....
Article 25. The state promotes family planning so that population growth
may fit the plans for economic and social development.
Article 28. The state maintains public order and suppresses treasonable
and other counter-revolutionary activities; it penalizes actions that
endanger public security and disrupt the socialist economy and other
criminal activities, and punishes and reforms criminals.
CHAPTER II. THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF CITIZENS
Article 35. Citizens of the PRC enjoy freedom of speech, of the press,
of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration.
Article 37. The freedom of person of citizens of the People's Republic
of China is inviolable. No 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 deprivation or restriction of citizens' freedom of person by
detention or other means is prohibited; and unlawful search of the
person of citizens is prohibited.
Article 38. The personal dignity of citizens of the People's Republic of
China is inviolable. Insult, libel, false charge or frame-up directed
against citizens by any means is prohibited.
Article 39. The home of citizens of the PRC is inviolable. Unlawful
search of, or intrusion into, a citizen's home is prohibited.
Article 40. The freedom and privacy of correspondence of citizens of the
PRC are protected by law. No organization or individual may, on any
ground, infringe upon the freedom and privacy of citizens'
correspondence except in cases where, to meet the needs of state
security or of investigation into criminal offences, public security or
procuratorial organs are permitted to censor correspondence....
Article 41. Citizens of the PRC have the right to criticize and make
suggestions to any state organ or functionary....
Article 42. Citizens of the PRC have the right as well as the duty to
Article 48. Women in the PRC enjoy equal rights with men in all spheres
of life, political, economic, cultural and social, and family life....
Article 51. The exercise by citizens of the PRC of their freedoms and
rights may not infringe upon the interests of the state, of society and
of the collective, or upon the lawful freedoms and rights of other
Article 53. Citizens of the PRC must abide by the constitution and the
law, keep state secrets, protect public property and observe labour
discipline and public order and respect social ethics.
Article 54. It is the duty of citizens of the PRC to safeguard the
security, honour and interests of the motherland; they must not commit
acts detrimental to the security, honour and interests of the
Article 55. It is the sacred obligation of every citizen of the People's
Republic of China to defend the motherland and resist aggression. It is
the honourable duty of citizens of the PRC to perform military service
and join the militia in accordance with the law.
Article 56. It is the duty of citizens of the PRC to pay taxes in
accordance with the law.
Article 76. Deputies to the National People's Congress must play an
exemplary role in abiding by the Constitution and the law and keeping
state secrets and, in production and other work and their public
activities, assist in the enforcement of the Constitution and the law.
Deputies to the National People's Congress should maintain close contact
with the units and people which elected them, listen to and convey their
opinions and demands and work hard to serve them.
Article 123. The people's courts in the PRC are the judicial organs of
Article 125. All cases handled by the people's courts, except for those
involving special circumstances as specified by law, shall be heard in
public. The accused has the right of defence.
Article 126. The people's courts shall, in accordance with the law,
exercise judicial power independently and are not subject to
interference by administrative organs, public organizations or
Article 134. Citizens of all nationalities have the right to use the
spoken and written languages of their own nationalities in court
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