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 China Constitution

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Chapter One General Principles

Article 1 [Socialist State]

(1) The People's Republic of China is a socialist state under the people's democratic dictatorship led by the working class and based on the alliance of workers and peasants.

(2) The socialist system is the basic system of the People's Republic of China. Sabotage of the socialist system by any organization or individual is prohibited.

Article 2 [Sovereignty]

(1) All power in the People's Republic of China belongs to the people.

(2) The organs through which the people exercise state power are the National People's Congress and the local people's congresses at different levels.

(3) The people administer state affairs and manage economic, cultural and social affairs through various channels and in various ways in accordance with the law.

Article 3 [Democratic Centralism]

(1) The state organs of the People's Republic of China apply the principle of democratic centralism.

(2) The National People's Congress and the local people's congresses at different levels are instituted through democratic election. They are responsible to the people and subject to their supervision.

(3) All administrative, judicial and procuratorial organs of the state are created by the people's congresses to which they are responsible and under whose supervision they operate.

(4) The division of functions and powers between the central and local state organs is guided by the principle of giving full play to the initiative and enthusiasm of the local authorities under the unified leadership of the central authorities.

Article 4 [Nationalities, Minorities, Regions, Languages]

(1) All nationalities in the People's Republic of China are equal. The state protects the lawful rights and interests of the minority nationalities and upholds and develops the relationship of equality, unity, and mutual assistance among all of China's nationalities. Discrimination against and oppression of any nationality are prohibited; any acts that undermine the unity of the nationalities or instigate their secession are prohibited.

The state helps the areas inhabited by minority nationalities speed up their economic and cultural development in accordance with the peculiarities and needs of the different minority nationalities.

(2) Regional autonomy is practiced in areas where people of minority nationalities live in compact communities; in these areas organs of self-government are established for the exercise of the right of autonomy. All the national autonomous areas are inalienable parts of the People's Republic of China.

(3) The people of all nationalities have the freedom to use and develop their own spoken and written languages, and to preserve or reform their own ways and customs.

Article 5 [Socialist Legal System, Rule of Law]

(1) The People's Republic of China practices ruling the country in accordance with the law and building a socialist country of law.

(2) The state upholds the uniformity and dignity of the socialist legal system.

(3) No law or administrative or local rules and regulations shall contravene the Constitution.

(4) 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 looked into.

(5) No organization or individual may enjoy the privilege of being above the Constitution and the law.

Article 6 [Socialist Public Ownership]

(1) The basis of the socialist economic system of the People's Republic of China 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".

(2) During the primary stage of socialism, the State adheres to the basic economic system with the public ownership remaining dominant and diverse sectors of the economy developing side by side, and to the distribution system with the distribution according to work remaining dominant and the coexistence of a variety of modes of distribution.

Article 7 [State Economy]

The State-owned economy, that is, the socialist economy under ownership by the whole people, is the leading force in the national economy. The State ensures the consolidation and growth of the State-owned economy.

Article 8 [Agriculture]

(1) Rural collective economic organizations practice the double-tier management system that combines unified and separate operations on the basis of the household-based output-related contracted responsibility system. Various forms of the cooperative economy in rural areas such as producers', supply and marketing, credit and consumers' cooperatives belong to the sector of the socialist economy under collective ownership by the working people.

(2) Working people who are members of rural economic collectives have the right, within the limits prescribed by law, to farm plots of cropland and hilly land allotted for private use, engage in household sideline production and raise privately owned livestock.

(3) The various forms of co-operative economy in the cities and towns, such as those in the handicraft, industrial, building, transport, commercial, and service trades, all belong to the sector of socialist economy under collective ownership by the working people.

(4) The state protects the lawful rights and interests of the urban and rural economic collectives and encourages, guides, and helps the growth of the collective economy.


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