|Constitution of the People's Republic of China
(Full text after amendment on March 14, 2004)
Chapter I General Principles
Article 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.
The socialist system is the basic system of the People's Republic of China. Disruption of the socialist system by any organization or individual is prohibited.
Article 2 All power in the People's Republic of China belongs to the people.
The National People's Congress and the local people's congresses at various levels are the organs through which the people exercise state power.
The people administer State affairs and manage economic and cultural undertakings and social affairs through various channels and in various ways in accordance with the provisions of law.
Article 3 The State organs of the People's Republic of China apply the principle of democratic centralism.
The National People's Congress and the local people's congresses at various levels are constituted through democratic elections. They are responsible to the people and subject to their supervision.
All administrative, judicial and procuratorial organs of the State are created by the people's congresses to which they are responsible and by which they are supervised.
The division of functions and powers between the central and local State organs is guided by the principle of giving full scope to the initiative and enthusiasm of the local authorities under the unified leadership of the central authorities.
Article 4 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 a relationship of equality, unity and mutual assistance among all of China's nationalities. Discrimination against and oppression of any nationality are prohibited; any act which undermines the unity of the nationalities or instigates division is prohibited.
The State assists areas inhabited by minority nationalities in accelerating their economic and cultural development according to the characteristics and needs of the various minority nationalities.
Regional autonomy is practised in areas where people of minority nationalities live in concentrated communities; in these areas organs of self-government are established to exercise the power of autonomy. All national autonomous areas are integral parts of the People's Republic of China.
All nationalities have the freedom to use and develop their own spoken and written languages and to preserve or reform their own folkways and customs.
Article 5 The People's Republic of China governs the country according to law and makes it a socialist country under rule of law.
The State upholds the uniformity and dignity of the socialist legal system.
No laws or administrative or local regulations may contravene the Constitution.
All State organs, the armed forces, all political parties and public organizations and all enterprises and institutions must abide by the Constitution and other laws. All acts in violation of the Constitution or other laws must be investigated.
No organization or individual is privileged to be beyond the Constitution or other laws.
Article 6 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."
Article 7 The State economy is the sector of socialist economy under ownership by the whole people; it is the leading force in the national economy. The State ensures the consolidation and growth of the State economy.
Article 8 Rural people's communes, agricultural producers cooperatives and other forms of cooperative economy, such as producers', supply and marketing, credit and consumers cooperatives, belong to the sector of socialist economy under collective ownership by the working people. 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 their private use, engage in household sideline production and raise privately owned livestock.
The various forms of cooperative economy in 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.
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.
Article 9 All mineral resources, waters, forests, mountains, grasslands, unreclaimed land, beaches and other natural resources are owned by the State, that is, by the whole people, with the exception of the forests, mountains, grasslands, unreclaimed land and beaches that are owned by collectives as prescribed by law.
The State ensures the rational use of natural resources and protects rare animals and plants. Appropriation or damaging of natural resources by any organization or individual by whatever means is prohibited.
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 as prescribed by law; house sites and privately farmed plots of cropland and hilly land are also owned by collectives.
The State may, in the public interest, requisition land for its use in accordance with law.
No organization or individual may appropriate, buy, sell or lease land or otherwise engage in the transfer of land by unlawful means.
All organizations and individuals using land must ensure its rational use.
Article 11 The individual economy of urban and rural working people, operating within the limits prescribed by law, is a complement to the socialist public economy. The State protects the lawful rights and interests of the individual economy.
The State guides, assists and supervises the individual economy by administrative control.
Article 12 Socialist public property is inviolable.
The State protects socialist public property. Appropriation or damaging 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 according to law the right of citizens to inherit private property.
Article 14 The State continuously raises labour productivity, improves economic results and develops the productive forces by enhancing the enthusiasm of the working people, raising the level of their technical skill, disseminating advanced science and technology, improving the systems of economic administration and enterprise operation and management, instituting the socialist system of responsibility in various forms and improving the organization of work.
The State practises strict economy and combats waste.
The State properly apportions accumulation and consumption, concerns itself with the interests of the collective and the individual as well as of the State and, on the basis of expanded production, gradually improves the material and cultural life of the people.
Article 15 The State practises planned economy on the basis of socialist public ownership. It ensures the proportionate and coordinated growth of the national economy through overall balancing by economic planning and the supplementary role of regulation by the market.
Disturbance of the socio-economic order or disruption of the State economic plan by any organization or individual is prohibited.