The Constitution of the People's Republic of China


Freedom of speech, press, assembly



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Freedom of speech, press, assembly

Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration.

Article 36. Religious freedom

Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of religious belief.

No state organ, public organization or individual may compel citizens to believe in, or not believe in, any religion; nor may they discriminate against citizens who believe in, or do not believe in, any religion.

The state protects normal religious activities. No one may make use of religion to engage in activities that disrupt public order, impair the health of citizens or interfere with the educational system of the state.

Religious bodies and religious affairs are not subject to any foreign domination.

Article 37. Freedom of person

Freedom of the person of citizens of the People's Republic of China is inviolable.

No citizens 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.

Article 38. Freedom from insult

The personal dignity of citizens of the People's Republic of China is inviolable. Insult, libel, false accusation or false incrimination directed against citizens by any means is prohibited.

Article 39. Inviolability of the home

The residences of citizens of the People's Republic of China are inviolable. Unlawful search of, or intrusion into, a citizen's residence is prohibited.

Article 40. Privacy of correspondence

Freedom and privacy of correspondence of citizens of the People's Republic of China are protected by law. No organization or individual may, on any ground, infringe on citizens' freedom of 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.

Article 41. Right to petition the state

Citizens of the People's Republic of China have the right to criticize and make suggestions regarding any state organ or functionary. Citizens 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, but fabrication or distortion of facts for purposes of libel or false incrimination is prohibited.

The state organ concerned must deal with complaints, charges or exposures made by citizens in a responsible manner after ascertaining the facts. No one may suppress such complaints, charges and exposures or retaliate against the citizens making them.

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 the law.

Article 42. Right and duty to work

Citizens of the People's Republic of China have the right as well as the duty to work.

Through various channels, the state creates conditions for employment, enhances occupational safety and health, improves working conditions and, on the basis of expanded production, increases remuneration for work and welfare benefits.

Work is a matter of honor for every citizen who is able to work. All working people in state-owned enterprises and in urban and rural economic collectives should approach their work as the masters of the country that they are. The state promotes socialist labor emulation, and commends and rewards model and advanced workers. The state encourages citizens to take part in voluntary labor.

The state provides necessary vocational training for citizens before they are employed.

Article 43. Right to rest

Working people in the People's Republic of China have the right to rest.

The state expands facilities for the rest and recuperation of the working people and prescribes working hours and vacations for workers and staff.

Article 44. Protection of retirement

The state applies the system of retirement for workers and staff of enterprises and institutions and for functionaries of organs of state according to law. The livelihood of retried personnel is ensured by the state and society.

Article 45. Protection of old, ill, disabled

Citizens of the People's Republic of China have the right to material assistance from the state and society when they are old, ill or disabled. The state develops social insurance, social relief and medical and health services that are required for citizens to enjoy this right.

The state and society ensure the livelihood of disabled members of the armed forces, provides pensions to the families of martyrs and gives preferential treatment to the families of military personnel.

The state and society help make arrangements for the work, livelihood and education of the blind, deaf-mutes and other handicapped citizens.

Article 46. Right to and duty of education

Citizens of the People's Republic of China have the right as well as the duty to receive education.

The state promotes the all-round development of children and young people, morally, intellectually and physically.

Article 47. Right to pursue art, science

Citizens of the People's Republic of China have the freedom to engage in scientific research, literary and artistic creation and other cultural pursuits. The state encourages and assists creative endeavours conducive to the interests of the people that are made by citizens engaged in education, science, technology, literature, art and other cultural work.

Article 48. Equal rights for women

Women in the People's Republic of China enjoy equal rights with men in all spheres of life, political, economic, cultural, social, and family life.

The state protects the rights and interests of women, applies the principle of equal pay for equal work for men and women alike and trains and selects cadres from among women.

Article 49. Protection of marriage and family

Marriage, the family and mother and child are protected by the state.

Both husband and wife have the duty to practice family planning.

Parents have the duty to rear and educate their children who are minors, and children who have come of age have the duty to support and assist their parents.

Violation of the freedom of marriage is prohibited. Maltreatment of old people, women and children is prohibited.

Article 50. Protection of Chinese while overseas

The People's Republic of China protects the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese nationals residing abroad and protects the lawful rights and interests of returned overseas Chinese and of the family members of Chinese nationals residing abroad.

Article 51. Non-infringement of rights

Citizens of the People's Republic of China, in exercising their freedoms and rights, may not infringe upon the interests of the state, of society or of the collective, or upon the lawful freedoms and rights of other citizens.

Article 52. Duty to safeguard unity

It is the duty of citizens of the People's Republic of China to safeguard the unification of the country and the unity of all its nationalities.

Article 53. Duty to uphold Constitution

Citizens of the People's Republic of China 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. Duty to honor the motherland

It is the duty of citizens of the People's Republic of China to safeguard the security, honour and interests of the motherland; they must not commit acts detrimental to the security, honour and interests of the motherland.

Article 55. Duty to defend the motherland

It is the sacred duty of every citizen of the People's Republic of China to defend the motherland and resist aggression.

It is the honorable duty of citizens of the People's Republic of China to perform military service and join the militia in accordance with the law.

Article 56. Duty to pay taxes

It is the duty of citizens of the People's Republic of China to pay taxes in accordance with the law.

CHAPTER III. The Structure of the State

§ 1. The National People's Congress

Article 57. Stature

The National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China is the highest organ of state power. Its permanent body is the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.

Article 58. Legislative Power

The National People's Congress and its Standing Committee exercise the legislative power of the state.

Article 59. Composition

The National People's Congress is composed of deputies elected from the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government and of deputies elected from the armed forces. All minority nationalities are entitled to appropriate representation.

Election of deputies to the National People's Congress is conducted by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.

The number of deputies to the National People's Congress and the procedure of their election are prescribed by law.

Article 60. Term

The National People's Congress is elected for a term of five years.

The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress must ensure the completion of election of deputies to the succeeding National People's Congress two months prior to the expiration of the term of office of the current National People's Congress. Should extraordinary circumstances prevent such an election, it may be postponed and the term of office of the current National People's Congress extended by the decision of a vote of more than two-thirds of all those on the Standing Committee of the current National People's Congress. The election of deputies to the succeeding National People's Congress must be completed within one year after the termination of such extraordinary circumstances.

Article 61. Annual session

The National People's Congress meets in session once a year and is convened by its Standing Committee. A session of the National People's Congress may be convened at any time the Standing Committee deems it necessary or when more than one-fifth of the deputies to the National People's Congress so propose.

When the National People's Congress meets, it elects a Presidium to conduct its session.

Article 62. Enumerated powers

The National People's Congress exercises the following functions and powers:

(1) to amend the Constitution;


(2) to supervise the enforcement of the Constitution;
(3) to enact and amend basic laws governing criminal offenses, civil affairs, the state organs and other matters;
(4) to elect the President and the Vice President of the People's Republic of China;
(5) to decide on the choice of the Premier of the State Council upon nomination by the President of the People's Republic of China, and on the choice of the Vice Premiers, State Councilors, Ministers in charge of ministries or commissions, the Auditor General and the Secretary General of the State Council upon nomination by the Premier;
(6) to elect the Chairman of the Central Military Commission and, upon, nomination by the Chairman, to decide on the choice of all other members of the Central Military Commission;
(7) to elect the President of the Supreme People's Court;
(8) to elect the Procurator General of the Supreme People's Procuratorate;
(9) to examine and approve the plan for national economic and social development and the report on its implementation;
(10) to examine and approve the state budget and the report on its implementation;
(11) to alter or annul inappropriate decisions of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress;
(12) to approve the establishment of provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government;
(13) to decide on the establishment of special administrative regions and the systems to be instituted there;
(14) to decide on questions of war and peace; and
(15) to exercise such other functions and powers as the highest organ of state power should exercise.

Article 63. Power of recall

The National People's Congress has the power to remove from office the following persons:

(1) the President and Vice President of the People's Republic of China;


(2) the Premier, Vice Premiers, State Councilors, Ministers in charge of ministries or commissions, the Auditor General and the Secretary General of the State Council;
(3) the Chairman of the Central Military Commission and other members of the Commission;
(4) the President of the Supreme People's Court; and
(5) the Procurator General of the Supreme People's Procuratorate.

Article 64. Amending Constitution

Amendments to the Constitution are to be proposed by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress or by more than one-fifth of the deputies of the National People's Congress and adopted by a vote of more than two-thirds of all the deputies to the Congress.

Laws and resolutions are to be adopted by a majority vote of all deputies to the National People's Congress.

Article 65. Composition of Standing Committee

The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress is composed of the following:

the Chairman; the Vice Chairmen; the Secretary-General; and the members.

Minority nationalities are entitled to appropriate representation on the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.

The National People's Congress elects, and has the power to recall, members of its Standing Committee.

No one on the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress shall hold office in any of the administrative, judicial or procuratorial organs of the state.

Article 66. Term of Standing Committee

The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress is elected for the same term of the National People's Congress; it shall exercise its functions and powers until a new Standing Committee is elected by the succeeding National People's Congress.

The Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee shall serve no more than two consecutive terms.

Article 67. Enumerated powers of Standing Committee

The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress exercises the following functions and powers:

(1) to interpret the Constitution and supervise its enforcement;


(2) to enact and amend laws, with the exception of those which should be enacted by the National People's Congress;
(3) to partially supplement and amend, when the National People's Congress is not in session, laws enacted by the National People's Congress provided that the basic principles of those laws are not contravened;
(4) to interpret laws;
(5) to review and approve, when the National People's Congress is not in session, partial adjustments to the plan for national economic and social development or to the state budget that prove necessary in the course of their implementation;
(6) to supervise the work of the State Council, the Central Military Commission, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate;
(7) to annul those administrative rules and regulations, decisions or orders of the State Council that contravene the Constitution or the law;
(8) to annual those local regulations or decisions of the organs of state power of provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government that contravene the Constitution, the law or the administrative rules and regulations;
(9) to decide, when the National People's Congress is not in session, on the choice of Ministers in charge of ministries or commissions, the Auditor General or the Secretary General of the State Council upon nomination by the Premier of the State Council;
(10) to decide, upon nomination by the Chairman of the Central Military Commission, on the choice of other members of the Commission, when the National People's Congress is not in session;
(11) to appoint or remove, at the recommendation of the President of the Supreme People's Court, the Vice Presidents and Judges of the Supreme People's Court, members of its Judicial Committee and the President of the Military Court;
(12) to appoint or remove, at the recommendation of the Procurator General of the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the Deputy Procurators-General and procurators of the Supreme People's Procuratorate, members of its Procuratorial Committee and the Chief Procurator of the Military Procuratorate, and to approve the appointment or removal of the chief procurators of the people's procuratorates of provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government;
(13) to decide on the appointment or recall of plenipotentiary representatives abroad;
(14) to decide on the ratification or abrogation of treaties and important agreements concluded with foreign states;
(15) to institute systems of titles and ranks for military and diplomatic personnel and of other specific titles and ranks;
(16) to institute state medals and titles of honor and decide on their conferment;
(17) to decide on the granting of special pardons;
(18) to decide, when the National People's Congress is not in session, on the proclamation of the state of war in the event or an armed attack on the country or in fulfillment of international treaty obligations concerning common defense against aggression;
(19) to decide on general mobilization or partial mobilization;
(20) to decide on the imposition of martial law throughout the country or in particular provinces, autonomous regions, or municipalities directly under the Central Government; and
(21) to exercise such other functions and powers as the National People's Congress may assign to it.

Article 68. Chairman of the Standing Committee

The Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress directs the work of the Standing Committee and convenes its meeting. The Vice Chairmen and the Secretary-General assist the Chairman in his work.

The Chairman, the Vice Chairmen and the Secretary-General constitute the Council of Chairmen which handles the important day-to-day work of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.

Article 69. Standing Committee reports to Congress

The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress is responsible to the National People's Congress and reports on its work to the Congress.

Article 70. Other Committees

The National People's Congress establishes a Nationalities Committee, a Law Committee, a Finance and Economic Committee, an Education, Science, Culture and Public Health Committee, a Foreign Affairs Committee, an Overseas Chinese Committee and such other special committees as are necessary. These special committees work under the direction of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress when the Congress is not in session.

The special committees examine, discuss and draw up relevant bills and draft resolutions under the direction of the National People's Congress and its Standing Committee.

Article 71. Committees of inquiry

The National People's Congress and its Standing Committee, when they deem necessary, appoint committees of inquiry into special questions and adopt relevant resolutions in the light of their reports.

All organs of state, public organizations and citizens concerned are obliged to furnish when necessary information to the committees of inquiry when they conduct investigations.

Article 72. Right to submit bills

Deputies to the National People's Congress and members of its Standing Committee have the right, in accordance with the procedures prescribed by law, to submit bills and proposals within the scope of the respective functions and powers of the National People's Congress and its Standing Committee.

Article 73. Right to question

Deputies to the National People's Congress and members of its Standing Committee have the right, during the sessions of Congress and the meetings of the Committee, to address questions, in accordance with procedures prescribed by law, to the State Council or the ministries and commissions under the State Council, which must answer the questions in a responsible manner.

Article 74. Freedom from arrest

No deputy to the National People's Congress may be arrested or placed on criminal trial without the consent of the Presidium of the current session of the National People's Congress or, when the National People's Congress is not in session, without the consent of its Standing Committee.

Article 75. Immunity of speeches in Congress

Deputies to the National People's Congress may not be held legally liable for their speeches or votes at its meetings.

Article 76. Duty to uphold Constitution

Deputies to the National People's Congress must play an exemplary role in abiding by the Constitution and the law and keeping state secrets, in public activities, production and other work, assist in enforcement of the Constitution and the law.

Deputies to the National People's Congress should maintain close contact with the unites which elected them and with the people, heed and convey the opinions and demands of the people and work hard to serve them.

Article 77. Recall of deputies

Deputies to the National People's Congress are subject to the supervision of the units which elected them. The electoral units have the power, through procedures prescribed by law, to recall the deputies whom they elected.

Article 78. Organization

The organization and working procedures of the National People's Congress and its Standing Committee are prescribed by law.

§ 2. The President of the People's Republic of China

Article 79. Election, qualifications

The President and the Vice President of the People's Republic of China are elected by the National People's Congress.

Citizens of the People's Republic of China who have the right to vote and to stand for election and who have reached the age of 45 are eligible for election as President or National People's Congress ice President of the People's Republic of China.

The term of office of the President and Vice President of the People's Republic of China is the same as that of the National People's Congress, and they shall serve no more than two consecutive terms.

Article 80. Powers

The President of the People's Republic of China, in pursuance of the decisions of the National People's Congress and its Standing Committee, promulgates statutes, appoints or removes the Premier, Vice Premiers, State Councilors, Ministers in charge of ministries or commissions, the Auditor- General and the Secretary-General of the State Council, confers state medals and titles of honor; issues orders of special pardons; proclaims martial law; proclaims a state of war; and issues mobilization orders.

Article 81. Duties

The President of the People's Republic of China receives foreign diplomatic representatives on behalf of the People's Republic of China and, in pursuance of the decisions of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, appoints or recalls plenipotentiary representatives abroad, and ratifies or abrogates treaties and important agreements concluded with foreign states.

Article 82.



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