The Constitution of the People's Republic of China



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Vice-President

The Vice President of the People's Republic of China assists the President in his work.

The Vice President of the People's Republic of China may exercise such functions and powers of the President and the President may entrust to him.

Article 83. Transition of power

The President and the Vice President of the People's Republic of China exercise their functions and powers until the new President and Vice President elected by the succeeding National People's Congress assume office.

Article 84. Presidential succession

In the event that the office of the President of the People's Republic of China falls vacant, the Vice President of the People's Republic of China succeeds to the office of President.

In the event the office of the Vice President of the People's Republic of China falls vacant, the National People's Congress shall elect a new Vice President to fill the vacancy.

In the event that the offices of both the President and the Vice President of the People's Republic of China fall vacant, the National People's Congress shall elect a new President and a new Vice President. Prior to such election, the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress shall temporarily act as the President of the People's Republic of China.

§ 3. The State Council

Article 85. Executive branch

The State Council, that is, the Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China, is the executive body of the highest organ of state power; it is the highest organ of state administration.

Article 86. Composition

The State Council is composed of the following:

the Premier; the Vice Premiers; the State Councilors; the Ministers in charge of ministries; the Ministers in charge of commissions; the Auditor General; and the Secretary General.

The Premier assumes overall responsibility for the work of the State Council. The Ministers assume overall responsibility for the work of the ministries and commissions.

The organization of the State Council is prescribed by law.

Article 87. Term

The term of office of the State Council is the same as that of the National People's Congress.

Article 88. Duties of Premier

The Premier directs the work of the State Council. The Vice Premiers and State Councilors assist the Premier in his work.

Executive meetings of the State Council are to be attended by the Premier, the Vice Premiers, the State Councilors and the Secretary General of the State Council.

Article 89. Enumerated powers

The State Council exercises the following functions and powers:

(1) to adopt administrative measures, enact administrative rules and regulations and issue decisions and orders in accordance with the Constitution and the law;
(2) to submit proposals to the National People's Congress or its Standing Committee;
(3) to formulate the tasks and responsibilities of the ministries and commissions of the State Council, to exercise unified leadership over the work of the ministries and commissions and direct all other administrative work of a national character that does not fall within the jurisdiction of the ministries and commissions;
(4) to exercise unified leadership over the work of local organs of state administration at various levels throughout the country, and to formulate the detailed division of functions and powers between the Central Government and the organs of state administration of provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government;
(5) to draw up and implement the plan for national economic and social development of the state budget;
(6) to direct and administer economic affairs and urban and rural development;
(7) to direct and administer the affairs of education, science, culture, public health, physical culture and family planning;
(8) to direct and administer civil affairs, public security, judicial administration, supervision and other related matters;
(9) to conduct foreign affairs and conclude treaties and agreements with foreign states;
(10) to direct and administer the building of national defense;
(11) to direct and administer affairs concerning the nationalities and to safeguard the equal rights of minority nationalities and the right to autonomy of the national autonomous areas;
(12) to protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese nationals residing abroad and protect the lawful rights and interests of returned overseas Chinese and of the family members of Chinese nationals residing abroad;
(13) to alter or annul inappropriate orders, directives and regulations issued by the ministries or commissions;
(14) to alter or annul inappropriate decisions and orders issued by local organs of state administration at various levels;
(15) to approve the geographic division of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government, and to approve the establishment and geographic division of autonomous prefectures, counties, autonomous counties, and cities;
(16) to decide on the imposition of martial law in parts of provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government;
(17) to examine and decide on the size of administrative organs and, in accordance with the law, to appoint or remove administrative officials, train them, appraise their performance and reward or punish them; and
(18) to exercise such other functions and powers as the National People's Congress or its Standing Committee may assign to it.

Article 90. Ministers

Ministers in charge of the ministries or commissions of the State Council are responsible for the work of their respective departments and they convene and preside over ministerial meetings for general and executive meetings of the commissions to discuss and decide major issues in the work of their respective departments.

The ministries and commissions issues orders, directives and regulations within the jurisdiction of their respective departments in accordance with the law and the administrative rules and regulations, decisions and orders issued by the State Council.

Article 91. Auditors

The State Council establishes an auditing body to supervise through auditing the revenue and expenditure of all departments under the State Council and of the local governments at various levels, and the revenue and expenditure of all financial and monetary organizations, enterprises and instituti autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government;


(17) to examine and decide on the size of administrative organs and, in accordance with the law, to appoint or remove administrative officials, train them, appraise their performance and reward or punish them; and
(18) to exercise such other functions and powers as the National People's Congress or its Standing Committee may assign to it.

Article 90. Ministers

Ministers in charge of the ministries or commissions of the State Council are responsible for the work of their respective departments and they convene and preside over ministerial meetings for general and executive meetings of the commissions to discuss and decide major issues in the work of their respective departments.

The ministries and commissions issues orders, directives and regulations within the jurisdiction of their respective departments in accordance with the law and the administrative rules and regulations, decisions and orders issued by the State Council.

Article 91. Auditors

The State Council establishes an auditing body to supervise through auditing the revenue and expenditure of all departments under the State Council and of the local governments at various levels, and the revenue and expenditure of all financial and monetary organizations, enterprises and institutions of the state.

Under the direction of the Premier of the State Council, the auditing body independently exercises its power of supervision through auditing in accordance with the law, subject to no interference by any other administrative organ of any public organization or individual.

Article 92. State Council reports to Congress

The State Council is responsible, and reports on its work, to the National People's Congress or, when the National People's Congress is not in session, to its Standing Committee.

§ 4. The Central Military Commission

Article 93. Function, composition

The Central Military Commission of the People's Republic of China directs the armed forces of the country.

The Central Military Commission is composed of the following:

the Chairman; the Vice Chairmen; and the members.

The Chairman assumes overall responsibility for the work of the Central Military Commission.

The term of office of the Central Military Commission is the same as that of the National People's Congress.

Article 94. Chairman reports to Congress

The Chairman of the Central Military Commission is responsible to the National People's Congress and its Standing Committee.



§ 5. The Local People's Congresses and the Local People's Governments at Different Levels

Article 95. Distribution

People's congresses and people's governments are established in provinces, municipalities directly under the Central Government, counties, cities, municipal districts, townships, nationality townships, and towns.

The organization of local people's congresses and local people's governments at various levels is prescribed by law.

Organs of self-government are established in autonomous regions, autonomous prefectures and autonomous counties. The organization and working procedures of organs of self-government are prescribed by law in accordance with the basic principles laid down in Sections V and VI of Chapter Three of the Constitution.

Article 96. Composition

Local people's congresses at various levels are local organs of state power.

Local people's congresses at and above the county level establish standing committees.

Article 97. Election of deputies

Deputies to the people's congresses of provinces, municipalities directly under the Central Government and cities divided into districts are elected by the people's congresses at the next lower level; deputies to the people's congresses of counties, cities not divided into districts, municipal districts, townships, nationality townships, and towns are elected directly by their constituencies.

The number of deputies to local people's congresses at various levels and the manner of their election are prescribed by law.

Article 98. Term

The term of office of the people's congresses of provinces, municipalities directly under the Central Government, counties, cities and districts under the jurisdiction of the municipal government is five years. The term of office of the people's congresses of townships, nationality townships and towns is three years.

Article 99. Duties and powers

Local people's congresses at various levels ensure the observance and implementation of the Constitution and the law and the administrative rules and regulations in their respective administrative areas. Within the limits of their authority as prescribed by law, they adopt and issue regulations and examine and decide on plans for local economic and cultural development and for the development of public services.

Local people's congresses at and above the county level shall examine and approve the plans for economic and social development and the budgets of their respective administrative areas and examine and approve the reports on their implementation. They have the power to alter or annual inappropriate decisions of their own standing committees.

The people's congresses of nationality townships may, within the limits of their authority as prescribed by law, take specific measures suited to the characteristics of the nationalities concerned.

Article 100. Adoption of local law

The people's congresses of provinces and municipalities directly under the Central Government and their standing committees may adopt local regulations, which must not contravene the Constitution and the law and administrative rules and regulations, and they shall report such local regulations to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress for the record.

Article 101. Election and recall of governors

Local people's congresses and their respective levels elect and have the power to recall governors and deputy governors, or mayors and deputy mayors, or heads deputy heads of counties, districts, townships and towns.

Local people's congresses at and above the county level elect, and have the power to recall, presidents of people's courts and chief pocurators of people's procuratorates at the corresponding level. The election or recall of chief procurators of people's procuratorates at the next higher level for submission to the standing committees of the people's congresses at the corresponding level for approval.

Article 102. Deputies subject to electoral supervision

Deputies to the people's congresses of provinces, municipalities directly under the Central Government and cities divided into districts are subject to supervision by the units which elected them; deputies to the people's congresses of counties, cities not divided into districts, municipal districts, townships, nationality townships, and towns are subject to supervision by their constituencies.

The electoral units and constituencies which elect deputies to local people's congresses at various levels have the power to recall the deputies according to procedures prescribed by law.

Article 103. Composition of standing committees

The standing committee of the local people's congress at and above the county level is composed of a chairman, vice chairmen and members, and is responsible and reports on its work to the people's congress at the corresponding level.

A local people's congress at or above the county level elects, and has the power to recall, members of its standing committee.

No one on the standing committee of a local people's congress at or above the county level shall hold office in state administrative, judicial and procuratorial organs.

Article 104. Duties of standing committees

The standing committee of a local people's congress at and above the county level discusses and decides on major issues in all fields of work in its administrative area; supervises the work of the people's government, people's court and people's procuratorate at the corresponding level; annuls inappropriate decisions and orders of the people's government at the corresponding level; annuls inappropriate resolutions of the people's congress at the next lower level, decides on the appointment or removal of functionaries of state organs within the limits of its authority as prescribed by law; and, when the people's congress at the corresponding level is not in session, recalls individual deputies to the people's congress at the next higher level and elects individual deputies to fill vacancies in that people's congress.

Article 105. Local governments

Local people's governments at various levels are the executive bodies of local organs of state power as well as the local organs of state administration at the corresponding levels.

Governors, mayors and heads of counties, districts, townships and towns assume overall responsibility for local people's governments at various levels.

Article 106. Terms

The term of office of local people's governments at various levels is the same as that of the people's congresses at the corresponding levels.

Article 107. Powers

Local people's governments at and above the county level, within the limits of their authority as prescribed by law, conduct administrative work concerning the economy, education, science, culture, public health, physical culture, urban and rural development, finance, civil affairs, public security, nationalities affairs, judicial administration, supervision and family planning in their respective administrative areas, issue decisions and orders; appoint or remove administrative functionaries, train them, appraise their performance and reward or punish them.

People's governments of townships, nationality townships, and towns execute the resolutions of the people's congress at the corresponding level as well as the decisions and orders of the state administrative organs at the next higher level and conduct administrative work in their respective administrative areas.

Article 108. Hierarchy of government

Local people's governments at and above the county level direct the work of their subordinate departments and of people's governments at lower levels, and have the power to alter or annul inappropriate decisions of their subordinate departments and of people's governments at lower levels.

Article 109. Auditing

Auditing bodies are established by local people's governments at and above the county level. Local auditing bodies at various levels independently exercise their power of supervision through auditing in accordance with the law and are responsible to the people's government at the corresponding level and to the auditing body at the next higher level.

Article 110. Responsibility for reporting

Local people's governments at various levels are responsible and report on their work to the state administrative organs at the next higher level. Local people's governments at various levels throughout the country are state administrative organs under the unified leadership of the State Council and are subordinate to it.

Article 111. Grass-roots government

The residents' committees and villagers' committees established among urban and rural residents on the basis of their place of residence are mass organizations of self-management at the grass roots level. The chairman, vice chairmen and members of each residents' or villagers' committee are elected by the residents. The relationship between the residents' and villagers' committees and the grass roots organs of state power is prescribed by law.

The residents' and villagers' committees establish committees for people's mediation, public security, public health and other matters in order to manage public affairs and social services in their areas, mediate civil disputes, help maintain public order and convey residents' opinions and demands and make suggestions to the people's government.

§ 6. The Organs of Self-Government of National Autonomous Areas

Article 112. Composition

The organs of self-government of national autonomous areas are the people's congresses and people's governments of autonomous regions, autonomous prefectures and autonomous counties.

Article 113. Right of nationalities in Congress

In the people's congress of an autonomous region, prefecture or county, in addition to the deputies of the nationality exercising regional autonomy in the administrative area, the other nationalities inhabiting the area are also entitled to appropriate representation.

Among the chairman and vice chairmen of the standing committee of the people's congress of an autonomous region, prefecture or county there shall be one or more citizens of the nationality or nationalities exercising regional autonomy in the area concerned.

Article 114. Administrative head to be of local nationality

The chairman of an autonomous region, the prefect of an autonomous prefecture or the head of an autonomous county shall be a citizen of the nationality exercising regional autonomy in the area concerned.

Article 115. Powers and functions

The organs of self-government of autonomous regions, prefectures and counties exercise the functions and powers of local organs of state as specified in Section V of Chapter Three of the Constitution. At the same time, they exercise the power of autonomy within the limits of their authority as prescribed by the Constitution, the Law of the People's Republic of China on Regional National Autonomy and other laws and implement the laws and policies of the state in the light of the existing local situation.

Article 116. Concurrency of regional and national law

The people's congresses of the national autonomous areas have the power to enact regulations on the exercise of autonomy and other separate regulations in the light of the political, economic and cultural characteristics of the nationality or nationalities in the areas concerned. The regulations on the exercise of autonomy and other separate regulations of autonomous regions shall be submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress for approval before they go into effect. Those of autonomous prefectures and counties shall be submitted to the standing committees of the people's congresses of provinces of autonomous regions for approval before they go into effect, and they shall be reported to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress for the record.

Article 117. Independence of finance

The organs of self-government of the national autonomous areas have the power of autonomy in administering the finances of their areas. All revenues accruing to the national autonomous areas under the financial system of the state shall be managed and used by the organs of self-government of those areas on their own.

Article 118. Independence of economic planning

The organs of self-government of the national autonomous areas independently arrange for and administer local economic development under the guidance of the state plans.

In exploiting natural resources and building enterprises in the national autonomous areas, the state shall give due consideration to the interests of those areas.

Article 119. Independence of art, science, and culture

The organs of self-government of the national autonomous areas independently administer educational, scientific, cultural, public health and physical culture affairs in their respective areas, protect and sift through the cultural heritage of the nationalities and work for a vigorous development of their cultures.

Article 120. Organization of local police

The organs of self-government of the national autonomous areas may, in accordance with the military system of the state and practical local needs and with the approval of the State Council, organize local public security forces for the maintenance of public order.

Article 121. Use of local language

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Article 122. Assistance from the state

The state provides financial, material and technical assistance to the minority nationalities to accelerate their economic and cultural development.

The state helps the national autonomous areas train large numbers of cadres at various levels and specialized personnel and skilled workers of various profession and trades from among the nationality or nationalities in those areas.

§ 7. The People's Courts and the People's Procuratorates

Article 123. Judicial branch

The people's courts in the People's Republic of China are the judicial organs of the state.

Article 124. Composition

The People's Republic of China establishes the Supreme People's Court and the people's courts at various local levels, military courts and other special people's courts.

The term of office of the President of the Supreme People's Court is the same as that of the National People's Congress. The President shall serve no more than two consecutive terms.

The organization of the people's courts is prescribed by law.

Article 125. Trial to be public, right to defense

Except in special circumstances as specified by law, all cases in the people's courts are heard in public. The accused has the right to defense.

Article 126. Judicial independence

The people's courts exercise judicial power independently, in accordance with the provisions of the law, and are not subject to interference by any administrative organ, public organization or individual.

Article 127. Supreme People's Court

The Supreme People's Court is the highest judicial organ.

The Supreme People's Court supervises the administration of justice by the people's courts at various local levels and by the special people's courts. People's courts at higher levels supervise the administration of justice by those at lower levels.

Article 128. Supreme Court reports to Congress

The Supreme People's Court is responsible to the National People's Congress and its Standing Committee. Local people's courts at various levels are responsible to the organs of the state power which created them.

Article 129. Procuratorates defined

The people's procuratorates of the People's Republic of China are state organs for legal supervision.

Article 130. Division of procuratorates

The People's Republic of China establishes the Supreme People's Procuratorate and the people's procuratorates at various levels, military procuratortates and other special people's procuratorates.

The term of office of the Procurator General of the Supreme People's Procuratorate is the same as that of the National People's Congress; the Procurator General shall serve no more than two consecutive terms.

The organization of the people's procuratorates is prescribed by law.

Article 131. Procuratorial independence

The people's procuratorates exercise procuratorial power independently, in accordance with the provisions of the law, and are not subject to interference by any administrative organ, public organization or individual.

Article 132. Supreme People's Procuratorate

The Supreme People's Procuratorate is the highest procuratorial organ.

The Supreme People's Procuratorate directs the work of the people's procuratorates at various local levels and of the special people's procuratorates at various local levels. People's procuratorates at higher levels direct the work of those at lower levels.

Article 133. Supreme Procuratorate reports to Congress

The Supreme People's Procuratorate is responsible to the National People's Congress and its Standing Committee. People's procuratorates at various levels are responsible to the organs of state power which created them and to the people's procuratorates at higher levels.

Article 134. Right to use national language

Citizens of all nationalities have the right to use the spoken and written languages of their own nationalities in court proceedings. The people's courts and people's procuratorates should provide translation for any party to the court proceedings who is not familiar with the spoken or written languages commonly used in the locality.

In an area where people of a minority nationality live in a concentrated community or where a number of nationalities live together, court hearings should be conducted in the language or languages commonly used in the locality; indictments, judgments, notices and other documents should be written, according to actual needs, in the language or languages commonly used in the locality.

Article 135. Coordination of efforts

The people's courts, the people's procuratorates and the public security organs shall, in handling criminal cases, divide their functions, each taking responsibility for its own work, and they shall coordinate their efforts and check each other to ensure the correct and effective enforcement of the law.

CHAPTER IV. The National Flag, the National Emblem and the Capital

Article 136. Flag

The national flag of the People's Republic of China is a red flag with five stars.

Article 137. Emblem

The national emblem of the People's Republic of China consists of an image of Tiananmen in its center illuminated by five stars and encircled by ears of grain and a cogwheel.



Article 138. Capital

The capital of the People's Republic of China is Beijing.

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