Fundamental principles of Constitution
The People's Republic of China is a socialist country led by the working class, based on the worker-peasant alliance and practicing people's democratic centralism. The socialist system is the primary system in China.
The Constitution is the fundamental law of the state. It usually stipulates a country's social system and basic principles of state system, the basic principles of activities and organizations of state departments, and the basic rights and obligations of its citizens. Some constitutions also legalize the national flag, anthem, emblem, capital, and other systems that the government believes touches the lives of its citizens. The constitution is entitled with the highest legislative power. All other laws and regulations have to subject to the constitution and shall be strictly consistent with it.
Prior to the establishment of the People's Republic of China, Common Program of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference was adopted. It was not only a common program for the democratic united front of the Chinese people, but was also a temporary constitution for China prior to the adoption of the current Constitution.The Common Program was passed at the First Plenary Session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference on September 29th 1949.
Since the establishment of the People's Republic of China on October 1st 1949, four constitutions have been adopted and amended in 1954, 1975, 1978 and 1982. The fourth constitution, which is the existing constitution, was adopted on the fifth Plenary Session on the Fifth National People's Congress on December 4th 1982. This constitution has followed and developed the basic principles set in the 1954 constitution. It narrates the experience of the development of Chinese socialism and summarizes the international history for socialist development. This is a basic law: to serve and modernize Chinese socialism. It clearly stipulates the political system, economic system, the rights and obligations of citizens, setting up of state departments and their duties, and the basic tasks for future national development. The fundamental features for this constitution include: setting the fundamental system and tasks, establishing the Four Basic Principles, and laying the basic rationales for reform. The constitution also stipulates that all activities undertaken by its citizens and organizations shall be subject to the constitution. Any organization or individual can not surpass the constitution and law.
This constitution has five sections including preamble, general principles, the fundamental rights and duties of citizens, the structure of the state, the national flag, the national emblem and the capital. There are four chapters and 138 articles in total. Since its adoption, this constitution has been amended four times and will be continuously optimized.
The National People's Congress
The people's congress is an organizational arm for the state power in China. It is China's fundamental political system. Different from the legislative council under the western system of "separation of three powers", the Constitution has made the National People's Congress the most powerful organ of the country. Any Chinese citizen who is over the age of 18 years has the right to elect or be elected as an NPC representative. In China, representatives of the local people's congress are elected directly from the local population. Above these levels, representatives are elected indirectly. The NPC is composed of representatives from provinces, autonomous regions, direct municipalities, and the military. The term for representatives in every level of the people's congress is five years. The congress is held annually.
At the annual meeting of the NPC, the representatives will listen to the government reports and review other important documents. They will examine these reports...