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"Constitution Propaganda Week" Series-Studying the History of the Constitution
Publication time:2019.12.19 14:03:45

As our country's fundamental law, the Constitution has the highest status and the highest legal effect in our legal system. From the "Common Programme", which has the significance of an interim constitution in 1949, to the 2018 revised version of the current 1982 constitution, let us review the development of our constitution.

 

Predecessor: Common Programme

 

On the eve of the founding of New China in the autumn of 1949, the new democratic revolution was about to win a national victory. After the victory of the revolution, what kind of country will be established, how to fix the results of the victory of the revolution in legal form, and stipulate the major political principles after the founding of the People's Republic of China as the guidelines followed by the people of the whole country in order to unite the people of all ethnic groups throughout the country The cause continues to move forward, which urgently needs to be formulated-a document of a fundamental legal nature. However, due to various conditions at the time, the National People's Congress, which was formed by universal suffrage, could not be convened immediately and a comprehensive formal constitution could be formulated. Under such circumstances, the Communist Party of China invites 635 representatives from various democratic parties, people's organizations, the People's Liberation Army, various regions, nationalities, and overseas Chinese to form the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference to represent the will of the people of all ethnic groups in the country. Perform the functions and powers of the National People's Congress before the general election of the National People's Congress.

 

In September 1949, the first plenary session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference adopted the "Common Program of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference" to replace the "Republic of China" which is in a constitutional state but not recognized by the Chinese Communist Party and the China Democratic League. The Constitution, which has the nature of an interim constitution, stipulates the composition of the political power organs and the military, economic, cultural, educational, ethnic, and foreign policies of the new government.

 

Good start: May 4th Constitution

 

On December 1, 1952, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China issued the "Notice on Convening the National Congress of the Party", which states that the conditions for convening the National People's Congress and formulating the constitution are already in place, and that it is ready to make a constitution. On December 24, 1952, at the 43rd meeting of the First Standing Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Zhou Enlai proposed drafting a constitution on behalf of the Communist Party of China; the CPPCC adopted this proposal. On January 1, 1953, the People's Daily, the central organ of the Communist Party of China, listed the formulation of the Constitution as one of the three tasks in 1953. On January 13, 1953, the 20th meeting of the Central People's Government Committee decided that more than 30 people including Mao Zedong would form a constitution drafting committee, that is, the formal constitution-making organ would be the Central People's Government. At the end of 1953, Mao Zedong led the constitution drafting group to live in Hangzhou West Lake State Guest House.

 

About 150 million people participated in the discussion of the first constitution, and there were more than 1.38 million opinions. In addition, more than 5.96 million deputies from the people's congresses of the provinces, cities and counties also expressed their opinions. According to the opinions solicited, the Constitution Drafting Committee revised the original draft and submitted it to the Central People's Government Committee for an ad hoc meeting to discuss and adopt it, forming a constitution for review. On September 20, 1954, at the first meeting of the First National People's Congress, the Constitution of the People's Republic of China was passed in full.

 

This constitution stipulates that citizens have freedom of movement and right of abode, etc. It also incorporates provisions for citizens to be equal in law, which is quite constructive in writing; at the same time, it closely follows the spirit of the 1946 Political Consultative Conference resolution and the 1949 "Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference" The democratic principles of the "Common Program" are manifested in the establishment of the National People's Congress, the cabinet system, and the commander-in-chief of the army. Some people think that many articles of this constitution, such as the independent trial of the people's court, the right of citizens to move freely, and the right to strike, have reached a level that cannot be surpassed by any constitution since 1949.

 

Tortuous Course: The Seventh Five-Year Constitution

 

The "Seventh Five-Year Constitution" was adopted at the first session of the Fourth National People's Congress on January 17, 1975. Because it was born in the late stage of the Cultural Revolution and has a strong cultural revolution, its guiding ideology is "continuing to carry out class struggles", and a large number of cuts must be made in the general constitution, which has led to China's neglect of economic construction. It legalized the "cultural revolution", undermined the principles of democracy in the original constitution, and provided insufficient provisions for state institutions. It stipulates that the presidency of the People's Republic of China will no longer be set up, the scope of basic rights and freedoms of citizens will be reduced, the provisions that "citizens are all equal in law" will be abolished, and many references and practices of the Cultural Revolution will be affirmed. It is generally believed that this is a constitution with serious shortcomings and errors.

 

Turn in Time: The Constitution of July Eight

 

After the "Cultural Revolution" ended in 1976, major changes took place in the country's political situation, and constitutional amendments were put back on the agenda. In 1977, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China decided to establish a Constitution Amendment Committee to undertake the amendment of the draft constitution. After the draft constitution was completed, in October 1977, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China issued a notice to solicit opinions from the masses inside and outside the party on amending the constitution. On March 5, 1978, the first session of the Fifth National People's Congress adopted the revised Constitution of the People's Republic of China. This is the third constitution of the People's Republic of China.

 

The Constitution of 1978 restored the cancelled prosecutorial organs and the provision of its functions and powers to be exercised by public security organs; the system of public trial and defense was restored; the basic rights and obligations of citizens were greatly supplemented. Number of articles increased to 16. Due to the constraints of historical conditions at that time, this constitution failed to completely clean up the "Left" ideological influence during the "Cultural Revolution", so that there were still some incorrect political theoretical concepts and provisions that did not adapt to the actual situation. For example, the preamble still retains the wrong formulation of "continue to continue the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat", and still adopts a positive attitude towards the "cultural revolution"; in state institutions, the names of local revolutionary committees at all levels are still retained; In basic rights and obligations, citizens are still required to "have the right to use 'big voices, big releases, big debates, big prints', etc." and so on.

 

Disturbances: The Constitution of 1982

 

In 1982, with the deepening of "disordering anyway," the Cultural Revolution had been completely overthrown. Amending the original constitution to adapt it to the situation has once again become an urgent need. In the second half of 1980, under the direct chairmanship of Chairman Ye Jianying, China began to make a large-scale and overall revision of the Constitution. After more than two years of discussions, amendments, and national discussions, on December 4, 1982, the Fourth Constitution of the People's Republic of China was officially adopted and promulgated at the Fifth Session of the Fifth National People's Congress. The fourth constitution inherits and develops the basic principles of the 1954 Constitution, summarizes the experience of China ’s socialist development, and absorbs international experience. It is a fundamental law with Chinese characteristics that meets the needs of China ’s socialist modernization.

 

The August 2nd Constitution deleted the language of the Cultural Revolution such as "continuing revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat", rationalized the relationship between the party and the state, administration, legislation, and justice, separated the party affairs organization from the state institution operation system, and achieved separation of party and government A clear distinction is made between legislative, judicial and executive powers, and it is provided that no organization or individual shall have the privilege to surpass the Constitution and the law. The 1982 Constitution was considered to be "the best constitution to date" since the founding of New China.

 

Keeping up with the times: amendments to the Constitution

 

April 20, 1988

 

In line with the current reform situation, the Seventh National People's Congress revised Articles 10 and 11 of the Constitution. Allow the private economy to emerge and permit the transfer of land use rights.

 

March 29, 1993

 

The Eighth National People's Congress revised most of the articles and preambles of the general outline of the Constitution, as well as the election of local people's congress representatives. The socialist market economy system was formally established, and the multi-party cooperation and political consultation system led by the Communist Party of China was written into the foreword.

 

March 15, 1999

 

At the second meeting of the Ninth National People's Congress, in order to adapt to the development of the situation, some constitutional provisions were revised again. The revised constitution further enhanced the status of the private economy and abolished the "counter-revolutionary crime" provisions.

 

March 14, 2004

 

The second session of the Tenth National People's Congress revised the constitution again. The state of martial law in the original article was changed to a state of emergency and the President was authorized to declare a state of emergency in accordance with a decision of the National People's Congress. In addition, the statement that "the state respects and protects human rights" is also written into the Constitution.

 

March 11, 2018

 

The thirteenth National People's Congress passed a constitutional amendment. The content includes once again writing "Leadership of the Communist Party of China" into the text of the Constitution, granting local legislative powers to prefecture-level cities, setting up state supervisory organs, removing restrictions on the term of office of the President and Vice-Chairmen, and establishing a constitutional oath system at the constitutional level.

 

Summary: Kushiro Blue Strand

 

Throughout the history of constitutional development in China, it has never been smooth sailing. China's constitution has had a good start, but at the same time, it has inevitably taken a lot of detours. However, since the August 2nd Constitution promptly disorganized anyway, China's constitution has been developing in a more complete and complete direction. Looking back on the whole journey, Kushiro Blue Strands, countless ancestors of law have devoted their lives, made suggestions for the birth of the constitution, and longed for a real people's constitution. Judging from judicial practice, the Constitution of 1982 is the best one in the history of our country. It has gone through many constitutional amendments and always keeps up with the times. It is a truly suitable for China's national conditions, the requirements of the times, and for China. Constitution escorting the great national rejuvenation.

 

Governing the country according to the constitution is the focus and key to implementing the rule of law, and it is the inherent requirement for building a country ruled by law. The Decision of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on Several Important Issues Concerning the Comprehensive Advancement of Governing the Country According to Law makes an important exposition on "Constitution is the centralized embodiment of the will of the party and the people, and it is the fundamental law formed through scientific and democratic procedures. To adhere to the rule of law, we must first To adhere to governing the country according to the law and governing according to the law, we must first adhere to governing according to the constitution. The people of all ethnic groups, all state organs and armed forces, political parties and social groups, and enterprises and institutions must take the Constitution as the basic activity criterion It has the responsibility to safeguard the dignity of the Constitution and ensure its implementation. All acts that violate the Constitution must be investigated and corrected. "" Maintaining the authority of the Constitution is safeguarding the authority of the party and the people's common will. Defending the constitution's dignity is defending the Party and the people's common authority. The dignity of the will. Ensuring the implementation of the Constitution is the realization of the fundamental interests of the people. As long as we truly respect and effectively implement the Constitution, the people will be the masters of the country and the cause of the party and the state will develop smoothly. " Adhere to the principles of the Constitution, carry forward the spirit of the Constitution, and fulfill Law mission; from its start, maintain supremacy of the Constitution, to maintain the highest authority of the Constitution.

 

                (Source: Gansu TV News)

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