Chapter 3 of the Chinese Constitution Simplified

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November 20, 2021

Section 1: The National People’s Congress

Article 57

The National People’s Congress (NPC) of the PRC is the highest state organ of power. Its permanent organ is the NPC Standing Committee.

Article 58 The NPC and the NPC Standing Committee exercise the legislative power of the state.

Article 59 The NPC shall be composed of deputies elected from the provinces, autonomous regions, cities directly under central government jurisdiction, special administrativeregions and armed forces. All ethnic minorities should have an appropriate number of deputies.

The election of deputies to the NPC shall be presided over by the NPC Standing Committee.

The number of deputies to the NPC and the procedures for their election shall be prescribed by law.

Article 60

Each NPC shall last five years.

The NPC Standing Committee must complete the election of deputies to the next NPC two months prior to the completion of the term of office of the current NPC. If extraordinary circumstances prevent an election from going ahead, the election may be postponed and the term of office of the current NPC may be extended by a resolution supported by at least two-thirds of the members of the current NPC Standing Committee. The election of deputies to the next NPC must be completed within one year of said extraordinary circumstances coming to an end.

Article 61 A session of the NPC shall be held once every year and shall be convened by the NPC Standing Committee. If the NPC Standing Committee deems it necessary, or one-fifth or more of NPC deputies so propose, a session of the NPC may be convened in the interim.

When the NPC holds a session, it shall elect a presidium to conduct that session.

Article 62 The NPC shall exercise the following functions and powers:

  1. amending the Constitution
  2. overseeing its enforcement
  3. enacting and amending criminal, civil, state institutional and other basic laws;
  4. electing the president and the vice president of the PRC;
  5. deciding, based on nomination by the president of the PRC, on the successful candidate for the premier of the State Council; deciding, based on nominations by the premier of the State Council, on the successful candidates for vice premiers, state councilors, ministers of ministries, ministers of commissions, the auditor general and the secretary general of the State Council;
  6. electing the chairperson of the Central Military Commission and deciding, based on nominations by the chairperson of the Central Military Commission, on the successful candidates for other members of the Central Military Commission;
  7. electing the chairperson of the National Commission of Supervision;
  8. electing the president of the Supreme People’s Court;
  9. electing the procurator general of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate;
  10. reviewing and approving the plan for national economic and social development and the report on its implementation;
  11. reviewing and approving the state budget and the report on its implementation;
  12. changing or revoking inappropriate decisions of the NPC Standing Committee;
  13. approving the establishment of provinces, autonomous regions and cities directly under central government jurisdiction
  14. deciding on the establishment of special administrative regions and the systems to be instituted there
  15. deciding on issues concerning war and peace
  16. other functions and powers that the highest state organ of power should exercise.

Article 63

The NPC can remove the following:

  1. The president and the vice president of the PRC
  2. The premier, vice premiers, state councilors, ministers of ministries, ministers of commissions, the auditor general and the secretary general of the State Council
  3. The chairperson of the Central Military Commission and other members of the Central Military Commission
  4. The chairperson of the National Commission of Supervision;
  5. The president of the Supreme People’s Court
  6. The procurator general of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate.

Article 64

Amendments to the Constitution must be proposed by the NPC Standing Committee or by 1/5 or more of NPC deputies and be adopted by a vote of at least 2/3 of NPC deputies.

Laws and other proposals shall be adopted by a majority vote of the NPC deputies.

Article 65

The NPC Standing Committee is composed of:

  • a chairperson,
  • vice chairpersons,
  • a secretary general, and
  • members.

There should be an appropriate number of ethnic minority deputies who sit as members on the NPC Standing Committee.

The NPC shall elect, and have the power to remove from office, the members of the NPC Standing Committee.

Members of the NPC Standing Committee shall not hold office in an administrative, supervisory, adjudicatory or procuratorial organ of the state.

Article 66 Each NPC Standing Committee shall have the same term of office as that of the NPC; it shall exercise its functions and powers until a new Standing Committee is elected by the next NPC.

The chairperson and vice chairpersons of the Standing Committee shall serve no more than two consecutive terms.

Article 67

The NPC Standing Committee shall exercise the following functions and powers:

  1. interpreting the Constitution and overseeing its enforcement;
  2. enacting and amending laws other than those that should be enacted by the NPC;
  3. when the NPC is out of session, partially supplementing and amending laws enacted by the NPC but without conflicting with the basic principles of those laws;
  4. interpreting laws;
  5. when the NPC is out of session, reviewing and approving partial adjustments to the plan for national economic and social development and the state budget that must be made in the course of implementation;
  6. overseeing the work of the State Council, the Central Military Commission, the National Commission of Supervision, the Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate;
  7. revoking administrative regulations, decisions and orders formulated by the State Council that are in conflict with the Constitution or laws;
  8. revoking local regulations and resolutions formulated by the state organs of power in provinces, autonomous regions and cities directly under central government jurisdiction that are in conflict with the Constitution, laws, or administrative regulations;
  9. when the NPC is out of session, deciding, based on nominations by the premier of the State Council, on successful candidates for ministers of ministries, ministers of commissions, the auditor general and the secretary general of the State Council;
  10. when the NPC is out of session, deciding, based on nominations by the chairperson of the Central Military Commission, on successful candidates for other members of the Central Military Commission;
  11. appointing or removing, based on recommendations by the chairperson of the National Commission of Supervision, vice chairpersons and members of the National Commission of Supervision;
  12. appointing or removing, based on recommendations by the president of the Supreme People’s Court, vice presidents, judges and Adjudicatory Committee members of the Supreme People’s Court, and the president of the Military Court;
  13. appointing or removing, based on recommendations by the procurator general of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, deputy procurators general, procurators and Procuratorial Committee members of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, and the chief procurator of the Military Procuratorate; and approving the appointment or removal of chief procurators of the people’s procuratorates of provinces, autonomous regions and cities directly under central government jurisdiction;
  14. deciding on the appointment or removal of plenipotentiary representatives abroad;
  15. deciding on the ratification or abrogation of treaties and important agreements concluded with foreign countries;
  16. stipulating systems of titles and ranks for military and diplomatic personnel and other field-specific title and ranking systems;
  17. stipulating national medals and titles of honor and deciding on their conferment;
  18. deciding on the granting of special pardons;
  19. when the NPC is out of session, in the event of an armed attack on the country or in fulfillment of international treaty obligations concerning common defense against aggression, deciding on declaring a state of war
  20. deciding on national or local mobilization;
  21. deciding on entering a state of emergency nationwide or in particular provinces, autonomous regions or cities directly under central government jurisdiction; and
  22. other functions and powers accorded to it by the NPC.

Article 68

The NPC Standing Committee chairperson shall:

  • preside over the work of the NPC Standing Committee
  • convene its meetings

The vice chairpersons and the secretary general shall assist the chairperson.

The chairperson, vice chairpersons and the secretary general constitute a Council of Chairpersons, which handles the important day-to-day work of the NPC Standing Committee.

Article 69

The NPC Standing Committee shall be responsible to the NPC and shall report to the Congress on its work.

Article 70

The NPC shall establish an:

  • Ethnic Affairs Committee
  • Constitution and Law Committee
  • Financial and Economic Committee
  • Education, Science, Culture and Public Health Committee
  • Foreign Affairs Committee
  • Overseas Chinese Affairs Committee
  • other special committees as necessary.

When the NPC is out of session, all special committees shall work under the leadership of the NPC Standing Committee.

The special committees shall research, discuss and draw up relevant proposals under the leadership of the NPC and the NPC Standing Committee.

Article 71

When the NPC and the NPC Standing Committee deem it necessary, they may organize investigation committees on specific issues and, based on investigation committee reports, adopt appropriate resolutions.

When an investigation committee is conducting an investigation, all state organs, social organizations and citizens concerned shall have the obligation to provide the committee with the necessary data.

Article 72

Deputies to the NPCand members of the NPC Standing Committee shall have the power, in accordance with procedures prescribed by law, to submit proposals within the scope of the respective functions and powers of the NPC and the NPC Standing Committee.

Article 73

Deputies to the NPC, when the Congress is in session, and members of the NPC Standing Committee, when the Standing Committee is meeting, shall have the power, in accordance with procedures prescribed by law, to submit inquiries to the State Council or the ministries and commissions under it. Organs that receive such inquiries must take responsibility for answering them.

Article 74

Deputies to the NPC shall not be arrested or placed on criminal trial without the consent of the presidium of the current session of the NPC or, when the Congress is out of session, the consent of the NPC Standing Committee.

Article 75

The statements and votes of NPC deputies at meetings of the NPC shall not be subject to legal liability.

Article 76

Deputies to the NPC must play an exemplary role in abiding by the Constitution and the law and keeping state secrets and, in the production, work and public activities they participate in, assist in the enforcement of the Constitution and the law.

Deputies to the NPC should maintain close contact with the organizations and people that elected them, listen to and convey the opinions and demands of the people, and work hard to serve them.

Article 77 Deputies to the NPC shall be subject to the oversight of the organizations that elected them. Organizations that have elected deputies shall have the power to remove them from office in accordance with procedures prescribed by law.

Article 78 The organization and working procedures of the NPC and the NPC Standing Committee shall be prescribed by law.