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Politics
Constitutional Upgrade
The CPC Central Committee on January 19 proposed writing Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era into the Constitution of China
By XINHUA | NO. 52 DECEMBER 28, 2017
Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, delivers a speech at the second plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee, which was held in Beijing on January 18-19 (XINHUA)

The Second Plenary Session of the 19th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee was held in Beijing on January 18-19. At the meeting, a proposal from the CPC Central Committee on revising the Constitution was adopted. A communiqué was issued after the session. This article is compiled from reports by Xinhua News Agency.

The Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on January 19 proposed writing Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era into the Constitution of China, the country's fundamental law.

Major theoretical achievements, principles and policies adopted at the 19th CPC National Congress should be incorporated into a revision to the Constitution, according to a communiqué issued after the Second Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee held in Beijing on January 18-19.

A proposal from the CPC Central Committee on the revision was adopted at the meeting.

New achievements, experiences and requirements of the development of the Party and the nation should be embodied in the revised Constitution, according to the communiqué.

"We should keep pace with the times and improve the Constitution while maintaining its consistency, stability and authority," the document said.

The CPC Central Committee called on the whole Party to unite around it, with Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, at the core, and adhere to socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics.

The session was presided over by the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee. Xi delivered a speech at the session. The session was attended by 203 members and 172 alternate members of the CPC Central Committee, members of the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, leading officials in charge of relevant affairs, some deputies to the 19th CPC National Congress elected from grassroots organizations, and experts.

At the session, the leaders reviewed and adopted a proposal for amending some parts of the Constitution. Zhang Dejiang, Chairman of the Standing Committee of National People's Congress, introduced the draft proposal at the session.

Why amend?

It is necessary to amend China's Constitution in the new era, said the communiqué.

The People's Republic of China enacted its first Constitution in 1954. In 1982, the Fifth National People's Congress adopted the present Constitution, which underwent four amendments in 1988, 1993, 1999 and 2004, respectively. The Constitution has played an important role in the development of the nation, said the communiqué.

"The Constitution has been improved together with the country's changing reality and development of the Party and the nation," the communiqué said.

Since the last amendment in 2004, the Party and the country have been through important changes.

"The 19th CPC National Congress made important strategic deployments in socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era," the communiqué said.

It is necessary to amend the Constitution to incorporate theoretical, practical and institutional achievements made by the Party and the people, according to the communiqué.

The amending process should take Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, the Scientific Outlook on Development, and Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as the guide, according to the communiqué.

What is highlighted

Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era is a guideline that the Party and the nation will uphold in the long run.

The communiqué stressed that Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era is the latest achievement in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context and is the Marxism for contemporary China and the 21st century. The Thought should be a guiding ideology that must be upheld in the long term by the CPC and the country, according to the communiqué.

The leadership of the Party must be strengthened and upheld in all areas of endeavor. Adherence to the CPC leadership is listed as a principle in revising the Constitution, and leadership of the CPC is the essential attribute of socialism with Chinese characteristics and the greatest strength of the system, according to the communiqué.

The five-sphere integrated plan, which is to promote coordinated economic, political, cultural, social and ecological advancement, and the new vision of innovative, coordinated, green and open development that is for everyone, are vital for national rejuvenation.

The goals of finishing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2020, basically realizing socialist modernization by 2035 and building China into a great modern socialist country by the middle of the 21st century are also emphasized.

Following the path of peaceful development, pursuing a mutually beneficial strategy of opening up and promoting the building of a community with a shared future for mankind are of great significance to the cause of peaceful development for humanity.

The reform to establish a national supervisory system, which is under the Party's leadership and covers all who exercise public power, is a significant political system reform and a major decision to strengthen the self-supervision of the Party and the state.

All shall obey the Constitution

The communiqué stressed the important role of the Constitution in state governance and pledged to guarantee its implementation.

"Efforts to adhere to the rule of law should give priority to the rule of the Constitution. Efforts to adhere to governing by law should put governing in line with the Constitution in the first place," the document said.

"All anti-Constitutional behavior shall be corrected, without fail," said the communiqué. "No organization or individual has the power to overstep the Constitution or the law."

All people, state organs, armed forces, political parties, civil groups, public institutions and companies should take the Constitution as their fundamental guide.

"People at every level of public office, especially leading officials, should exercise power and work according to the Constitution and the law, and subject themselves to the supervision of the people," the communiqué stressed.

Significance

Enriching major institutional provisions in the Constitution would play an important role in improving and developing the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, said the communiqué.

The revision of the Constitution will provide a powerful guarantee for the development of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.

As the Constitution is at the heart of the Chinese socialist system of law, adherence to the rule of law should give priority to the rule of the Constitution.

Efforts to adhere to governing by law should make governing in line with the Constitution a priority. This experience, which is learned from the history of China's development, should be treasured.

Since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, the CPC Central Committee with Xi at the core has led the country to stick to and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics, establishing Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.

The proposed revision can keep the Constitution at pace with the development of the Party and the country while maintaining its consistency, stability and authority.

This is an endeavor by the CPC Central Committee to deliver its concept of governance in line with the Constitution. The CPC will also strengthen oversight to ensure compliance with the Constitution, advance constitutional review and safeguard the authority of the Constitution.

Since 2012, the CPC Central Committee has taken significant measures to safeguard the dignity and authority of the Constitution, such as by establishing the National Constitution Day and a mechanism to pledge allegiance to the Constitution.

The proposed revision will enhance the implementation of and adherence to the Constitution by the whole society, boost the confidence of grassroots organizations on reform and development, and provide constitutional guidance for various sectors to speed up reform.

Copyedited by Chris Surtees

Comments to zanjifang@bjreview.com

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