Lawmakers pass draft amendments on Constitution
( 2003-12-28 08:32) (chinadaily.com.cn)
The members of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) passed the draft amendments to the Constitution in Beijing Saturday.
The amendments will be handed over to the second annual session of the NPC in March next year.
Wu Bangguo, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, said the revision of the Constitution is a top issue for the nation, and it is in line with China's situation and keeping pace with the times to add important understandings and experiences into the Constitution.
On the same day, the top legislature approved three laws governing the country's banking industry, namely the Law on the Supervision of Banks, the amended Law on the People's Bank of China, and the amended Law on Commercial Banks.
Later, President Hu Jintao signed three presidential decrees to enact the three new laws.
"Three Represents" to be written into Constitution
The thought of "Three Represents" is to be written into China's constitution, along with the provision to safeguard the ownership of private property.
The "Three Represents" thought, as well as Marxism, Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory, shall be one of the guiding principles of the nation's political and social life, according to the proposed amendments. The important thought of "Three Represents", put forward by Jiang Zemin, former general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, in February 2000, states that the CPC must always represent "the development trend of China's advanced productive forces, the orientation of China's advanced culture and the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the Chinese people".
The proposed revision on private property protection puts private assets of Chinese citizens on an equal footing with public property, which are "not to be violated". Wang Zhaoguo, vice-chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, explained the CPC proposal to lawmakers Monday in his capacity as a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.
"Respect for and protection of human rights" and "establishing and perfecting the social security system adapted to economic development" are also proposed amendments. The proposal also adds items about harmonious development among material, political and cultural civilizations, perfecting the land requisition system, confirming the guideline in promoting the non-public economy.
The proposal suggests changing the terms of local deputies, currently from three to five years, to five years as standard. It also adds the provisions on the state of emergency, and extensions of the president's authority in foreign affairs and the national anthem.
China promulgated its first constitution in 1954. The existing constitution was formulated in 1982 and amended in 1988, 1993 and 1999. The proposed revisions were made after extensive discussions, Wang said. According to agenda, the Standing Committee will formulate amendments to the constitution after reviewing the proposals, which will be submitted for approval at the second plenum of the 10th National People's Congress next March.
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