The political program of the People’s Republic (1949)

The following political program was passed by a CCP consultative conference in late September 1949, shortly before Mao Zedong’s formal proclamation of the People’s Republic of China:

“The Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, representing the will of the people of the whole country, proclaims the establishment of the People’s Republic of China and is organising the people’s own central government. The Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference unanimously agrees that New Democracy, or the People’s Democracy, shall be the political foundation for the national construction of the People’s Republic of China. It has also adopted the following Common Program…

Article 1
The People’s Republic of China is a New Democratic or a People’s Democratic state. It carries out the people’s democratic dictatorship led by the working class, based on the alliance of workers and peasants, and uniting all democratic classes and all nationalities in China. It opposes imperialism, feudalism and bureaucratic capitalism and strives for independence, democracy, peace, unity, prosperity and strength of China.

Article 2
The Central People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China must undertake to wage the people’s war of liberation to the very end, to liberate all the territory of China, and to achieve the unification of China.

Article 3
The People’s Republic of China must abolish all the prerogatives of imperialist countries in China. It must confiscate bureaucratic capital and put it into the possession of the people’s state. It must systematically transform the feudal and semi-feudal land ownership system into a system of peasant land ownership; it must protect the public property of the state and of the cooperatives and must protect the economic interests and private property of workers, peasants, the petty bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie. It must develop the people’s economy of New Democracy and steadily transform the country from an agricultural into an industrial one.

Article 4
The people of the People’s Republic of China shall have the right to elect and to be elected according to law.

Article 5
The people of the People’s Republic of China shall have freedom of thought, speech, publication, assembly, association, correspondence, person, domicile, change of domicile, religious belief and the freedom of holding processions and demonstrations.

Article 6
The People’s Republic of China shall abolish the feudal system which holds women in bondage. Women shall enjoy equal rights with men in political, economic, cultural, educational and social life. Freedom of marriage for men and women shall be put into effect.

Article 7
The People’s Republic of China shall suppress all counter-revolutionary, activities, severely punish all Guomindang counter-revolutionary war criminals and other leading incorrigible counter-revolutionary elements who collaborate with imperialism, commit treason against the fatherland and oppose the cause of people’s democracy. Feudal landlords, bureaucratic capitalists and reactionary elements in general, after they have been disarmed and have had their special powers abolished, shall, in addition, be deprived of their political rights in accordance with law for a necessary period. But, at the same time, they, shall be given some means of livelihood and shall be compelled to reform themselves through labour so as to become new men. If they continue their counter-revolutionary activities, they will be severely punished.

Article 8
It is the duty of every national of the People’s Republic of China to defend the fatherland, to abide by the law, to observe labour discipline, to protect public property, to perform public and military service, and to pay taxes.

Article 9
All nationalities in the People’s Republic of China shall have equal rights and duties.

Article 10
The armed forces of the People’s Republic of China, namely, the People’s Liberation Army, the people’s public security forces and the people’s police belong to the people. It is the task of these armed forces to defend the independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of China, and to defend the revolutionary gains and all legitimate rights and interests of the Chinese people. The Central People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China shall endeavour to consolidate and strengthen the people’s armed forces, so as to enable them to accomplish their tasks effectively.

Article 11
The People’s Republic of China shall unite with all peace-loving and freedom-loving countries and peoples throughout the world, first of all, with the USSR, all Peoples’ Democracies and all oppressed nations. It shall take its stand in the camp of international peace and democracy, to oppose imperialist aggression to defend lasting world peace…

Article 27
Agrarian reform is the necessary condition for the development of the nation’s productive power and for its industrialisation. In all areas where agrarian reform has been carried out, the ownership of the land acquired by the peasants shall be protected. In areas where agrarian reform has not been carried out, the peasant masses must be set in motion to establish peasant organisations and to put into effect the policy of 1and to the tiller through such measures as the elimination of local bandits and despots, the reduction of rent and interest and the distribution of land.

Article 28
State-owned economy is of a Socialist nature. All enterprises relating to the economic life of the country and exercising a dominant influence over the people’s livelihood shall be under the unified operation of the state. All state-owned resources and enterprises are the public property of all the people and are the main material basis on which the People’s Republic will develop production and bring about a prosperous economy. They are the leading force of the entire social economy.”