China’s top legislature passes constitutional amendment


China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) on Sunday adopted an amendment to the country’s Constitution, the first in 14 years.

Lawmakers cast their ballots on the draft amendment to the country’s Constitution and heard a work report of the 12th NPC Standing Committee during its third plenary meeting.

A total of 2,958 deputies of the 2,964 attending the meeting voted “YES”, with two “NO” votes and three abstentions.

The secret ballot lasted nearly one hour with President Xi Jinping casting the first vote.

The deputies at the meeting agreed that the constitutional revision, which accords with the aspirations of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the people, and has won approval from both inside and outside the Party, is of historic significance for ensuring prosperity and lasting security of both the Party and the country.

The first session of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s national legislature, started its third plenary meeting in Beijing, March 11, 2018. /Xinhua Photo

The draft amendment to the Constitution was submitted to the national legislature for deliberation last Monday.

Revising part of the Constitution is a major decision made by the CPC Central Committee from the overall and strategic height of upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, said Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, during a panel discussion with NPC deputies on Wednesday.

A constitutional change is either proposed by the NPC Standing Committee or by more than one-fifth of all NPC deputies, and requires the approval of two-thirds or more of NPC deputies during the annual session.

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) enacted its first Constitution in 1954. The current Constitution was formulated in 1982 and amended in 1988, 1993, 1999 and 2004.

Below is what you need to know about China’s Constitution and its fifth amendment.

For more:

China to amend its Constitution for the fifth time

History of amendments to China’s Constitution

Opinion: Why does China need to amend its Constitution?

(With input from Xinhua)