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Tiananmen Square



POLITICAL SYSTEM AND STATE STRUCTURE

Constitution:  China has drafted four constitutions since the founding of the People's Republic, respectively in 1954, 1975, 1978 and 1982.

The present constitution, drawn up after discussion attended by representatives of all of China's people, came into effect following approval by the Fifth Session of the Fifth NPC on December 4, 1982.  This constitution continues the basic principles underlying the first constitution of 1954, while effectively distilling the experiences gained in China's socialist development and adopting the relevant experiences of other nations, all with careful consideration of the then realities and the prospects for further development.  As a result, it is a constitution with Chinese characteristics, well suited for the betterment of the nation politically, economically and culturally during the new era of socialist modernization.

FOREIGN POLICY

China pursues an independent and peaceful foreign policy directed toward peace.  The basic objectives of this policy are to safeguard the independence and sovereignty of the country, strive to create a long-standing and favorable international environment for China's reform, opening to the outside world and modernization drive, safeguard world peace and promote common development.

China's independent and peaceful foreign policy has the following major components: Adhering to independence.  China decides on its approaches and policies regarding international issues independently.  In international affairs, China shall decide its own stand according to the rights and wrongs of an affair, shall never yield to pressure from any big countries, and shall not form alliances with any major power or group of nations. Safeguarding world peace.

China shall neither take part in any arms race, nor engage in military expansion.  China shall adhere to opposing hegemonism, power politics and aggressive expansion in any form; and adhere to opposing the infringement by any country on other countries' sovereignty and territorial integrity or interfering in other countries' internal affairs on the excuse of ethnic, religious or human rights issues.

Establishing friendly and cooperative relations.  China is willing to establish and develop friendly and cooperative relations with all countries on the basis of the following five principles: mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence.  China shall not decide its relations with other countries according to social or ideological systems.  Developing good-neighborly relations.

China actively develops friendly relations with its surrounding countries, safeguards the peace and stability of the region and promotes economic cooperation at the regional level.  China maintains that the disputes concerning borders, territory and territorial water left over by history be solved through dialogues and talks so as to seek fair and reasonable solutions.  If a dispute cannot be solved right away, it may be put aside for the time being, and common ground be sought while reserving differences.

An unsolved dispute should not affect normal relations between the relevant countries.  Strengthening unity and cooperation with developing countries.  China has always taken it as the basis of its foreign policy to strengthen unit and cooperation with developing countries.  China has consistently attached great importance to developing all-round friendly and cooperative relations with the Third World countries, actively seeking mutually complementary economic, trade, scientific and technological cooperative channels, strengthening consultation and cooperation with them on international issues, and jointly safeguarding the rights and interests of developing countries.

Opening to the outside world.  China opens to developed countries as well as to developing countries.  On the basis of equality and mutual benefit, China actively conducts extensive international cooperation to promote common development.  As the largest developing country in the world and a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China is willing to make unremitting efforts for world peace and development, and the establishment of a new peaceful, stable, fair and reasonable international political and economic order.

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PRINCIPLES GOVERNING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH OTHER COUNTRIES

With the inauguration of the PRC on October 1, 1949, the Chinese government declared solemnly: "This government is the sole legal government representing the people of the People's Republic of China.  It is ready to establish diplomatic relations with all foreign governments which are willing to observe the principles of equality, mutual benefit and respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty."

There is only one China in the world.  Taiwan Province is an integral part of the territory of the PRC.  Any country seeking to establish diplomatic relations with China must show its readiness to sever all diplomatic relations with the Taiwan authorities and recognize the government of the PRC as the sole legal government of China.  The Chinese government will never tolerate any country scheming to create "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan"; nor will it tolerate any moves on the part of countries having formal diplomatic relations with China to establish any form of official relations with the Taiwan authorities.


DEVELOPMENT OF FOREIGN RELATIONS

Acting in accordance with the above mentioned principles, China established diplomatic relations with 19 countries in the 19 months between October 1949 and May 1951.  Between the second half of the 1950s and the late 1960s, a large number of newly independent nations established diplomatic relations with China.

By the end of 1969, the countries having diplomatic relations with China had increased to 50.  In the 1970s, the door was opened, allowing normal relations between China and the United States, and China's legitimate seat in the United Nations and the Security Council was restored.  These developments allowed China's foreign relations to enter a new stage.

Japan, the United States and other Western countries joined a great number of Third World countries in establishing diplomatic relations with China, raising the total number of countries having diplomatic relations with China to 121 by the end of 1979.  In the 1980s, even more countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Oceania established diplomatic relations with China.   Since the beginning of the 1990s, China has established diplomatic relations with still more countries, such as Israel, the Republic of Korea and South Africa, as well as with the newly independent republics that emerged from the former Soviet Union. By the end of 1998, 160 countries had diplomatic relations with China.

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Country name:
conventional long form: People's Republic of China
conventional short form: China
local long form: Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo
local short form: Zhongguo
abbreviation: PRC
Government type:
Communist state
Capital:
name: Beijing
geographic coordinates: 39 55 N, 116 23 E
time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
note: despite its size, all of China falls within one time zone; many people in Xinjiang Province observe an unofficial "Xinjiang timezone" of UTC+6, two hours behind Beijing
Administrative divisions:
23 provinces (sheng, singular and plural), 5 autonomous regions (zizhiqu, singular and plural), and 4 municipalities (shi, singular and plural)
provinces: Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Zhejiang; (see note on Taiwan)
autonomous regions: Guangxi, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Xinjiang Uygur, Xizang (Tibet)
municipalities: Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, Tianjin
note: China considers Taiwan its 23rd province; see separate entries for the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau
Independence:
221 BC (unification under the Qin Dynasty); 1 January 1912 (Qing Dynasty replaced by the Republic of China); 1 October 1949 (People's Republic of China established)
National holiday:
Anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, 1 October (1949)
Constitution:
most recent promulgation 4 December 1982 with amendments in 1988, 1993, 2004
Legal system:
based on civil law system; derived from Soviet and continental civil code legal principles; legislature retains power to interpret statutes; constitution ambiguous on judicial review of legislation; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President HU Jintao (since 15 March 2003); Vice President XI Jinping (since 15 March 2008)
head of government: Premier WEN Jiabao (since 16 March 2003); Executive Vice Premier LI Keqiang (17 March 2008), Vice Premier HUI Liangyu (since 17 March 2003), Vice Premier ZHANG Deijiang (since 17 March 2008), and Vice Premier WANG Qishan (since 17 March 2008)
cabinet: State Council appointed by National People's Congress
(For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
elections: president and vice president elected by National People's Congress for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); elections last held on 15-17 March 2008 (next to be held in mid-March 2013); premier nominated by president, confirmed by National People's Congress
election results: HU Jintao elected president by National People's Congress with a total of 2,963 votes; XI Jinping elected vice president with a total of 2,919 votes
Legislative branch:
unicameral National People's Congress or Quanguo Renmin Daibiao Dahui (2,987 seats; members elected by municipal, regional, and provincial people's congresses, and People's Liberation Army to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held in December 2007-February 2008 (date of next election to be held in late 2012 to early 2013)
election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - 2,987
note: only members of the CCP, its eight allied parties, and sympathetic independent candidates are elected
Judicial branch:
Supreme People's Court (judges appointed by the National People's Congress); Local People's Courts (comprise higher, intermediate, and basic courts); Special People's Courts (primarily military, maritime, railway transportation, and forestry courts)
Political parties and leaders:
Chinese Communist Party or CCP [HU Jintao]; eight registered small parties controlled by CCP
Political pressure groups and leaders:
no substantial political opposition groups exist
International organization participation:
ADB, AfDB (nonregional member), APEC, APT, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIS, CDB, CICA, EAS, FAO, FATF, G-20, G-24 (observer), G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, MONUC, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS (observer), OPCW, PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), SCO, SICA (observer), UN, UN Security Council, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNITAR, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNMIT, UNOCI, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador ZHANG Yesui
chancery: 3505 International Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 495-2000
FAX: [1] (202) 495-2190
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Jon M. HUNTSMAN, Jr.
embassy: 55 An Jia Lou Lu, 100600 Beijing
mailing address: PSC 461, Box 50, FPO AP 96521-0002
telephone: [86] (10) 8531-3000
FAX: [86] (10) 8531-3300
consulate(s) general: Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenyang, Wuhan
Flag description:
red with a large yellow five-pointed star and four smaller yellow five-pointed stars (arranged in a vertical arc toward the middle of the flag) in the upper hoist-side corner; the color red represents revolution, while the stars symbolize the four social classes - the working class, the peasantry, the urban petty bourgeoisie, and the national bourgeoisie (capitalists) - united under the Communist Party of China

 

 

 
 
 
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