Reinforcing Constitutional Guarantees for National Rejuvenation
The amendment to China’s Constitution adapts to new situations and new missions in the new era, which is vital for development to stay abreast of the times and governed by rule of law.
Recently, the first session of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislature, adopted an amendment to the country’s Constitution by an overwhelming majority. The revision conforms to the trends of the times, the needs of China’s development and the common aspirations of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese people. It is an important move to advance law-based governance and modernize the country’s system and capacity for governance. It is tremendously significant in practical terms and a far-reaching historic opportunity to highlight the pivotal role of the Constitution in upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics and creating a strong constitutional guarantee for the realization of the “two centenary goals” and the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.
Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, has stressed that in order to govern the country according to law, we must first enact Constitution-based governance, and that in order to exercise state powers according to law, we must first carry out Constitution-based exercise of state powers. From the decision of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee to launch
the constitutional revision to the solicitation of opinions within and beyond the Party on the proposal to revise part of the Constitution, from discussion and ratification of the proposal at the second plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee to the motion on the draft amendment to the Constitution reached at a meeting of the NPC Standing Committee that was eventually passed at the first session of the 13th NPC, the entire process of amending the Constitution conformed to the spirit and principles of scientific, democratic and law-based legislation. It vividly manifests the practices of the CPC in guiding legislation, guaranteeing law enforcement, supporting the judiciary and playing a lead role in observing laws. This is the culmination of the organic integration of the CPC leadership, the people running the country and law-based governance.
An ancient Chinese saying goes, “Good governance is achieved when laws keep pace with the times, and merit is realized when governance fits in reality.” China’s Constitution is a set of principles for governance that embodies the wishes of the Party and the people. It plays a vital role in China’s governance under the leadership of the CPC. We should keep pace with the times and improve the Constitution while maintaining its consistency, stability and authority. This is the fundamental rule governing China’s efforts to advance the rule of law. Since the adoption of its first Constitution in 1954, China has never stopped improving the Constitution. The current Constitution was enacted in 1982 and amended five times thereafter.
The 2018 amendment enables the Constitution to stay abreast of the times as it facilitates construction of socialism with Chinese characteristics and provides constitutional guarantee for China’s reform, opening up and socialist modernization. Data shows the incorporation of the great achievements and valuable experiences of the Party and the people into the country’s Constitution in a timely manner to achieve the organic integration of the propositions of the Party, the will of the nation, and the wishes of the people is a key factor behind the CPC’S success in governance.
Socialism with Chinese characteristics has crossed a threshold into a new era. This is a new historic crossroads for China’s development. The Constitution must constantly improve along with the development of Chinese practice in building socialism with
Chinese characteristics under the leadership of the CPC. Changes in the amended Constitution include confirming the guiding position of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era in the country’s political and social activities, declaring that “the leadership of the Communist Party of China is the defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics” in the first article of the “General Principles” chapter of the Constitution, improving the system governing the Chinese president’s tenure and deepening reform of the national supervisory system. In accordance with new situations and new methods to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, this revision incorporated major theoretical achievements, principles and policies adopted at the 19th CPC National Congress into the country’s fundamental law, included major theoretical, practical and institutional achievements made by the Party and the people and embodied the new achievements, experiences and requirements of the Party and the country in development. This move will definitely give the Constitution a more central role in regulating, guiding, driving and guaranteeing that the country better upholds and develops socialism with Chinese characteristics.
General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out that safeguarding the authority and dignity of the Constitution is the foundation for safeguarding the authority and dignity of the common will of the Party and the people, and that guaranteeing the enforcement of the Constitution is the foundation for ensuring the realization of the essential interests of the people. Amending the Constitution aims to improve enforcement and give it a greater role as the country’s fundamental law. Ensuring the full implementation of the Constitution is a primary mission and the foundation for building a socialist country ruled by law. We should consider this constitutional amendment an opportunity to lift the Constitution to a prominent position during practice of comprehensively advancing law-based governance in the new era, take strong measures to strengthen enforcement and supervision of the Constitution, and provide solid and robust political and institutional guarantees for the implementation of the Constitution, uplifting law-based governance and Constitution-based governance to new heights.