Chinese officials in state organs shall pledge allegiance to the Constitution when taking their posts, according to a decision adopted by the top legislature on July 1.
All officials elected or appointed by people’s congresses at all levels and their standing committees above the county level, as well as state functionaries appointed by people’s governments, courts and procuratorates at all levels should take a public oath of allegiance to the Constitution while assuming office, said the decision.
The Constitution is the basic law of the country with supreme legal status, authority and force. State functionaries must have constitutional awareness, observe its principles, uphold its spirit and perform their constitutional obligations, read the decision.
The decision, to be effective from Jan 1, 2016, aims to inspire state functionaries to follow, observe and safeguard the Constitution, according to the document.
A system of pledging allegiance to the Constitution is an important to the advancement the rule of law, said Han Xiaowu, deputy secretary-general of the NPC Standing Committee.
It will raise the public’s awareness of the Constitution, he said.
After being elected or appointed, state personnel must swear the oath. This includes the president, vice president; chairman, vice chairpersons, secretary-general, and all members of NPC Standing Committee; premier, vice premiers, state councilors, ministers, the governor of the People’s Bank of China, auditor general of the National Audit Office; chairman, vice chairpersons and members of the Central Military Commission (CMC) of the People’s Republic of China; heads of the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP), according to the decision.
Deputy secretary-general of the NPC Standing Committee, members of various committees under the NPC Standing Committee, vice president and other officials of the SPC and SPP, officials appointed by the State Council and its ministries, as well as ambassadors to other countries should also swear the oath.
The draft of the oath reads: “I pledge to be allegiant to the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, safeguard the Constitution authority, perform obligations given by the laws, be loyal to the country and people, be committed and honest when performing duties, accept people’s supervision and work hard to build a socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, and harmonious”.
When state functionaries read the pledge alone, the right hand should be raised and formed into a fist, while the left hand is placed on the Constitution, according to the decision.
When read by a group, the right hand should be raised and formed into a fist, and the assigned leader of the group should put his or her left hand on the Constitution. ‘ The national flag or emblem should be hung in the hall where the ceremony is held.
The current Constitution was adopted on Dec 4, 1982, based on the 1954 version. Dec 4 is China’s Constitution Day.
The fourth plenary session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee decided to establish a system of pledging allegiance to the Constitution in October 2014.