Race in PRC's constitutions

Principles of ethnic equality and autonomy

By William Wetherall

First posted 15 February 2007
Last updated 15 July 2007


Table of racioethnic terminology in PRC constitutions
1949 CPPCC common program  all ethnic nations equal, prohibits discrimination between ethnic nations
1954 PRC constitution   unitary multi-ethnonational state, ethnonational autonomy
1975 PRC constitution   unitary multi-ethnonational state, ethnonational autonomy
1978 PRC constitution   unitary multi-ethnonational state, ethnonational autonomy, Hong Kong and Macao, Taiwan part of China
1982 PRC constitution   unitary multi-ethnonational state, minority ethnic nations protected, Taiwan part of China


The various races of Chinese

Here we will look at how several generations of constitutions have defined the people of China, from the beginning of the Republic of China in 1912 to ROC today, and in the People's Republic of China (PRC) since its start in 1949. More attention will be given to ROC because it has has had a greater variety of constitutions over a longer period of time, during which national descriptions have most conspicuously changed.

Raceless nationality and ethnic subnationality

A state's demographic territory is called a "nation". The people who constitute a state's "nation" are called "nationals". An individual is a national of a state if the state recognizes that the individual possesses its "nationality" as a legal status or affiliation.

Legally, no state's nation or nationality is an ethnic or racial entity or quality. International law does not recognize "ethnicity" or "raciality" in a state's nation or nationality. Some states, however, constitutionally describe their nations in racioethnic terms and racialize their nationals in domestic laws.

Japan's constitution and nationality law have never racilized Japan's nation. In terms of both international and domestic law, being "Japanese" has always been free of racioethnic nuances. For sure, "Japanese" as a social label is highly racialized in Japan and elsewhere. In the United States but not in Japan, "Japanese" has been racialized in law (immigration and naturalization) and as a demographic term (race boxes).

China's constitutions and domestic laws, however, have increasingly described China's nation in racioethnic terms. In the midst of what is now called the Second Sino-Japanese War or Fifteen Year War (1931-1945), the Republic of China (ROC) constitutionally defined the Chinese people as a ratioethnic nation composed of several member ethnic nations. The People's Republic of China (PRC) now paraphrases this description of itself as a unitary multiethnonational state.

The nationality laws of ROC and PRC make it clear that their state nationalities are available to any qualified person regardless of race or ethnicity. However, the constitutions of both entities recognize that their nations consist of multiple ethnic subnations, and otherwise provide for the legalization of ethnic status within their state nationalities.

Translations and commentary

All of the translations of the articles cited from earlier constitutions are mine. The translations of the articles cited from the 1947 ROC and 1982 PRC constitutions are from the most widely circulated English verions.

In all my translations I have endeavored to represent the same Chinese terms and the same or simlar Chinese phrases in the same or similar English phrases. For example, š –¯ will always be "national" and never "the people" or "citizens" in my nomenclature. –¯‘° will always be "ethnic nation" or "ethnonational" and never "nationality" or "nation" or "race" or "ethnic group". l–¯ will always be "the people" and ’†‰Ø–¯š l–¯ will always be "the people of the Republic of China" and the like.

Such terms and phrases have been highlighted. Where the circulated translations of the 1947 ROC and 1982 PRC constitutions are at odds with my nomenclature, I have shown my nomenclature in parentheses.

Further commentary on Chinese and English usage is found in discussions of national definition in the 1947 ROC and 1982 PRC constitutions.

Related articles

The following articles also examine nationality and ethnic status in ROC and PRC today.

The Republic of China as a state: The vicissitudes of recognition politics

ROC's 13 ethnic nations: Taiwanizing Sinified-Japanized aborigines

ROC's 2000 Nationality Law: Membership in a stateless nation

ROC's 2001 Aborigine Status Act: The legal embrace of indigenous Taiwanese

Race in PRC's constitutions: Principles of ethnic equality and autonomy

PRC's 56 ethnic subnations: The racialist revolution against racism

PRC's 1980 Nationality Law: A single nationality multiethnic state

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PRC constitutions, 1954 to 2004

The People's Republic of China was founded on 1 October 1949 after the adoption of a provisional constitution on 29 September 1949. There have been four constitutions since 1954.

From the beginning, PRC's constitutions have defined China as a "unitary multi-ethnonational state" -- as I would express the phrase officially translated "unitary multi-national state" -- “ˆê“I‘½–¯‘°“Iš ‰Æin the first three constitutions and in the 1980 Nationality Law, and “ˆê“I‘½–¯‘°š ‰Æ in the 1982 constitution.

Also from the start, PRC's constitutions have referred to its "people" (l–¯) as "citizens" (Œö–¯) rather than as "nationals" (š –¯), as does it's 1980 Nationality Law. This is in contrast with the constitutions and nationality laws of ROC and Japan, which refer to their people as nationals.

PRC constitutions through the Cultural Revolution

The 1954 and 1975 constitutions of the People's Republic of China are testaments of revolutionary zeal and idealism. PRC, like ROC, regarded all inhabitants of the territory it claimed to be parts of China, as Chinese. However, PRC took stronger measures to recognize the various ethnonations within its borders and accommodate their need for ethnic maintenance and autonomy.

1st constitution (1954)

PRC promulgated its first constitution on 20 September 1954, a year after the Korean War, in the midst of worsening economic conditions and social unrest. Most of the constitution was devoted to defining the "Structure of the State" that attempted to carry out the Great Leap Forward and other economic and social reforms in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and facilitated the Cultural Revolution from 1966.

2nd constitution (1975)

A heavily revised and much shorter second constitution was promulgated on 17 January 1975, during the final throes of the Cultural Revolution, and reflects some of its ideological fervor. Though Mao Zedong (Mao Tsu-tung, 1893-1976) declared the Cultural Revolution over in 1969, its momentum, thanks in part to the Red Guard activities of his fourth wife Jiang Qing (1914-1991), continued until after his death in September 1976 and the arrest of the Gang of Four, including Jiang, in October.

PRC constitutions after the Cultural Revolution

The two contitutions that have been enacted since the end of the Mao era reflect the "new China" that began to emerge from the late 1960s and early 1970s, marked most dramatically by PRC's replacement of ROC in China's seat in the United Nations from 25 October 1971. A total of sixty states recognized PRC in the 1970s, beginning with Canada in 1970, the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand in 1972, Malaysia in 1974, the Philippines and Thailand in 1975, the United States in 1979, and ending with Ireland in 1979.

Though the United States did not formally shift its recognition from ROC to PRC from 1 January 1979, it recognized (without fully endorsing) PRC's "one-China" policy and otherwise virtually committed itself to normalization with PRC in the Shanghai Communique exchanged on 28 February 1972 as a result of talks between Richard Nixon and Zhou Enlai (Chou En-lai).

3rd constitution (1978)

The heavily revised and longer third constitution, promulgated on 5 March 1978, reflects the thinking of China's leaders following the arrest of the Gang of Four in October 1976, shorter after death of Mao Zedong (Mao Tsu-tung, 1893-1976) in September. The power struggle against the Gang of Four had already begun before the death in January of Zhou Enlai (Chou En-lai, 1898-1976), who had opposed the extremes of the Cultural Revolution.

Significantly, the preamble of the 1978 constitution calls on "Taiwan patriots, Hong Kong and Macao patriots, and overseas patriots" to continue the revolution and help unify the country. Taiwan is declared to be a part of PRC's sacred territory. These references to Hong Hong, Macao, and Taiwan anticipate the provision for Special Administrative Regions (SAR, “Á•Ês­™½) in the 1982 constitution.

To be continued.

4th (current) constitution (1982) -- China as a people's nation

The first constitution was heavily amended during and shortly after the Cultural Revolution.

To be continued.

Hong Kong and Macao

A 1984 agreement with the United Kingdom, and a 1987 agreement with Portugal, resulted in the return of Hong Kong and the New Territories in 1997, and Macao in 1999. Both entities are legally Special Administrative Regions (SAR, “Á•Ês­™½) as allowed by Article 31 of PRC's 1982 constitution.

As SARs, Hong Kong and Macao are governed under a framework of both PRC and local laws. Though not entirely under PRC laws, they do not qualify as international entities because they are diplomatically and militarily represented and defended by PRC as part of its state.

People with rights of abode in Hong Kong and Macao are PRC nationals, and as such they are accorded full consular protection by overseas PRC missions. Hong Kong and Macao are under PRC's nationality law, and administer nationality matters, including naturalization and loss of nationality.

Both Hong Kong and Macao issue their own passports as non-state entities to PRC nationals who have rights of abobe by virtue of having been (1) born in the SAR, (2) born anywhere to a parent with rights of abode in the SAR, or (3) a resident in the SAR for seven or more continuous years. Outside PRC, holders of Hong Kong and Macao passports can renew their SAR passports at PRC consulates.

Taiwan

The Republic of China continues to be a state entity to the extent that it is recognized by as such by other states. Even if no other state to recognize ROC, it would qualify as an international entity because it diplomatically and militarily represents and defends Taiwan including Penghu, and the Kinmen and Matsu islands.

PRC hopes to bring ROC into the fold of its sovereignty peacefully, under an SAR arrangement that allows the province of Taiwan to maintain its own military. However, ROC does not appear to be interested.

In 2005, PRC passed an anti-secession law aimed at movements on Taiwan to formally declare ROC an independent state. The law rests on claims made as early as in the 1978 constitution that Taiwan is part of PRC. And it calls for the use force if necessary to insure that Taiwan does not attempt to secede from PRC's sovereign dominion.

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Racioethnic terminology in PRC constitutions
Nationalist Party, Hong Kong and Macao, Taiwan
Chinese English 1949 1954 1975 1978 1982
‘–¯“} Nationalist Party yes no
`àS Hong Kong & Macao no pre no
‘ä˜p Taiwan no preamble

Hong Kong and Macao, Taiwan, overseas Chinese

The Preamble of the 1978 Constitution calls on "Hong Kong and Macau compatriots, Taiwan compatriots, and overseas Chinese" to show their

Taiwan part of China / PRC.

People, nationals, citizens, nationality
Chinese English 1949 1954 1975 1978 1982
l–¯ people yes
‘–¯ national(s) [noun] Art 9 no
‘–¯ national [adjective] yes ‘–¯ŒoÏ only
Œö–¯ citizen(s) no yes
‘Ð nationality no Art 33

From "national" to "citizen" with "nationality"

"national" in 1949 constitution

The single appearance of ‘–¯ as a noun meaning "nationals" in Article 8 of PRC's 1949 provisional constitution reflects the usual manner of referring to people who possess a state's nationality (‘Ð). This usage is fossilized in the name of ROC's Nationalist Party (‘–¯“}) -- literally "nationals party" or "party of the people of the nation" -- and in ROC's constitutions. Japan's 1947 (present) constitution also refers to the people of Japan as ‘–¯, which is legally defined as people who possess Japan's nationality.

"national" versus "state" / "state-owned" economy

By 1954, PRC legalists had determined that Œö–¯ (citizens) if not l–¯ (the people) was a more appropriate description of members of PRC's nation. The term ‘–¯ has continued to be used as an adjective only in the term ‘–¯经济 or "national economy". This is differentiated from ‘营经济 (‘‰cŒoÏ) or "state economy". ‘营 was changed to ‘—L or "state-owned economy" in 1993 amendments.

The state/state-owned economy is the "socialist economy owned and controlled by all the people" but overseen by the state. It is considered the principle force in the "national economy" -- literally the "economy of the people of the nation" -- meaning the entire economy of China, including what would be called the private sector.

"nationality" in 1992 constitution reflects

Article 33 of the 1982 constitution defines all people who possess the PRC nationality (‘Ð) as citizens (Œö–¯), not as nationals (‘–¯). That such an article appears in this, and not in earlier, constitutions reflects the fact that PRC did not promulgate it Nationality Law until 1980.

Appearances of ‘–¯ in 1949 PRC Constitution
‘–¯“}”½动 (Preamble, Articles 7, 14, 17, 55, 56)
’†华l–¯‹¤—˜‘‘–¯ (Article 8)
‘–¯¶计 (Article 28)
’†华l–¯‹¤˜a‘‘S‘̍‘–¯“IŒöúº (Article 42)
‘–¯‘̈ç (Article 48).
Race, ethnic nations, unitary multi-ethnonational state
Chinese English 1949 1954 1975 1978 1982
Ží‘° / lŽí race (ROC / Japan) no
–¯‘°
Ž‘ŽYŠK‹‰
ethnonational
propertied class
[national bourgeoisie]
yes no
Še”툳”—
–¯‘°
all oppressed
ethnic nations
[oppressed nations]
yes no
Še–¯‘° all ethnic nations
[all nationalities]
yes
­”–¯‘° minority ethnic nations
[minority nationalities]
yes Art 24 yes
“ˆê“I
‘½–¯‘°“I
‘‰Æ
unitary multi-
ethnonational state
[unitary
multi-nationality state]
no yes ‘½–¯‘°‘‰Æ
Še‘°l–¯ people of all ethnic nations
[people of all nationalities]
no preamble

"ethnic nations" rather than "race"

ROC has prohibited discrimination in law becase of race (Ží‘°) in all of its constitutions. Japan's 1947 constitution similarly prohibits discrimination in law because of race (lŽí). PRC's constitutions have prohibited acts that would discriminate against its ethnic nations (–¯‘°), called "nationalities" in standard English versions.

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1949 CPPCC provisional constitution

Common program of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference
(’†‘l–¯­Ž¡协¤‰ï议‹¤“¯纲领)
Adopted 29 September 1949
7 chapters, 60 articles


‘æˆêÍF总则
Chapter 1: General principles

‘æ‹ãð
’†华l–¯‹¤˜a‘‹«“àŠe–¯‘°A‹Ï—L•½“™“I权—˜˜a义务B

Article 9
The various ethnic nations within the boundaries of the People's Republic of China all shall have equal rights and duties.


‘æ˜ZÍF–¯‘°­ô
Chapter 6: Ethnonational policies

Chapter 6 consists of four articles that make provisions for relations between ethnic nations. The basic provisions have been reiterated in all constitutions and in numerous PRC laws. Here I will cite the full text and translation of only the first and last articles, Article 50 and Article 53.

‘æŒÜ\ð
’†华l–¯‹¤˜a‘’n“àŠe–¯‘°ˆê—¥•½“™A实s团结ŒÝ•A”½对’鍑Žå义˜aŠe–¯‘°“à•”“Il–¯Œö敌AŽg’†华l–¯‹¤˜a‘¬为Še–¯‘°—F爱‡ì“I‘å‰Æ’ëB”½对‘å–¯‘°Žå义˜a‹·è¥–¯‘°Žå义A‹ÖŽ~–¯‘°间“I歧视A压”—˜a•ª—ôŠe–¯‘°团结“Is为B

Article 50
The various ethnic nations in the territory of the People's Republic of China shall be entirely equal, shall practice solidarity and mutual assistance, oppose imperialism and the public enemies of the people inside the various ethnic nations, and cause the People's Republic of China to become a friendly and collaborative large family of various ethnic nations. They shall oppose large ethnonationalism and narrow ethnonationalism, and prohibit discrimination between ethnic nations, and oppression and acts that would destroy the solidarity of the various ethnic nations.

Article 51 provides for the autonomy minority ethnic nations (­”–¯‘°) or for representation in the governments of local areas where they reside.

Article 52 gives minority ethnic nations the right to participate in the People's Liberation Army and in local People's Public Security Forces.

‘æŒÜ\ŽOð
Še­”–¯‘°‹Ï—L发“W‘´语Œ¾•¶ŽšA•ÛŽˆ½‰üŠv‘´风‘­习惯‹y@‹³M‹Â“IŽ©—RBl–¯­•{应帮•Še­”–¯‘°“Il–¯‘å众发“W‘´­Ž¡A经济A•¶‰»A‹³ˆç“IŒš设Ž–业B

Article 53
The various minority ethnic nations all shall have the freedom to develop their languages and scripts, and maintain or reform their mores, customs, and religious beliefs. The People's Government shall assist the popular masses of the various minority ethnic nations to develop their political, economic, cultural, and educational construction work.

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1954 PRC constitution (1st)

Constitution of the People's Republic of China (’†华l–¯‹¤˜a‘宪–@)
Promulgated 20 September 1954
4 chapters, 106 articles


‘æˆêÍF总纲
Chapter 1: General principles

‘æŽOð
     ’†华l–¯‹¤˜a‘¥统ˆê“I‘½–¯‘°“I‘‰ÆB
     Še–¯‘°ˆê—¥•½“™B‹ÖŽ~对”C‰½–¯‘°“I歧视˜a压”—A‹ÖŽ~”jš­Še–¯‘°团结“Is为B
     Še–¯‘°“s—LŽg—p˜a发“WŽ©ŒÈ“I语Œ¾•¶Žš“IŽ©—RA“s—L•ÛŽˆ½ŽÒ‰üŠvŽ©ŒÈ“I风‘­习惯“IŽ©—RB
     Še­”–¯‘°ãڋ“I’n•û实s‹æˆæŽ©Ž¡BŠe–¯‘°Ž©Ž¡’n•û“s¥’†华l–¯‹¤˜a‘•s‰Â•ª离“I•”•ªB

Article 3
     The People's Republic of China is a unitary multi-ethnonational state.
     The various ethnic nations shall be entirely equal . [They] shall prohibit ethnonational discrimination and oppression toward any ethnic nation, and prohibit acts that would destroy the solidarity of the various ethnic nations.
     The various ethnic nations all shall have the freedom to use and to devlop their own language and scripts, and all shall have the freedom to preserve or reform their own mores and customs.
     The various ethnic nations shall exercise regional autonomy in the localities they inhabit. The autonomous localities of the various ethnic nations all shall be inseparable parts of the People's Republic of China.


‘æ“ñÍF‘‰ÆŠ÷构
‘æ˜Z节Fl–¯–@‰@˜al–¯检Ž@‰@

Chapter 2: Structure of the State
Section 6: People's Courts and People's Protectorates

‘掵\Žµð
     Še–¯‘°Œö–¯“s—L—p–{–¯‘°语Œ¾•¶Žš进s诉讼“I权—˜Bl–¯–@‰@对˜°•s’Ê晓“–’n’Ê—p“I语Œ¾•¶Žš“I“–Ž–lA应“–为‘¼们–|译B
     Ý­”–¯‘°ãڋˆ½ŽÒ‘½–¯‘°杂‹“I’n‹æAl–¯–@‰@应“–—p“–’n’Ê—p“I语Œ¾进s审讯A—p“–’n’Ê—p“I•¶Žš发•z”»™r书A•z˜a‘´‘¼•¶ŒB

Article 77
     Citizens of the various ethnic nations all shall have the right of conducting litigation using the language and script of the ethnic nation. The People's Court, regarding parties unfamiliar with the language or script in common use in the locality, should provide them translations.
     In regions where a minority ethnic nation has gathered or where many ethnic nations are mingled, the People's Court should conduct hearings using the language(s) in common use in the locality, and promulgate decisions, declarations, and other documents using the script in common use in the locality.

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1975 PRC constitution (2nd)

Constitution of the People's Republic of China (’†华l–¯‹¤˜a‘宪–@)
Promulgated 17 January 1975
4 chapters, 30 articles


‘æˆêÍF总纲
Chapter 1: General principles

‘æŽlð
  ’†华l–¯‹¤˜a‘¥统ˆê“I‘½–¯‘°“I‘‰ÆB实s–¯‘°‹æˆæŽ©Ž¡“I’n•ûA“s¥’†华l–¯‹¤˜a‘•s‰Â•ª离“I•”•ªB
  Še–¯‘°ˆê—¥•½“™B”½对‘å–¯‘°Žå义˜a’n•û–¯‘°Žå义B
  Še–¯‘°“s—LŽg—pŽ©ŒÈ“I语Œ¾•¶Žš“IŽ©—RB

Article 4
  The People's Republic of China is a unitary multi-ethnonational state. The localities that exercise ethnonational regional autonomy, all shall be inseparable parts of the People's Republic of China.
  The various ethnic nations shall be entirely equal. [They] shall oppose big ethnonationalism and local ethnonationalism.
  The various ethnic nations all shall have the freedom to use their own language and script.

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1978 PRC constitution (3rd)

Constitution of the People's Republic of China (’†华l–¯‹¤˜a‘宪–@)
Promulgated 5 March 1978
4 chapters, 60 articles
Revised 1 July 1979
Revised 10 October 1980


˜Œ¾
Preamble

‘ä˜p¥’†‘“I_圣领“yB‰ä们ˆê’è—v‰ð•ú‘ä˜pAŠ®¬统ˆê‘c‘“I‘å业B

Taiwan is a sacred territory of China. We certainly must liberate Taiwan and complete the great task of unifying the fatherland.


‘æˆêÍF总纲
Chapter 1: General principles

‘æŽlð
  ’†华l–¯‹¤˜a‘¥统ˆê“I‘½–¯‘°“I‘‰ÆB
  Še–¯‘°ˆê—¥•½“™BŠe–¯‘°间—v团结—F爱AŒÝ‘Š帮•AŒÝ‘ŠŠw习B‹ÖŽ~对”C‰½–¯‘°“I歧视˜a压”—A‹ÖŽ~”jš­Še–¯‘°团结“Is为A”½对‘å–¯‘°Žå义˜a’n•û–¯‘°Žå义B
  Še–¯‘°“s—LŽg—p˜a发“WŽ©ŒÈ“I语Œ¾•¶Žš“IŽ©—RA“s—L•ÛŽˆ½ŽÒ‰üŠvŽ©ŒÈ“I风‘­习惯“IŽ©—RB
  Še­”–¯‘°ãڋ“I’n•û实s‹æˆæŽ©Ž¡BŠe–¯‘°Ž©Ž¡’n•û“s¥’†华l–¯‹¤˜a‘•s‰Â•ª离“I•”•ªB

Article 4
  The People's Republic of China is a unitary multi-ethnonational state.
  The various ethnic nations shall be entirely equal. Among the various ethnic nations there shall be solidarity and friendship, mutual assistance, and mutual learning. [They] shall prohibit ethnonational discrimination and oppression toward any ethnic nation, and prohibit acts that would destroy the solidarity of the various ethnic nations, and [they] shall oppose big ethnonationalism and local ethnonationalism.
  The various ethnic nations all shall have the freedom to use and to devlop their own language and scripts, and all shall have the freedom to preserve or reform their own mores and customs.
  The various ethnic nations shall exercise regional autonomy in the localities they inhabit. The autonomous localities of the various ethnic nations all shall be inseparable parts of the People's Republic of China.

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1982 PRC constitution (4th and current)

Constitution of the People's Republic of China (’†华l–¯‹¤˜a‘宪–@)
Promulgated 4 December 1982
4 chapters, 138 articles
Revised 12 April 1988
Revised 29 March 1993
Revised 15 March 1999
Revised 14 March 2004

1982 Constitution

The 1982 Constitution has been amended at all but one National People's Congress since its promulgation.

4 December 1982
New constitution adopted by the 5th National People's Congress (NPC) at its 1st Session

12 April 1988
Amendment One approved by the 7th NPC at its 1st Session

29 March 1993
Amendment Two approved by the 8th NPC at its 1st Session

15 March 1999
Amendment Three approved by the 9th NPC at its 2nd Session

14 March 2004
Amendment Four approved by the 10th NPC at its 2nd Session

Nationality in 1982 PRC constitution
With commentary on terminology

Chinese text

The Chinese text was cut and pasted from an MS Word file downloaded from a Taiwan website and checked with other versions, including a printed edition of the 1982 version (Zhonghua Renmin Gonghegyo Xianfa, Beijing: Renmin Chubanshe, December 1982, 2nd edition, May 1988, 101 pages, softcover).

Though PRC publishes its laws in GB simplified characters, Hong Kong and Macao also publish them in Big5 traditional character editions. Fortunately most traditional characters are included in the Shift-JIS Japanese coding used on this website. For the few traditional characters that cannot be directly displayed, I have shown the equivalent Japanese character or a description of the traditional character in square brackets.

English translation

The English translation has been cut and pasted from a People's Daily website. It, too, has been checked with other web postings, and with a printed copy of a translation of the 1982 version (The Constitution of the People's Republic of China, Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1983, First Edition, 93 pages, softcover).

The quality of the translation is high. However, a number of different Chinese terms are conflated into "nation" metaphors in English, thus losing their distinctions.

Comments

Some terms have been highlighted in color to facilitate glosses or commentary, sometimes in line, sometimes in a box following the article.

’†‰Øl–¯‹¤˜aš 
Œ›–@
The Constitution of the
People's Republic of China
Adopted on December 4, 1982 by the Fifth National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China at its Fifth Session
˜Œ¾ Preamble
’†‰Øl–¯‹¤˜aš ¥‘Sš Še‘°l–¯‹¤“¯’÷‘¢“I“ˆê“I‘½–¯‘°š ‰ÆB•½“™Aš£Œ‹AŒÝ•“IŽÐ˜ðŽå‹`–¯‘°èŒW›ßãSŠm—§A•À›’ã‹ã”‰Á‹­BÝˆÛŒì–¯‘°š£Œ‹“Ié¦à¥’†A—v”½›”‘å–¯‘°Žå‹`AŽå—v¥‘势‘°Žå‹`A–ç—v”½›”’n•û–¯‘°Žå‹`Bš ‰ÆᶈêØ“w—́A‘£i‘Sš Še–¯‘°“I‹¤“¯”ɞāB The People's Republic of China is a unitary multi-national ( > multiethnonational) state built up jointly by the people of all its nationalities ( > ethnic subnations). Socialist relations of equality, unity and mutual assistance have been established among them and will continue to be strengthened. In the struggle to safeguard the unity of the nationalities ( > ethnonational solidarity), it is necessary to combat big-nation chauvinism, mainly Han chauvinism, and also necessary to combat local-national chauvinism. The state does its utmost to promote the common prosperity of all nationalities in the country.

ethnonational chauvinism

The expression "big-nation chauvinism" reflects ‘å–¯‘°Žå‹` or "large ethnonationalism" within China's state nationality -- in other words, domineering "racism" or "ethnocentrism" on the part of the more populated racioethnic subnations.

The overwhelmingly largest subnation consists of Chinese who consider themselves, or are considered, members of the "Han race" (Š¿‘° Han4zu2), hence the expression "Han chauvinism" or "Hanism" -- reflecting ‘势‘°Žå‹` or "[large] Han race nationalism".

The expression "local national chauvinism" reflects ’n•û–¯‘°Žå‹` or "local ethnic nationalism" and lays the ground for the prohibition in Article 4 of "acts that undermine the unity of the nationalities or instigate their secession" (”jšÓ–¯‘°š£Œ‹˜a»‘¢–¯‘°•ª—ô“Isˆ×).

See also PRC minority subnationalities.

‘æ“ñÍ    Œö–¯“IŠî–{žÜ—˜˜a‹`–± Chapter 2: The Fundamental Rights and Duties of Citizens
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Article 33
All persons holding the nationality of the People's Republic of China are citizens of the People's Republic of China.

All citizens of the People's Republic of China are equal before the law.

The State respects and preserves human rights. (in 2004 amendment)

Every citizen enjoys the rights and at the same time must perform the duties prescribed by the Constitution and the law.

PRC citizens = persons holding PRC nationality

PRC's constitution defines its Œö–¯ (gong1min2) as persons who hold its (š Ð guo2ji2).

Œö–¯ is translated as "citizen" throughout the official English version of the 1982 constitution. This usage reflects the narrow (typically American) sense of "citizen" as a "national" who shares popular sovereignty with other nationals. However, the English version of PRC's 1980 Nationality Law renders Œö–¯ as "national" -- a label for someone who possesses a state's nationality without regard to specific rights and duties of citizenship.

š Ð is rendered "nationality" in accordance with its usage in international law to mean affiliation with a state's demographic territory without regard to specific rights and duties of citizenship. This is the only use of š Ð in the constitution.

All other mentions of "nationality" or "nationalities" in the English version reflect translations of –¯‘° (min2zu2), the term used to classify ethnic subnationalities within PRC's raceless state nationality. Terms like š + (guo2+) and š ‰Æ“I (guo2jia1 di) are also translated "national" -- adding to the list of examples of how conflating several Chinese distinctions into the single English metaphor "nation" can invite misunderstanding or confusion.

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