Communist Constitution 1931

November 7, 1931

          The First All-China Soviet Congress hereby proclaims before the toiling masses of China and of the whole world this Constitution of the Chinese Soviet Republic which recites the basic tasks to be accomplished throughout all China. 

          The accomplishment of these tasks has already begun in the existing Soviet districts. But the First All-China Soviet Congress holds that the complete realization of these tasks can come only after the overthrow of the rule of imperialism and the KMT and the establishment of the rule of the Soviet Republic throughout all China. Then alone will this outline Constitution of the Chinese Soviet Republic find more concrete application and become a more detailed constitution of the Chinese Soviet Republic.

          The First All-China Soviet Congress calls upon all Chinese workers, peasants, and toilers to proceed to struggle, under the guidance of the provisional government of the Soviet Republic, for the realization of these basic tasks:

          1.   It shall be the mission of the Constitution of the Chinese Soviet Republic to guarantee the democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry in the Soviet districts, and to secure the triumph of the dictatorship throughout the whole of China. It shall be the aim of this dictatorship to destroy all feudal remnants, eliminate the influence of the imperialist powers in China, to unite China, to limit systematically the development of capitalism, to carry out economic reconstruction of the state, to promote the class-consciousness and solidarity of the proletariat, and to rally to its banner the broad masses of poor peasants in order to effect the transition to the dictatorship of the proletariat.

          2.   The Chinese Soviet régime is setting up a state based on the democratic dictatorship of the workers and peasants. All power of the Soviet shall belong to the workers, peasants, and Red Army soldiers and the entire toiling population. Under the Soviet régime the workers, peasants, Red Army soldiers, and the entire toiling population shall have the right to elect their own deputies to give effect to their power. Only militarists, bureaucrats, landlords, the gentry, t’u-hao [village bosses], monks—all exploiting and counter-revolutionary elements—shall be deprived of the right to elect deputies to participate in the government and to enjoy political freedom.

          3.   In the Chinese Soviet Republic supreme power shall be vested in the All-China Congress of Soviets of Workers’, Peasants’, and Soldiers’ Deputies. In between Congresses, the supreme organ of power shall be the All-China CEC of the Soviets; the CEC shall appoint a Council of People’s Commissars, which shall conduct all governmental affairs, and promulgate orders and resolutions.

          4.   All workers, peasants, Red Army soldiers, and all toilers and their families, without distinction of sex, religion, or nationality (Chinese, Manchurians, Mongolians, Moslems, Tibetans, Miao, Li as well as all Koreans, Formosans, Annamites, etc., living in China) shall be equal before the Soviet law, and shall be citizens of the Soviet Republic. In order that the workers, peasants, soldiers, and toiling masses may actually hold the reins of power, the following regulations concerning Soviet elections shall be established: All the abovementioned Soviet citizens who shall have attained the age of sixteen shall be entitled to vote and to be voted for in the elections of the Soviets. [They] shall elect deputies to all congresses of workers, peasants, and soldiers (Soviets); they shall discuss and decide all national and local political questions. The method of electing deputies [is as follows]. The workers shall elect their deputies in the factories; the artisans, peasants, and urban poor shall elect deputies according to their place of residence. Deputies to the local Soviets shall be elected by these basic units (i.e. factory districts) for a definite term; they shall participate in the work of one of the organizations or commissions attached to the town or village Soviets and shall periodically submit reports to their electors concerning their activities. The electors shall have the right at all times to recall their deputies and demand new elections. Since only the proletariat can lead the broad masses to socialism, the Chinese Soviet régime grants special rights to the proletariat in the elections to the Soviets by allowing it a greater number of deputies.

          5.   It shall be the purpose of the Soviet régime to improve thoroughly the living conditions of the working class, to pass labour legislation, to introduce the eight-hour working day, to fix a minimum wage, and to institute social insurance and state assistance to the unemployed as well as to grant the workers the right to supervise production.

          6.   In setting itself the task of abolishing feudalism and radically improving the living conditions of the peasants, the Soviet régime of China shall pass a land law, and shall order the confiscation of the land of all landlords and its distribution among the poor and middle peasants, with a view to the ultimate nationalization of the land.

          7.   It shall be the purpose of the Soviet régime of China to defend the interests of the workers and peasants and restrict the development of capitalism, with a view to liberating the toiling masses from capitalist exploitation and leading them to the socialist order of society. [The Soviet government of China] shall announce the abolition of all burdensome taxation and miscellaneous levies introduced during the counter-revolutionary régime and shall put into effect a single progressive income tax. It shall harshly suppress all attempts at wrecking and sabotage on the part of either native or foreign capitalists; it shall pursue an economic policy which shall be beneficial to the workers and peasant masses, which shall be understood by these masses and which shall lead to socialism.

          8.   The Soviet régime of China shall set itself the goal of freeing China from the yoke of imperialism. It shall declare the complete sovereignty and independence of the Chinese people, shall refuse to recognize any political or economic privileges for the imperialists in China, and shall abolish all unequal treaties and foreign loans contracted by the counter-revolutionary governments. No foreign imperialist troops, whether land, sea, or air, shall be allowed to be stationed on any territory of the Chinese Soviets. All concessions or territories leased by the imperialists in China shall be unconditionally returned to China. All custom houses, railways, steamship companies, mining enterprises, factories, etc., in the hands of the imperialists shall be confiscated and nationalized. It shall be permissible for foreign enterprises to renew their leases (for their various businesses) and to continue production, provided they shall fully comply with the laws of the Soviet government.

          9.   The Soviet government of China will do its utmost to bring about the culmination of the workers’ and peasants’ revolution in its final victory throughout the whole of China. It declares that it is incumbent upon the entire toiling masses to participate in the revolutionary class struggle. The gradual introduction of universal military service and the change from voluntary to compulsory military service shall be worked out especially. The right to bear arms in defence of the revolution shall be granted only to workers, peasants, and the toiling masses; all counter-revolutionary and exploiting elements must be completely disarmed.

          10.  The Soviet government of China guarantees to the workers, peasants, and toilers freedom of speech and the press as well as the right to assembly; it will be opposed to bourgeois and landlord democracy, but is in favour of the democracy of the workers and peasant masses. It breaks down the economic and political prerogatives of the bourgeoisie and the landlords, in order to remove all obstacles placed by the reactionaries on the workers’ and peasants’ road to freedom. The workers, peasants, and toiling masses shall enjoy the use of printing shops, meeting halls, and similar establishments by the power of a people’s régime, as a material basis for the realization of these rights and liberties. Furthermore, under the Soviet régime, all propaganda and other similar activities by reactionaries shall be suppressed and all exploiters be deprived of all political liberties.

          11.  It is the purpose of the Soviet government of China to guarantee the thorough emancipation of women; it recognizes freedom of marriage and will put into operation various measures for the protection of women, to enable women gradually to attain to the material basis required for their emancipation from the bondage of domestic work, and to give them the possibility of participating in the social, economic, political, and cultural life of the entire society.

          12.  The Soviet government of China shall guarantee to all workers, peasants, and the toiling masses the right to education. The Soviet government will, as far as the conditions of internal revolutionary war allow, begin at once to introduce free universal education. Above all, the Soviet government shall defend the interests of labouring youth and give them every opportunity of participating in the political and cultural revolutionary life with a view to developing new social forces.

          13.  The Soviet government of China guarantees true religious freedom to the workers, peasants, and the toiling population. Adhering to the
principle of the complete separation of church and state, the Soviet state neither favours nor grants any financial assistance to any religion whatsoever. All Soviet citizens shall enjoy the right to engage in anti-religious propaganda. No religious institution of the imperialists shall be allowed to exist unless it shall comply with Soviet law.

          14.  The Soviet government of China recognizes the right of self-determination of the national minorities in China, their right to complete separation from China, and to the formation of an independent state for each national minority. All Mongolians, Tibetans, Miao, Yao, Koreans, and others living on the territory of China shall enjoy the full right to self-determination, i.e. they may either join the Union of Chinese Soviets or secede from it and form their own state as they may prefer. The Soviet régime of China will do its utmost to assist the national minorities in liberating themselves from the yoke of imperialists, the KMT militarists, t’u-ssu [tribal headmen], the princes, lamas, and others, and in achieving complete freedom and autonomy. The Soviet régime must encourage the development of the national cultures and of the respective national languages of these peoples.

          15.  The Chinese régime offers asylum to Chinese and foreign revolutionaries persecuted for their revolutionary activities; it will assist and lead them in recovering their strength so that they may fight with increased vigour for the victory of the revolution.

          16.  All foreign toilers living in districts under the jurisdiction of the Soviet régime shall enjoy equal rights as stipulated by Soviet law.

          17.  The Soviet régime of China declares its readiness to form a united revolutionary front with the world proletariat and all oppressed nations, and proclaims the Soviet Union, the land of proletarian dictatorship, to be its loyal ally.