China's top legislature, the National People's Congress (NPC), adopted the amendments to Constitution Sunday with an overwhelming majority of 2,863 votes for, 10 against and 17 abstentions.
Out of the 2, 903 ballots issued, 2,891 were recovered, including an invalid one.
The legislators attending the closing meeting of the NPC session cast their votes through secret ballot, which is televised live by state television and radio stations.
The amendments to Constitution consist of 14 revisions, including the respect for and protection of human rights and the protection of lawful private property.
Other major points of the amendments include, among others, the institution of the guiding role of the "Three Represents" important thought in the country's national political and social life, expressions of coordinated development of material civilization and political and cultural progress, incorporation of the term "builders of socialism," and improvement of the land expropriation system.
Also included are expressions on further clarification of the state policy toward non-public economic sectors, improvement of the social security system and the NPC's composition, stipulation on the state of emergency and on the powers of the State president, revision of the terms of government at the township level, and stipulation on the national anthem.
A resolution on the draft amendment was approved at the meeting, along with others on the government work report, budgetary plan, social and economic development plan, and the work of top court and procuratorate.
The Constitution contains 138 articles in four chapters. It was first formulated in 1982, and was later amended three times, in 1988, 1993 and 1999 respectively.
"The revision of the Constitution this time represents a logical outcome of China's development," said Wang Jiaqi, an NPC deputy. "Many people have become better of since the country began its reform and open-up drive over two decades ago, and the incorporation of the protection of private property into the Constitution will help promote China's economic and social development in a healthy way."