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Home >> China
UPDATED: 10:12, March 08, 2007
Full Text: Explanation on China's draft property law - 3
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3. The Main Contents of the Draft Property Law

(1) Adherence to the Basic Socialist Economic System. The Chinese-style socialist property system is determined by the basic socialist economic system and is in essence different from the capitalist property system. Therefore, enactment of the Chinese- style property law must give a full and accurate expression to the basic socialist economic system and the "Two Unswervingly" (to unswervingly consolidate and develop the economic sector of public ownership, and to unswervingly encourage, support and guide the development of the economic sector of non-public ownership - trans. ) which is put forward at the 16th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. First, in the draft, upholding the basic economic system of the State is made the basic principle, the draft explicitly stipulates, "In the primary stage of socialism, the State upholds the basic economic system in which public ownership is dominant and the economic sectors of diverse forms of ownership develop side by side." "The State consolidates and develops the economic sector of public ownership, and encourages, supports and guides the development of the economic sector of non- public ownership." As the core of the property law, this basic principle runs through and is embodied in this law as a whole. Second, the proprietary right is a reflection of the ownership system in law and provides the basis for the property system. Clear-cut stipulations are made on ownership by the State and the collective and by the individual and there are comparatively more provisions on ownership by the State, which is conducive to upholding and improving the basic socialist economic system and to bringing into full play the advantages of all the economic sectors of the various forms of ownership, so that they stimulate one another for common development. Third, developing the socialist market economy is the inevitable requirement of upholding and improving the basic socialist economic system. On the premise of explicit provisions that "the exercise of rights by a usufructuary or a secured party shall not damage the rights and interests of the owner", stipulations on usufructs and security rights are made in the draft, which is conducive to bringing into full play the usefulness of things, maintaining the order of market transaction and promoting the economic development.

(2) Equal Protection of the Property of the State, the Collective and the Individual.

The property law comes under the civil code, one important principle of which being equal protection of the rights of the obligees. The draft property law stipulates, "The property of the State, the collective, the individual and other obligees is protected by law, and no units or individuals may infringe upon it. "

The Constitution stipulates, "The State practices socialist market economy." Fair competition, equal protection and survival of the fittest are the basic rules governing the market economy. Under conditions of the socialist market economy, the subjects of the market, formed by economic sectors of different forms of ownership, operate and form mutual relations in a unified market, they all have an equal status on the market, enjoying the same rights, observing the same rules and bearing the same responsibility. If the different subjects of the market are not provided with equal protection, or if the methods used for settling disputes or the legal responsibilities to be borne are varied, it will not be possible to develop the socialist market economy, nor will it be possible to uphold and improve the basic economic system of socialism. In order to keep abreast of the development of the socialist market economy, it is further made clear by the Third Plenary Session of the 16th Central Committee of the CPC that "the equal legal status and the right to development of all the subjects of the market shall be guaranteed". Even with respect to the property which is not transacted on the market, the Constitution also clearly stipulates, "Citizen's lawful private property is inviolable." "The State, in accordance with law, protects the rights of citizens to private property and to its inheritance." On the premise that ownership of property is established according to law, as subjects of property, no matter whether it is the State, collective or individual, their right of property shall be given equal protection. Equal protection does not necessarily mean that the economic sectors of different forms of ownership play the same role or perform the same function in the national economy. According to the provisions of the Constitution, the economic sector of public ownership is dominant, the State-owned economic sector is the leading force, and the economic sector of non-public ownership constitutes an important component of the socialist market economy, each playing a different role and performing a different function in the national economy. This is chiefly manifested in the macro-economic control conducted and the public resources distributed and market access granted by the State. Where the important industries and key fields of endeavor which have a bearing on State security and the lifelines of the national economy are concerned, the controlling role of the State-owned economic sector must be ensured, and all this is stipulated by economic and administrative laws.


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