Li Keqiang publicly swore an oath to the constitution upon formally taking office after he was appointed as the Premier in the 1st Session of the 13th National People's Congress.
Li Keqiang publicly swore an oath to the constitution upon formally taking office after he was appointed as the Premier in the 1st Session of the 13th National People's Congress.
Tsai Ing-wen swearing an oath of office as the 14th term President after the 2016 presidential election.
Tsai Ing-wen swearing an oath of office as the 14th term President after the 2016 presidential election.

The constitutional oath of office of China is the oath or affirmation that is used in China — which is referred to either as: the People's Republic of China (PRC, "China") or the Republic of China (ROC, "Taiwan").

The PRC implemented its oath on January 1, 2016 through a decision by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. The oath requirement applies to state civil servants elected or appointed by the National People's Congress and its Standing Committee at or above the county level.

Background and history

After the overthrow of the last imperial dynasty in 1911, the Republic of China was founded and an oath system was imposed with Sun Yat-sen taking the helm.[1][2][3] The oath system continues today in Taiwan and is specified in Article 48 of the Constitution of the Republic of China.

Since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, a constitutional oath system had never been established. Hong Kong and Macau each had oath systems prior to their return to the PRC, and both regions implemented oaths according to the Hong Kong Basic Law and Macau Basic Law, respectively, following China's resumption of sovereignty.[4][5][6]

On December 4, 2012, in celebration of the 12th National Constitution Day and the 30th anniversary of the enactment of China's current constitution, the Ningbo Yinzhou District People's Court in Zhejiang province organized the first constitutional oath ceremony in the history of China's people's courts. Nine newly-appointed judges and 24 jurists participated in the ceremony while holding copies of the constitution.

On October 23, 2014, the Fourth Plenum of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China passed the Decision of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China Regarding Several Major Issues in the Promotion of the Rule of Law, which proposed "establishing a constitutional oath system, such that all state civil servants elected or appointed by the National People's Congress or its Standing Committee publicly swear an oath to the constitution upon formally taking office."[7]

On July 1, 2015, the 15th Meeting of the 12th Standing Committee of the National People's Congress passed the Decision of the National People's Congress Standing Committee Regarding the Implementation of a Constitutional Oath System, with an effective date of January 1, 2016. The Decision requires state civil servants elected or appointed by the National People's Congress, its Standing Committee, the State Council, the Central Military Commission, the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, and other central government organs, as well as equivalent local government organs at or above the county level, to publicly swear an oath to the constitution upon formally taking office.[8]

On February 23, 2018, the 33rd Meeting of the 12th Standing Committee of the National People's Congress revised the Decision that instituted the constitutional oath. The constitutional oath's last phrase was changed to "to work for a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful." In addition, the Decision expanded the oath-taking requirement to include members of the newly-created National Supervisory Commission, and required the national anthem to be played at the oath taking ceremony.[9][10]

In many occasions, the current Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration has called to end the practice of oath towards the ROC flags and the portrait of Sun Yat-sen. In 2020, two DPP lawmakers of the Legislative Yuan have proposed to remove law requiring Sun Yat-sen's portrait in all governmental, public buildings. These decisions have been opposed by the Kuomintang.[11][12]

Ceremony

The Decision allows for the oath to be taken individually or in a group. If taken individually, the oath taker places his or her left hand on a copy of the Constitution, and raises his or her right hand in a fist. If taken in a group, one person leads the ceremony, with his or her left hand on a copy of the Constitution and his or her right hand raised in a fist. The other oath takers stand in a line with their right hands raised in a fist, and recite the oath along with the leader. The ceremony is to be "dignified" and "solemn," and the Flags of the PRC/ROC or the PRC emblem/portrait of Sun Yat-sen with the Seal of the Republic of China must be displayed. The National Anthem of the People's Republic of China must also be played at the ceremony.[13][14]

Oath

People's Republic of China

As prescribed by the decision in 2016:

我宣誓:忠于中华人民共和国宪法,维护宪法权威,履行法定职责,忠于祖国、忠于人民,恪尽职守、廉洁奉公,接受人民监督,为建设富强、民主、文明、和谐的社会主义国家努力奋斗!

Unofficial English translation:

I pledge to be loyal to the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, safeguard the authority of the Constitution, fulfill the legal responsibilities of my position, be loyal to the Motherland, be loyal to the people, show the utmost respect for my duty, pursue public affairs with integrity, accept the supervision of the people, and strive for a prosperous, strong, democratic, civilized, and harmonious socialist country!

A revised version was used in 2018:

我宣誓:忠于中华人民共和国宪法,维护宪法权威,履行法定职责,忠于祖国、忠于人民,恪尽职守、廉洁奉公,接受人民监督,为建设富强民主文明和谐美丽的社会主义现代化强国努力奋斗!

Unofficial English translation:

I pledge to be loyal to the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, safeguard the authority of the Constitution, fulfill the legal responsibilities of my position, be loyal to the Motherland, be loyal to the people, show the utmost respect for my duty, pursue public affairs with integrity, accept the supervision of the people, and to work for a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful!

Republic of China

The Oath of office for the President of the Republic of China is specified in the Constitution of the Republic of China (Article 48):

余謹以至誠,向全國人民宣誓,余必遵守憲法,盡忠職務,增進人民福利,保衛國家,無負國民付託。如違誓言,願受國家嚴厲之制裁。謹誓。

Unofficial English translation:

I do solemnly and sincerely swear before the people of the whole country that I will observe the Constitution, faithfully perform my duties, promote the welfare of the people, safeguard the security of the State, and will in no way betray the people's trust. Should I break my oath, I shall be willing to submit myself to severe punishment by the State. This is my solemn oath.

See also

References

  1. ^ 孙中山的“中华民国临时大总统印”丢哪了
  2. ^ https://taiwantoday.tw/news.php?unit=4&post=7035
  3. ^ http://press-files.anu.edu.au/downloads/press/n5354/pdf/ch24.pdf
  4. ^ 社科院法学专家:建议设立宪法宣誓制度和宪法日,网易,2014-10-21
  5. ^ "中华人民共和国澳门特别行政区基本法". 中国人大网. 2007-11-15. Archived from the original on 2017-07-17. Retrieved 2017-04-29.
  6. ^ "中华人民共和国香港特别行政区基本法". 中国政府网. 2005-07-29.
  7. ^ 中共中央关于全面推进依法治国若干重大问题的决定凤凰网,2014-10-28
  8. ^ "我国通过宪法宣誓制度". 人民网. 新华社. 2015-07-02. Retrieved 2015-10-08.
  9. ^ "关于《全国人民代表大会常务委员会关于实行宪法宣誓制度的决定(修订草案)》的说明". National People's Congress. February 24, 2018. Archived from the original on June 30, 2018. Retrieved June 30, 2018.
  10. ^ "Public officials to sing national anthem, swear to serve 'great' China". The Standard. 2018-02-23. Retrieved 2018-02-25.
  11. ^ 立委提案「不必向國旗及國父遺像宣誓」 又遭國民黨團阻擋, 自由時報
  12. ^ https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/4013612
  13. ^ "全国人民代表大会常务委员会关于实行宪法宣誓制度的决定". National People's Congress. February 24, 2018. Archived from the original on July 4, 2018. Retrieved June 30, 2018.
  14. ^ https://law.moj.gov.tw/ENG/LawClass/LawAll.aspx?pcode=A0000001