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China

Constitution as adopted on 4 December 1982.

Article 4

    (3) The people of all nationalities have the freedom to use and develop their own spoken and written languages, and to preserve or reform their own ways and customs.

Article 19

    …The state promotes the nationwide use of Putonghua.

Article 121

    In performing their functions, the organs of self-government of the national autonomous areas, in accordance with the regulations on the exercise of autonomy in those areas, employ the spoken and written language or languages in common use in the locality.

Article 134

    (1) Citizens of all nationalities have the right to use the spoken and written languages of their own nationalities in court proceedings. The people's courts and people's procuratorates should provide translation for any party of the court proceedings who is not familiar with the spoken or written languages commonly used in the locality.

    (2) In an area where people of a minority nationality live in a concentrated community or where a number of nationalities live together, court hearings should be conducted in the language or languages commonly used in the locality; indictments, judgments, notices and other documents should be written, according to actual needs, in the language or languages commonly used in the locality.

Note: The complete text of the Constitution and further information on the constitutional background of China are provided by the International Constitutional Law Project at the University of Bern.


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