Fundamentals of National Reconstruction

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Sun Yat-sen

Passed at the First National Congress of the Chinese Nationalist Party on 21 January 1924.

I, The National Government is based on the revolutionary Three Principles of the People, and the Five-Powers Constitution, in order to build the Republic of China.

II, The first matter that must be constructed is the people’s livelihood. Therefore, with regard to the four great needs of the people, food, clothing, housing and movement, the Government should join forces with the people and collaborate in developing agriculture, to ensure sufficient food for the people; collaborate in developing weaving, to provide abundant clothing to the people; build housing of various forms in great project, in order to ensure enjoyable housing for the people; and dredge and repair roads and channels, in order to benefit the people’s movements.

III, The second matter is the people’s power. With regard to the political knowledge and ability of the people, the government shall teach and guide them in the exercise of their right to vote, the exercise of their right to dismiss officials, and the exercise of their right of political initiative.

IV, The third is nationalism. Therefore, with regard to small domestic ethnicities, the Government shall foster them, and ensure that they can enjoy self-determination and autonomy; with regard to foreign aggressive powers, the Government shall resist them. And the same time, treaties with all countries are to be revised, our international equality and national independence is to be restored.

V, The process of construction is divided into three periods; the first is called military rule; the second is called political tutelage, the third is called constitutional government.

VI. During the period of military rule, all institutions will be subordinate to military administration. The government will, on the one hand, use military force to eliminate domestic obstacles; and propagate doctrine on the other hand, in order to civilize the hearts of the people in the entire country and stimulate national unity.

VII, When all provinces are completely pacified, the period of political tutelage will begin, and the period of military rule will end.

VIII, During the period of political tutelage, the government shall assign people who have been trained and qualified through examinations, to go to all counties and assist the people in preparing for autonomy. Its process is to make a clear census of the population in the entire county, completely survey land in the entire county, appropriately arrange for security in the entire county, and successfully build roads that traverse all of the territory; those people who have received instruction on using their four powers, and have completed their duties as citizens, and have sworn to implement revolutionary doctrines may elect county officials, to execute government affairs in a county; they may also elect legislators, to discuss creating laws in a county, and start making it into a completely autonomous county.

IX, Citizens of counties having completed autonomy have the right to directly elect officials, have the right to directly recall officials, have the right to directly formulate laws, and have the right to directly amend laws.

X, When any county begins autonomy, it must first stipulate prices for privately held land in the entire county. The method is that landlords report on this themselves, local governments levy taxes according to prices, and it may requisition land according to price at any time. If, after prices are reported, land increases in value because of political improvements and social progress, the profit should be enjoyed by the people in the entire county, and the original owner may not keep this for himself.

XI, The annual income from land, the gain from land prices, the production of public land, the harvest from mountains, forests, streams and marshes and the benefit from minerals and hydropower, all belong to local governments; and are to be used to manage the cause of the local people, to nurture children, care for the elderly, aid the poor, provide disaster relief, heal the ill and provide for all sorts of public needs.

XII, Where a county’s financial resources cannot develop or initiate its natural resources or large-scale industry and commerce undertakings, and outside capital is required to manage this, the Central government provides assistance; the net profits obtained are to be divided in halves each for the Central and local government.

XIII, All counties shall turn a percentage of their annual income over for annual Central expenditure, to cover the burdens of the Central government, to be determined annually by the citizens’ representatives; it may not be less than ten per cent, and may not be higher than fifty per cent.

XIV, After all counties have established autonomous local governments, they may elect one citizens’ representative, in order to organize the Congress, and participate in Central government affairs.

XV, All those who are candidates for and are appointed to official positions, either at the Centre or in the localities, must undergo Central examinations, and may only [assume office] when their qualifications are determined.

XVI, When the counties in any one province have all completed autonomy, the period of constitutional government begins, the National Congress may elect provincial heads, in order to supervise autonomy in those provinces. With regards to national administration within that province, the province head is to be subject to Central command.

Article XVII, During this period, a balanced power system is adopted with regard to the powers of the Centre and the provinces. All matters that have a national uniform nature, are to be allocated to the Centre; all matters that have a nature of needing to be suited to local conditions, are allocated to the localities; there is to be no bias either for concentrating powers in the Centre or dividing powers to the localities.

XVIII, Counties are autonomous units, provinces sit between the Centre and counties, in order to make contact more effective.

XIX, At the time when constitutional government begins, the Central government shall complete the establishment of the Five Yuans, in order to try out governance according to the Five Powers. The order is as follows: the Administrative Yuan, the Legislative Yuan, the Judicial Yuan, the Examination Yuan and the Supervision Yuan.

XX, The following ministries are to be provisionally established under the Administrative Yuan: 1, the Ministry of the Interior; 2, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; 3, the Ministry of Military Affairs; 4, the Ministry of Finance; 5, the Ministry of Agriculture and Mining; 6, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce; 7, the Ministry of Education; 8, the Ministry of Communications.

XXI, Until the Constitution is promulgated, all Yuan directors are all appointed, dismissed and commanded by the President.

XXII, The Constitutional Draft is to be negotiated by the Legislative Yuan on the basis of the Fundamentals of National Reconstruction and the achievements of the periods of political tutelage and constitutional governments, it is to be propagated to the masses in the fullness of time, in preparation of its adoption and implementation.

XXIII, When more than half of the provinces nationwide have reached the time when they begin constitutional government, being the period in which local autonomy has been completely established in the entire province, the National Assembly will be convened in order to decide on the Constitution and promulgate it.

XXIV, After the Constitution is promulgated, the Central sovereign power will be exercised by the National Assembly, which means that the National Assembly has the power to elect Central government officials, and the power to recall them; it has the power of initiative concerning Central legislation, and the power to amend law.

XXV, On the date that the Constitution is promulgated, which is the date that constitutional government is heralded, the citizens of the entire county conduct national elections according to the law. The National Government will be dismissed from office three months after the completion of the election, and relinquish government to the government elected by the people, this is when building the nation will have come to completion.

12 April 1924.


四、其三为民族。故对于国内之弱小民族,政府当扶植之,使之能自决自治;对于国外之侵略强权,政府当抵御之。并同时修改各国条约, 恢复我国际平等,国家独立。


One thought on “Fundamentals of National Reconstruction

    Latest Updates | China Copyright and Media said:
    November 30, 2013 at 9:59 am

    […] Fundamentals of National Reconstruction (Sun Yat-Sen/GMD Central Committee, 1924) […]

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