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    1. 【法规标题】GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF THE CIVIL LAW OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
    2. 【颁布单位】The National People's Congress
    3. 【发文字号】
    4. 【颁布时间】1985-11-22
    5. 【失效时间】
    6. 【法规来源】

    7. 【全文】

     

    GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF THE CIVIL LAW OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA ——附加英文版

    GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF THE CIVIL LAW OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA

    The National People's Congress


    GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF THE CIVIL LAW OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA


    GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF THE CIVIL LAW OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA

    (Adopted at the Fourth Session of the Sixth National People's
    Congress, promulgated by Order No. 37 of the President of the People's
    Republic of China on April 12, 1986, and effective as of January 1, 1987)

    Contents
    Chapter I Basic Principles
    Chapter II Citizen (Natural Person)
    Section 1 Capacity for Civil Rights and Capacity for Civil
    Conduct
    Section 2 Guardianship
    Section 3 Declarations of Missing Persons and Death
    Section 4 Individual Businesses and Leaseholding Farm
    Households
    Section 5 Individual Partnership
    Chapter III Legal Persons
    Section 1 General Stipulations
    Section 2 Enterprise as Legal Person
    Section 3 Official Organ, Institution and Social
    Organization as Legal Persons
    Section 4 Economic Association
    Chapter IV Civil Juristic Acts and Agency
    Section 1 Civil Juristic Acts
    Section 2 Agency
    Chapter V Civil Rights
    Section 1 Property Ownership and Related Property Rights
    Section 2 Creditors' Rights
    Section 3 Intellectual Property Rights
    Section 4 Personal Rights
    Chapter VI Civil Liability
    Section 1 General Stipulations
    Section 2 Civil Liability for Breach of Contract
    Section 3 Civil Liability for Infringement of Rights
    Section 4 Methods of Bearing Civil Liability
    Chapter VII Limitation of Action
    Chapter VIII Application of Law in Civil Relations with Foreigners
    Chapter IX Supplementary Provisions

    Chapter I Basic Principles
    Article 1
    This Law is formulated in accordance with the Constitution and the actual
    situation in our country, drawing upon our practical experience in civil
    activities, for the purpose of protecting the lawful civil rights and
    interests of citizens and legal persons and correctly adjusting civil
    relations, so as to meet the needs of the developing socialist
    modernization.
    Article 2
    The Civil Law of the People's Republic of China shall adjust property
    relationships and personal relationships between civil subjects with equal
    status, that is, between citizens, between legal persons and between
    citizens and legal persons.
    Article 3
    Parties to a civil activity shall have equal status.
    Article 4
    In civil activities, the principles of voluntariness, fairness, making
    compensation for equal value, honesty and credibility shall be observed.
    Article 5
    The lawful civil rights and interests of citizens and legal persons shall
    be protected by law; no organization or individual may infringe upon them.
    Article 6
    Civil activities must be in compliance with the law; where there are no
    relevant provisions in the law, they shall be in compliance with state
    policies.
    Article 7
    Civil activities shall have respect for social ethics and shall not harm
    the public interest, undermine state economic plans or disrupt social
    economic order.
    Article 8
    The law of the People's Republic of China shall apply to civil activities
    within the People's Republic of China, except as otherwise stipulated by
    law.
    The stipulations of this Law as regards citizens shall apply to foreigners
    and stateless persons within the People's Republic of China, except as
    otherwise stipulated by law.

    Chapter II Citizen (Natural Person)
    Section 1 Capacity for Civil Rights and Capacity for Civil Conduct.
    Article 9
    A citizen shall have the capacity for civil rights from birth to death and
    shall enjoy civil rights and assume civil obligations in accordance with
    the law.
    Article 10
    All citizens are equal as regards their capacity for civil rights.
    Article 11
    A citizen aged 18 or over shall be an adult. He shall have full capacity
    for civil conduct, may independently engage in civil activities and shall
    be called a person with full capacity for civil conduct.
    A citizen who has reached the age of 16 but not the age of 18 and whose
    main source of income is his own labour shall be regarded as a person with
    full capacity for civil conduct.
    Article 12
    A minor aged 10 or over shall be a person with limited capacity for civil
    conduct and may engage in civil activities appropriate to his age and
    intellect; in other civil activities, he shall be represented by his agent
    ad litem or participate with the consent of his agent ad litem.
    A minor under the age of 10 shall be a person having no capacity for civil
    conduct and shall be represented in civil activities by his agent ad
    litem.
    Article 13
    A mentally ill person who is unable to account for his own conduct shall
    be a person having no capacity for civil conduct and shall be represented
    in civil activities by his agent ad litem.
    A mentally ill person who is unable to fully account for his own conduct
    shall be a person with limited capacity for civil conduct and may engage
    in civil activities appropriate to his mental health; in other civil
    activities, he shall be represented by his agent ad litem or participate
    with the consent of his agent ad litem.
    Article 14
    The guardian of a person without or with limited capacity for civil
    conduct shall be his agent ad litem.
    Article 15
    The domicile of a citizen shall be the place where his residence is
    registered; if his habitual residence is not the same as his domicile, his
    habitual residence shall be regarded as his domicile.
    Section 2 Guardianship
    Article 16
    The parents of a minor shall be his guardians.
    If the parents of a minor are dead or lack the competence to be his
    guardian, a person from the following categories who has the competence to
    be a guardian shall act as his guardian:
    (1) paternal or maternal grandparent;
    (2) elder brother or sister; or
    (3) any other closely connected relative or friend willing to bear the
    responsibility of guardianship and having approval from the units of the
    minor's parents or from the neighbourhood or village committee in the
    place of the minor's residence. In case of a dispute over guardianship,
    the units of the minor's parents or the neighbourhood or village committee
    in the place of his residence shall appoint a guardian from among the
    minor's near relatives. If disagreement over the appointment leads to a
    lawsuit, the people's court shall make a ruling.
    If none of the persons listed in the first two paragraphs of this article
    is available to be the guardian, the units of the minor's parents, the
    neighbourhood or village committee in the place of the minor's residence
    or the civil affairs department shall act as his guardian.
    Article 17
    A person from the following categories shall act as guardian for a
    mentally ill person without or with limited capacity for civil conduct:
    (1) spouse;
    (2) parent;
    (3) adult child;
    (4) any other near relative;
    (5) any other closely connected relative or friend willing to bear the
    responsibility of guardianship and having approval from the unit to which
    the mentally ill person belongs or from the neighbourhood or village
    committee in the place of his residence. In case of a dispute over
    guardianship, the unit to which the mentally ill person belongs or the
    neighbourhood or village committee in the place of his residence shall
    appoint a guardian from among his near relatives. If disagreement over the
    appointment leads to a lawsuit, the people's court shall make a ruling.
    If none of the persons listed in the first paragraph of this article is
    available to be the guardian, the unit to which the mentally ill person
    belongs, the neighbourhood or village committee in the place of his
    residence or the civil affairs department shall act as his guardian.
    Article 18
    A guardian shall fulfil his duty of guardianship and protect the person,
    property and other lawful rights and interests of his ward. A guardian
    shall not handle the property of his ward unless it is in the ward's
    interests.
    A guardian's rights to fulfil his guardianship in accordance with the law
    shall be protected by law.
    If a guardian does not fulfil his duties as guardian or infringes upon the
    lawful rights and interests of his ward, he shall be held responsible; if
    a guardian causes any property loss for his ward, he shall compensate for
    such loss. The people's court may disqualify a guardian based on the
    application of a concerned party or unit.
    Article 19
    A person who shares interests with a mental patient may apply to a
    people's court for a declaration that the mental patient is a person
    without or with limited capacity for civil conduct.
    With the recovery of the health of a person who has been declared by a
    people's court to be without or with limited capacity for civil conduct,
    and upon his own application or that of an interested person, the people's
    court may declare him to be a person with limited or full capacity for
    civil conduct.
    Section 3 Declarations of Missing Persons and Death
    Article 20
    If a citizen's whereabouts have been unknown for two years, an interested
    person may apply to a people's court for a declaration of the citizen as
    missing.
    If a person's whereabouts become unknown during a war, the calculation of
    the time period in which his whereabouts are unknown shall begin on the
    final day of the war.
    Article 21
    A missing person's property shall be placed in the custody of his spouse,
    parents, adult children or other closely connected relatives or friends.
    In case of a dispute over custody, if the persons stipulated above are
    unavailable or are incapable of taking such custody, the property shall be
    placed in the custody of a person appointed by the people's court. Any
    taxes, debts and other unpaid expenses owed by a missing person shall
    defrayed by the custodian out of the missing person's property.
    Article 22
    In the event that a person who has been declared missing reappears or his
    whereabouts are ascertained, the people's court shall, upon his own
    application or that of an interested person, revoke the declaration of his
    missing-person status.
    Article 23
    Under either of the following circumstances, an interested person may
    apply to the people's court for a declaration of a citizen's death:
    (1) if the citizen's whereabouts have been unknown for four years or
    (2) if the citizen's whereabouts have been unknown for two years after the
    date of an accident in which he was involved.
    If a person's whereabouts become unknown during a war, the calculation of
    the time period in which his whereabouts are unknown shall begin on the
    final day of the war.
    Article 24
    In the event that a person who has been declared dead reappears or it is
    ascertained that he is alive, the people's court shall, upon his own
    application or that of an interested person, revoke the declaration of his
    death.
    Any civil juristic acts performed by a person with capacity for civil
    conduct during the period in which he has been declared dead shall be
    valid.
    Article 25
    A person shall have the right to request the return of his property, if
    the declaration of his death has been revoked. Any citizen or organization
    that has obtained such property in accordance with the Law of Succession
    shall return the original items or make appropriate compensation if the
    original items no longer exist.
    Section 4 Individual Businesses and Leaseholding Farm Households
    Article 26
    "Individual businesses" refers to business run by individual citizens who
    have been lawfully registered and approved to engage in industrial or
    commercial operation within the sphere permitted by law. An individual
    business may adopt a shop name.
    Article 27
    "Leaseholding farm households" refers to members of a rural collective
    economic organization who engage in commodity production under a contract
    and within the spheres permitted by law.
    Article 28
    The legitimate rights and interests of individual businesses and
    leaseholding farm households shall be protected by law.
    Article 29
    The debts of an individual business or a leaseholding farm household shall
    be secured with the individual's property if the business is operated by
    an individual and with the family's property if the business is operated
    by a family.
    Section 5 Individual Partnership
    Article 30
    "Individual partnership" refers to two or more citizens associated in a
    business and working together, with each providing funds, material
    objects, techniques and so on according to an agreement.
    Article 31
    Partners shall make a written agreement covering the funds each is to
    provide, the distribution of profits, the responsibility for debts, the
    entering into and withdrawal from partnership, the ending of partnership
    and other such matters.
    Article 32
    The property provided by the partners shall be under their unified
    management and use. The property accumulated in a partnership operation
    shall belong to all the partners.
    Article 33
    An individual partnership may adopt a shop name; it shall be approved and
    registered in accordance with the law and conduct business operations
    within the range as approved and registered.
    Article 34
    The operational activities of an individual partnership shall be decided
    jointly by the partners, who each shall have the right to carry out and
    supervise those activities. The partners may elect a responsible person.
    All partners shall bear civil liability for the operational activities of
    the responsible person and other personnel.
    Article 35
    A partnership's debts shall be secured with the partners' property in
    proportion to their respective contributions to the investment or
    according to the agreement made. Partners shall undertake joint liability
    for their partnership's debts, except as otherwise stipulated by law. Any
    partner who overpays his share of the partnership's debts shall have the
    right to claim compensation from the other partners.

    Chapter III Legal Persons
    Section 1 General Stipulations
    Article 36
    A legal person shall be an organization that has capacity for civil rights
    and capacity for civil conduct and independently enjoys civil rights and
    assumes civil obligations in accordance with the law.
    A legal person's capacity for civil rights and capacity for civil conduct
    shall begin when the legal person is established and shall end when the
    legal person terminates.
    Article 37
    A legal person shall have the following qualifications:
    (1) establishment in accordance with the law;
    (2) possession of the necessary property or funds;
    (3) possession of its own name, organization and premises; and
    (4) ability to independently bear civil liability.
    Article 38
    In accordance with the law or the articles of association of the legal
    person, the responsible person who acts on behalf of the legal person in
    exercising its functions and powers shall be its legal representative.
    Article 39
    A legal person's domicile shall be the place where its main administrative
    office is located.
    Article 40
    When a legal person terminates, it shall go into liquidation in accordance
    with the law and discontinue all other activities.
    Section 2 Enterprise as Legal Person
    Article 41
    An enterprise owned by the whole people or under collective ownership
    shall be qualified as a legal person when it has sufficient funds as
    stipulated by the state; has articles of association, an organization and
    premises; has the ability to independently bear civil liability; and has
    been approved and registered by the competent authority. A Chinese-
    foreign equity joint venture, Chinese-foreign contractual joint venture or
    foreign-capital enterprise established within the People's Republic of
    China shall be qualified as a legal person in China if it has the
    qualifications of a legal person and has been approved and registered by
    the administrative agency for industry and commerce in according with the
    law.
    Article 42
    An enterprise as legal person shall conduct operations within the range
    approved and registered.
    Article 43
    An enterprise as legal person shall bear civil liability for the
    operational activities of its legal representatives and other personnel.
    Article 44
    If an enterprise as legal person is divided or merged or undergoes any
    other important change, it shall register the change with the registration
    authority and publicly announce it.
    When an enterprise as legal person is divided or merged, its rights and
    obligations shall be enjoyed and assumed by the new legal person that
    results from the change.
    Article 45
    An enterprise as legal person shall terminate for any of the following
    reasons:
    (1) if it is dissolved by law;
    (2) if it is disbanded;
    (3) if it is declared bankrupt in accordance with the law; or
    (4) for other reasons.
    Article 46
    When an enterprise as legal person terminates, it shall cancel its
    registration with the registration authority and publicly announce the
    termination.
    Article 47
    When an enterprise as legal person is disbanded, it shall establish a
    liquidation organization and go into liquidation. When an enterprise as
    legal person is dissolved or is declared bankrupt, the competent authority
    or a people's court shall organize the organs and personnel concerned to
    establish a liquidation organization to liquidate the enterprise.
    Article 48
    An enterprise owned by the whole people, as legal person, shall bear civil
    liability with the property that the state authorizes it to manage. An
    enterprise under collective ownership, as legal person, shall bear civil
    liability with the property it owns. A Chinese-foreign equity joint
    venture, Chinese-foreign contractual joint venture or foreign-capital
    enterprise as legal person shall bear civil liability with the property it
    owns, except as stipulated otherwise by law.
    Article 49
    Under any of the following circumstances, an enterprise as legal person
    shall bear liability, its legal representative may additionally be given
    administrative sanctions and fined and, if the offence constitutes a
    crime, criminal responsibility shall be investigated in accordance with
    the law:
    (1) conducting illegal operations beyond the range approved and registered
    by the registration authority;
    (2) concealing facts from the registration and tax authorities and
    practising fraud;
    (3) secretly withdrawing funds or hiding property to evade repayment of
    debts;
    (4) disposing of property without authorization after the enterprise is
    dissolved, disbanded or declared bankrupt;
    (5) failing to apply for registration and make a public announcement
    promptly when the enterprise undergoes a change or terminates, thus
    causing interested persons to suffer heavy losses;
    (6) engaging in other activities prohibited by law, damaging the interests
    of the state or the public interest.
    Section 3 Official Organ, Institution and Social Organization as Legal
    Person
    Article 50
    An independently funded official organ shall be qualified as a legal
    person on the day it is established.
    If according to law an institution or social organization having the
    qualifications of a legal person needs not go through the procedures for
    registering as a legal person, it shall be qualified as a legal person on
    the day it is established; if according to law it does need to go through
    the registration procedures, it shall be qualified as a legal person after
    being approved and registered.
    Section 4 Economic Association
    Article 51
    If a new economic entity is formed by enterprises or an enterprise and an
    institution that engage in economic association and it independently bears
    civil liability and has the qualifications of a legal person, the new
    entity shall be qualified as a legal person after being approved and
    registered by the competent authority.
    Article 52
    If the enterprises or an enterprise and an institution that engage in
    economic association conduct joint operation but do not have the
    qualifications of a legal person, each party to the association shall, in
    proportion to its respective contribution to the investment or according
    to the agreement made, bear civil liability with the property each party
    owns or manages. If joint liability is specified by law or by agreement,
    the parties shall assume joint liability.
    Article 53
    If the contract for economic association of enterprises or of an
    enterprise and an institution specifies that each party shall conduct
    operations independently, it shall stipulate the rights and obligations of
    each party, and each party shall bear civil liability separately.

    Chapter IV Civil Juristic Acts and Agency
    Section 1 Civil Juristic Acts
    Article 54
    A civil juristic act shall be the lawful act of a citizen or legal person
    to establish, change or terminate civil rights and obligations.
    Article 55
    A civil juristic act shall meet the following requirements:
    (1) the actor has relevant capacity for civil conduct;
    (2) the intention expressed is genuine; and
    (3) the act does not violate the law or the public interest.
    Article 56
    A civil juristic act may be in written, oral or other form. If the law
    stipulates that a particular form be adopted, such stipulation shall be
    observed.
    Article 57
    A civil juristic act shall be legally binding once it is instituted. The
    actor shall not alter or rescind his act except in accordance with the law
    or with the other party's consent.
    Article 58
    Civil acts in the following categories shall be null and void:
    (1) those performed by a person without capacity for civil conduct;
    (2) those that according to law may not be independently performed by a
    person with limited capacity for civil conduct;
    (3) those performed by a person against his true intentions as a result of
    cheating, coercion or exploitation of his unfavourable position by the
    other party;
    (4) those that performed through malicious collusion are detrimental to
    the interest of the state, a collective or a third party;
    (5) those that violate the law or the public interest;
    (6) economic contracts that violate the state's mandatory plans; and
    (7) those that performed under the guise of legitimate acts conceal
    illegitimate purposes. Civil acts that are null and void shall not be
    legally binding from the very beginning.
    Article 59
    A party shall have the right to request a people's court or an arbitration
    agency to alter or rescind the following civil acts:
    (1) those performed by an actor who seriously misunderstood the contents
    of the acts;
    (2) those that are obviously unfair.
    Rescinded civil acts shall be null and void from the very beginning.
    Article 60
    If part of a civil act is null and void, it shall not affect the validity
    of other parts.
    Article 61
    After a civil act has been determined to be null and void or has been
    rescinded, the party who acquired property as a result of the act shall
    return it to the party who suffered a loss. The erring party shall
    compensate the other party for the losses it suffered as a result of the
    act; if both sides are in error, they shall each bear their proper share
    of the responsibility.
    If the two sides have conspired maliciously and performed a civil act that
    is detrimental to the interests of the state, a collective or a third
    party, the property that they thus obtained shall be recovered and turned
    over to the state or the collective, or returned to the third party.
    Article 62
    A civil juristic act may have conditions attached to it. Conditional civil
    juristic acts shall take effect when the relevant conditions are met.
    Section 2 Agency
    Article 63
    Citizens and legal persons may perform civil juristic acts through agents
    An agent shall perform civil juristic acts in the principal's name within
    the scope of the power of agency. The principal shall bear civil liability
    for the agent's acts of agency. Civil juristic acts that should be
    performed by the principal himself, pursuant to legal provisions or the
    agreement between the two parties, shall not be entrusted to an agent.
    Article 64
    Agency shall include entrusted agency, statutory agency and appointed
    agency. An entrusted agent shall exercise the power of agency as
    entrusted by the principal; a statutory agent shall exercise the power of
    agency as prescribed by law; and an appointed agent shall exercise the
    power of agency as designated by a people's court or the appointing unit.
    Article 65
    A civil juristic act may be entrusted to an agent in writing or orally. If
    legal provisions require the entrustment to be written, it shall be
    effected in writing. Where the entrustment of agency is in writing, the
    power of attorney shall clearly state the agent's name, the entrusted
    tasks and the scope and duration of the power of agency, and it shall be
    signed or sealed by the principal.
    If the power of attorney is not clear as to the authority conferred, the
    principal shall bear civil liability towards the third party, and the
    agent shall be held jointly liable.
    Article 66
    The principal shall bear civil liability for an act performed by an actor
    with no power of agency, beyond the scope of his power of agency or after
    his power of agency has expired, only if he recognizes the act
    retroactively. If the act is not so recognized, the performer shall bear
    civil liability for it. If a principal is aware that a civil act is being
    executed in his name but fails to repudiate it, his consent shall be
    deemed to have been given.
    An agent shall bear civil liability if he fails to perform his duties and
    thus causes damage to the principal.
    If an agent and a third party in collusion harm the principal's interests,
    the agent and the third party shall be held jointly liable.
    If a third party is aware that an actor has no power of agency, is
    overstepping his power of agency, or his power of agency has expired and
    yet joins him in a civil act and thus brings damage to other people, the
    third party and the actor shall be held jointly liable.
    Article 67
    If an agent is aware that the matters entrusted are illegal but still
    carries them out, or if a principal is aware that his agent's acts are
    illegal but fails to object to them, the principal and the agent shall be
    held jointly liable.
    Article 68
    If in the principal's interests an entrusted agent needs to transfer the

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