Constitution of the National Committee of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement of Protestant Churches in China
Article One General Principles
Section 1 This Committee shall be known as the National Committee of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement of Protestant Churches in China (National TSPM); together with the China Christian Council, known as the National Christian Offices (CCC/TSPM).
Section 2 The TSPM serves as the patriotic and church loving organization of Chinese Christians.
Section 3 The aim of this organization is to lead Christians to love the nation and the church; to glorify God and benefit the people; to abide by the Constitution, laws, regulations and policies of the State; to observe social mores, uphold the independence of the church; strengthen unity inside and outside the church; serve the aim of running the church well; and enable the church to adapt to socialist society.
Section 4 This Committee accepts lawful administration by the Religious Affairs Bureau under the State Council and regulation as a mass organization by the State Civil Administration Department.
Section 5 This Committee shall be based in Shanghai.
Article Two Scope of Duties
Section 6 The duties of the TSPM are as follows:
(1) Under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and the People's Government, to unite all Chinese Christians to deeply love our socialist homeland and abide by its Constitution, laws, regulations and policies;
(2) To uphold self-government, self-support, self-propagation, independence and a self-run church as guiding principles, to defend and develop the achievements of the TSPM;
(3) To actively promote theological reconstruction;
(4) To assist the government in implementing the policy of freedom of religious belief and in safeguarding the legitimate rights of the church;
(5) To contribute its efforts in safeguarding national unity and stability; building socialist material and spiritual civilization; achieving national unification and developing friendly international relationships; and safeguarding world peace;
(6) The TSPM serves to strengthen contacts with all provincial, autonomous region and directly-administered municipality level Three-Self Committees, through channels of communication, exchange of experience, study and consultation on problems common to its counterparts at the provincial, autonomous region and directly-administered municipality levels.
(7) The TSPM shall join with the CCC in convening the National Conference at prescribed intervals and may convene other joint meetings as the need arises,
(8) The relationship between the TSPM and the CCC is one of cooperation with differentiation of function. The TSPM coordinates with the CCC to achieve all aspects of the work of Chinese Christianity;
(9) It is the duty of Three-Self Committees at the provincial, autonomous region and directly-administered municipality level to observe and carry out the resolutions of the TSPM. The TSPM shall urge compliance and supervise in this regard.
Article Three Structure of the Organization; Election and Removal of Officers
Section 7 The National Chinese Christian Conference is the highest body of this Committee. It is composed of delegates recommended by Three-Self Committees and Christian Councils (or Church Councils) at the provincial, autonomous region and directly administered municipality level. Its duties are:
(1) The drafting and/or revision of this constitution;
(2) Election of the members comprising the national committee of the TSPM;
(3) Consideration of the Work Report and the Financial Report of the outgoing Standing Committee;
(4) Discussion and determination of the guiding policies for the work of the incumbent Committee;
(5) Determination on other matters of importance.
Section 8 A two-thirds majority of members must be present in order to convene the National Conference. Resolutions passed at the Conference take effect upon a minimum fifty percent affirmative vote of those present.
Section 9 The national Chinese Christian Conference is jointly convened by the Standing Committees of the present TSPM and CCC. It shall meet every five years, but when need arises, may be convened earlier or postponed. This is a matter for decision by the Standing Committees; however, postponement shall be limited to one year. The number of delegates and the method of their election shall be jointly decided by the Standing Committees of the TSPM and CCC.
Section 10 This Committee shall be elected by the National Chinese Christian Conference. Term of office shall run until the following meeting of that Conference, with re-election leading to a further period of service. A two-thirds majority of members must be present to convene a meeting of the Committee and a two-thirds vote of members present is required to pass resolutions.
Section 11 A plenary session of the National Conference shall be convened every two years jointly by the Standing Committees of the TSPM and CCC, or earlier or later when necessary.
Section 12 This Committee shall consist of the Chairperson, Deputy Chairpersons, a Secretary-General and members of the Standing Committee. An honorary Chairperson may be appointed.
Section 13 The Chairperson, Deputy Chairpersons and Secretary-General must possess the following qualifications:
(1) Abide by the Constitution, laws, regulations and policies of the nation, and possess good political credentials,
(2) Enjoy a good reputation within the church;
(3) At the time of election, the ages of the Chairperson and Deputy Chairpersons shall not exceed 75 years; the Secretary General is a full-time position and the incumbent's age shall not exceed 65 years at the time of election.
(4) Good health and the ability to shoulder a normal workload;
(5) Shall not have a criminal record resulting in loss of political rights;
(6) Be capable of fully representing the Committee in civil matters.
Section 14 The Chairperson of this Committee is the legal representative of the organization. A Deputy Chairperson or the Secretary-General may serve as legal representative if this is so reported to and checked by the department responsible and approved by the relevant organization responsible for registry of mass social organizations.
One serving as the legal representative of this Committee shall not simultaneously serve in the same capacity for another organization.
Section 1 5 The Chairperson, Deputy Chairpersons or Secretary-General, if re-elected, shall continue to serve, but service shall not exceed two terms.
Section 16 Members have the following duties:
(1) Consideration of the Work Report of the Standing Committee;
(2) Discussion and oversight of the implementation of the guiding policies of the National Conference;
(3) Election and removal of the Chairperson, Deputy Chairpersons, Secretary-General and members of the Standing Committee;
(4) When necessary, supplementary members may be added to the Standing Committee, or an honorary Chairperson may be named. These shall serve until the next National Christian Conference.
Section 17 The Standing Committees are the administrative body of the National Christian Conference. When the full body is not in session, the Standing Committees handle the business of the National Conference.
Section 18 The Chairperson shall, with the assistance of the Deputy Chairpersons and Secretary General, direct the work of the Standing Committee.
Section 19 The responsibilities of the Standing Committee are:
(1) Together with the Standing Committee of the CCC, convene the National Chinese Christian Conference,
(2) Convene the plenary sessions of this Committee;
(3) Draft the Work Report of the Standing Committee, and invite consideration of same by the National Chinese Christian Conference or the Plenary Session of the TSPM/CCC;
(4) Thoroughly carry out the guiding policies for work determined by the National Conference;
(5) When necessary, recommend the co-option or withdrawal of committee members; those so co-opted shall serve until the next National Conference;
(6) When its work requires, the Standing Committee, together with the Standing Committee of the CCC, shall appoint working groups, or other specialized commissions, which can be adjusted or supplementedas necessary. These commissions shall work under the joint direction of the Executive Committees of the TSPM and CCC, and their respective Secretary-General and General Secretary. Their resolutions must be passed by a two-thirds majority and their term of office shall end with that of the Standing Committees which appoint them.
(7) To determine other matters of importance.
Section 20 Two-thirds of the members mustbe present to convene a meeting of the Standing Committee. Resolutions must be passed with a two-thirds majority vote.
Section 21 Meetings of the Standing Committee shall be convened by the Executive Committee once per year; when necessary they may be held more often or postponed.
Section 22 The Executive Committee shall be comprised of the Chairperson, Deputy Chairpersons and Secretary-General. The Executive shall deal with the important ongoing business of the Standing Committee. It shall meet every six months. When necessary, the TSPM Executive Committee shall meet jointly with its CCC counterpart.
Section 23 Associate Secretaries-General shall be nominated by the Secretary-General, subject to approval by the Standing Committee
Section 24 Together with the CCC, the TSPM shall set up an Advisory Committee to facilitate access to the positive influence and potential of the older generation of those who have served as members in the past.
(1) The Advisory Committee shall have two Directors, several Deputy Directors and members who shall be recommended by the Executive Committee of the National Conference and approved by the Plenary.
(2) The duties of the Advisory Committee are: Submitting proposals and suggestions for the work of the committee; when necessary, they may be invited to attend related meetings of this Committee.
(3) The Advisory Committee shall serve for the term of the Committees that constituted it.
Article Four Management and Use of Finances
Section25 The expenses of this Committee shall be the responsibility of the Standing Committee. Sources of funding are as follows:
(1) Rents and income from church buildings and property,
(2) Income from publication,
(5) Other lawful income.
Section 26 This Committee shall receive donations and contributions according to government regulations.
Section 27 Committee expenditure must be within the scope of duties and for the development of work set by this constitution, monies cannot be apportioned to individuals.
Section 28 This Committee shall establish a strict system of financial regulation, guaranteeing that its accounting practices are legal, honest, accurate and complete.
Section 29 This Committee must provide professionally trained and certified accountants. Accountants cannot simultaneously receive and pay out monies. Accounting personnel must undertake to reconcile and oversee accounts. If accounting personnel are transferred or leave their jobs, transition formalities must be strictly enforced according to government regulations.
Section 30 The financial management of this Committee must follow the government regulated financial management system, reporting income and expenses to the Standing Committee and the Plenary, and must accept oversight by the Chinese Christian National Conference and the auditing department.
Section 31 Before a change in officers, or when changing the legal representative, there must be a financial audit by the related office of the registry of mass organizations and the department responsible for the work concerned. No unit or individual may occupy, take for personal use or misappropriate the property or funds of this Committee.
Section 32 Wages and salaries, insurance and benefits for full-time employees of this Committee shall be based on the relevant government regulations for units and enterprises.
Article Five Revision of this Constitution
Section 33 Revisions to this Constitution must be passed by two-thirds of members present of the National Chinese Christian Conference.
Section 34 Revisions to this Constitution must be reported to the office responsible for the work concerned and approved by the registry of mass organizations within 15 days of passage before they will take effect.
Article Six Addendum
Section 35 Dissolution and cessation of activities by this Committee must be carried out according to relevant government regulations.
Section 36 This Constitution was approved at the Seventh National Chinese Christian Conference May 25, 2002.
Section 37 The authority to interpret this Constitution lies with the incumbent Standing Committee. Section 38This Constitution takes effect on approval by the related office of the registry of mass organizations.