Chapter I Tasks, Basic Principles, and Scope of Application of the Criminal Law
Article 1. This law is formulated in accordance with the Constitution and in light of the concrete experience of China launching a struggle against crime and the realities in the country, with a view to punishing crime and protecting the people.
Article 2. The tasks of the PRC Criminal Law are to use punishment struggle against all criminal acts to defend national security, the political power of the people’s democratic dictatorship, and the socialist system; to protect state-owned property and property collectively owned by the laboring masses; to protect citizens’ privately owned property; to protect citizens’ right of the person, democratic rights, and other rights; to maintain social and economic order; and to safeguard the smooth progress of the cause of socialist construction.
Article 3. Any act deemed by explicit stipulations of law as a crime is to be convicted and given punishment by law and any act that no explicit stipulations of law deems a crime is not to be convicted or given punishment.
Article 4. Every one is equal before the law in committing crime. No one is permitted to have privileges to transgress the law.
Article 5. The severity of punishments must be commensurate with the crime committed by an offender and the criminal responsibility he bears.
Article 6. This law is applicable to all who commit crimes within the territory of the PRC except as specially stipulated by law.
This law is also applicable to all who commit crimes aboard a ship or aircraft of the PRC.
When either the act or consequence of a crime takes place within PRC territory, a crime is deemed to have been committed within PRC territory.
Article 7. This law is applicable to PRC citizens who commit the crimes specified in this law outside the territory of the PRC; but those who commit the crimes, provided that this law stipulates a minimum sentence of less than a three-year fixed-term imprisonment for such crimes, may not be dealt with.
This law is applicable to PRC state personnel and military personnel who commit the crimes specified in this law outside PRC territory.
Article 8. This law may be applicable to foreigners, who outside PRC territory, commit crimes against the PRC state or against its citizens, provided that this law stipulates a minimum sentence of not less than a three-year fixed term of imprisonment for such crimes; but an exception is to be made if a crime is not punishable according the law of the place where it was committed.
Article 9. This law is applicable to the crimes specified in international treaties to which the PRC is a signatory state or with which it is a member and the PRC exercises criminal jurisdiction over such crimes within its treaty obligations.
Article 10. Any person who commits a crime outside PRC territory and according to this law bear criminal responsibility may still be dealt with according to this law even if he has been tried in a foreign country; however, a person who has already received criminal punishment in a foreign country may be exempted from punishment or given a mitigated punishment.
Article 11. The problem of criminal responsibility of foreigners who enjoy diplomatic privileges and immunity is to be resolved through diplomatic channels.
Article 12. If an act committed after the founding of the PRC and before the implementation of this law was not deemed a crime under the laws at that time, the laws at that time are to be applicable. If the act was deemed a crime under the laws at that time, and if under the provisions of Chapter IV, Section 8 of the general provisions of this law it should be prosecuted, criminal responsibility is to be investigated according to the laws at that time. However, if this law does not deem it a crime or imposes a lesser punishment, this law is to be applicable.
The effective judgments that were made according to the laws at that time before the implementation of this law will continue to be in force.