General Principles of the Civil Law of the Peoples Republic of China
 Contents
Chapter I General Provisions
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 General Provisions
 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