Language: English | Chinese
Tue,Dec,07,2021
Home About Zhongshan News Business Culture Services
HOME > About Zhongshan >History > Local autonomy in Zhongshan during the Republican period
Local autonomy in Zhongshan during the Republican period
Updated: 2019-05-21    Source: zs.gov.cn Large Medium Small Print

In the period of the Republic of China (ROC), the National Government carried out local autonomy. Such mode of government seemed to realize Dr. Sun Yat-sen's Three People's Principles by empowering the people. Simultaneously, it also reflected strong political color of the Kuomintang's political tutelage, which can be seen from a few slogans at that time: "Local autonomy is the foundation of government by the people", "Organize local autonomy in accordance with the instructions of the Premier", "Organize local autonomy for the implementation of the work of the political tutelage", and others.

On April 15, 1925 (the 14th year of ROC), Xiangshan County was renamed Zhongshan County to commemorate Dr. Sun Yat-sen in accordance with the resolution of the Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang upon the approval of the Marshal of the Great House of the Republic of China in Guangzhou. In February, 1929 (the 18th year of ROC), the 19th State Conference of the National Government was held and it designated Zhongshan County as a national exemplary county and implemented the exemplary county system (special county) for it. The National Government set up Zhongshan County Political Tutelage Implementation Committee as the planning, guidance and supervision organization for Zhongshan County to implement the policies for the political tutelage construction of the exemplary county. The Committee's resolutions on the political tutelage construction plan of Zhongshan County were directly submitted to the Zhongshan County government for implementation, and sent to the Guangdong provincial government for examination and filing. It was around this time that the National Government of ROC implemented local autonomy. The local autonomy of Zhongshan started from the 18th to 19the year of ROC (1930). 

According to the documents about the Republic of China in the Archives Center of Zhongshan, preparations for self-government in each district (nine districts in total) of Zhongshan were carefully made. For example, there are detailed regulations on local autonomy in the brochure titled "Brief Record of Autonomy", which was published in the spring of 1930 by the preparation office of autonomy of the fourth district of Zhongshan. The brochure integrated 13 rules, regulations and methods on local autonomy, such as General Rules of the Public Properties Board of Trustees, Rules for Opium Rehabilitation Hospital, Organization Outline of Township Preparation Office of Zhongshan County, General Rules for Preparation Offices of Townships, Provisional Rules of District Mediation Commission, Measures for Training of Autonomy Implementation Personnel, Provisional General Regulations on Management of Public Funds and Properties, General Rules on Smoking and Gambling Prohibition, General Rules on Handling of Conciliation Matters by the Mediation Committee, General Rules on Operation of National Continuation Schools and Training Classrooms, General Rules on the First Town Meeting,  Method for Naming of Towns and Townships, General Rules on Township Boundary Dispute Mediation, and the following is a brief introduction of some rules, regulations and methods: 

1. 15 articles were stipulated in the General Rules of the Public Properties Board of Trustees, among which, Article 11 specifies: "Any of the following people shall not be appointed as the member in the Trustee: those who have been proven to embezzle public properties or funds; those who have been punished criminally; those who are notorious for his misdeeds; and those who have bad conducts and habits".  

2. There are 12 articles in the Rules for Opium Rehabilitation Hospital, among which, Article 4 provides: "The board and lodging fee per day is one yuan in the opium rehabilitation hospital and 60 fen for the patients volunteering to be admitted". Article 5 provides: "Anyone who is unwilling to give up opium in the hospital shall be examined by the doctors at home and the examination fee is three yuan per time, excluding the fees on traffic and medicines." The purpose of the Rules was to help the addicts to quit opium.

3. There are 12 articles in the Organization Outlines of Township Preparation Office of Zhongshan County, among which, Article 1 provides: "This Outline is formulated in accordance with Article 8 of the Law of Organization Implementation of Zhongshan County"; Article 12 provides: "This Outline shall come into force on the day when it is submitted to the political tutelage implementation committee and the government of Zhongshan County for approval."

4. There are 17 articles in the General Rules for Preparation Offices of Townships, among which, Article 2 provides: "The minimum number of Preparation Committee members is 3 and the maximum is 9". Article 6 specifies the matters in the charge of the first Committee member, mainly including: document drafting and record keeping, financial expenditure and arrangement, budget and final accounts recording, township conference preparation, public property keeping, publicity, survey and statistics, etc. Article 7 stipulates the matters in the charge of the second Committee member, mainly including: census and personnel registration, registration and statistics, registration of village and town citizens, investigation and registration of township head and township supervision committee member candidates, reorganization of the guards regiment and training of the guards, land survey, construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, gardens and other public civil works, education and culture matters, national education and medical matters, forest cultivation and protection, improvement and protection of agriculture, industry and commerce and grain reservation and regulation, raising of children, supporting of old people and poverty and disaster relief, custom improvement, cooperative organizations, township or town zoning, surveying and mapping, etc. Article 15 argues that "At the end of each month, the income and expenditure of the preparation office of the township shall be published as a list, and shall be sent to the preparation office of the district for review". This rule is rather like the rural government administration opening nowadays.

5. There are 13 articles in the Provisional Rules of District Mediation Commission, among which, Article 5 stipulates that "The district preparation committee members and officers, township preparation committee members and the current military and police personnel shall not be appointed as mediation committee members."

6. There are 13 articles in the Measures for Training of Autonomy Implementation Personnel. Training for implementation work in this document refers to the training for the personnel in charge of autonomy of the townships or towns. The training methods are divided into speech and practice, in which the contents of speech are as follows: outline of party principles, outline of local autonomy, laws and regulations on autonomy, outline of current laws and regulations, key points of household registration, brief interpretation of official documents and procedures, security instructions, cooperative system, general situation of the world and China, details of the county, common sense, etc. The contents of practice include: exercise of the four rights, exercise of general assembly, exercise of official documents and procedures, exercise of publicity and decrees, speech giving in rotation, and reasons criticism.

7. There are 12 articles in the Provisional General Regulations on Management of Public Funds and Properties, among which, Article 2 specifies the scope of public funds and public properties checks: the local industry or public-owned benefits belonging to that township or town, charitable houses, hospitals and communes (excluding those that are founded privately), temple assets, Buddhist nunneries or temples, charitable associations, schools, public organizations, and other public properties and income not enumerated and confirmed as public property or funds.

8. There are 10 articles in the General Rules on Smoking and Gambling Prohibition. According to the Rules, the opium and gambling inspection shall be carried out by the posse or the policemen led by the director of the preparation office, the member of the preparation committee of the township or the town head. The punishment of opium and gambling households is also relatively strict. In case of a repeat offender, those households will be temporarily closed. In addition to being punished by the government according to law, those who run protection racket for drugs and gambling, gather together to smoke opium or gamble or the repeat offenders shall be ordered to leave Zhongshan County and shall not be allowed to reside in Zhongshan County. Those who sell opium or gambling tools in the towns and villages without permission shall be punished by the government in accordance with the law and shall not be allowed to enter Zhongshan Country within six months or be forced to stay outside Zhongshan Country for six months if he/she is a local. At that time the opium and gambling prohibition was very strict in Zhongshan County. 

About Zhongshan News Business Culture Services

Copyright © 2018-2019 Zhongshan Daily Newspaper Group. All rights reserved. Presented by zsnews.cn