采访/陈汉 编辑/王子琦 后制/陈建铭
A reflection on Beijing’s “rule of law”
from Hong Kong’s Occupy Central.
Mainstream media in China is currently publicizing
the CCP’s Fourth Plenary Session and the idea of “rule of law”
with full attention and energy.
Another topic that has grabbed everybody’s attention
is the “Occupy Central” movement that has lasted for
more than 3 weeks thus far.
With regard to this student campaign, party media in China
called for the protection of “Hong Kong’s rule of law”.
Is this the latest interpretation of the heavily promoted
“rule of law” in Beijing? Let us take a look.
On Tuesday, “People.com” said that parties from all sides are
paying attention to the construction of China’s rule of law.
CCP general secretary Xi Jinping said on the rule of law,
“A country is strong when it has a strong adherence to law.”
But what is the law within the rule of law?
Many experts and scholars believe that
everything should follow the Chinese “Constitution”
because it is the mother of all laws in China.
However, the “Constitution”, for all its magnificent
appearance, is impoverished in reality.
For a long time, observers and commentators believe that
the people’s rights granted under the Chinese constitution
have not been respected.
Germany’s “Sueddeutsche” Chinese published an article
on the 21st titled “Intentional Fraud”, according to
Deutsche Welle (DW) Chinese online report.
It wrote that all signs show another interpretation
for the CCP advocated “rule of law”.
The writer believes that the CCP is not looking for
an independent judiciary that is the essence of rule of law
in the west.
Instead, what CCP wants is an effective court, one that
can quell social discontent and make ruling
and controlling much easier.
Criminal law professor of Peking University, Liu Sixin said,
“Rule of law, but who is it trying to rule? The people?
Society? Officials? Or the public powers? This must be clear.
The first principle of the traditional rule of law is to use law
to constrain power, to constrain the government
and the rulers.
No doubt, CCP’s rule of law is a tool to maintain
the status quo, not the rule of law in its complete
and ordinary sense. ”
Looking specifically at the citizens’ movement organized
by Hong Kong students, the dialogue between
Hong Kong government and the federation of students
has not seen any concrete results.
The student federation states that the government
is only trying to placate the protestors.
Federation secretary-general Alex Chow
described the Congress’ decision on political reform as
something that “castrates the democratic road and
frustrates the Hong Kong people’s pursuit for democracy”.
During the period of dialogue, some netizens said that
mainland China could not implement the rule of law
in Hong Kong because they were unable to implement
their own constitution at home.
Current affairs commentator Xing Tianxing said that
the true rule of law has an intimate relationship
Without a democratic system, the judiciary cannot achieve
independence, and the rule of law will just be
an impossible dream.
Xing Tianxing, “We can already see very clearly from the
issue of Hong Kong.
Hong Kong society inherited a democratic and legal system.
The CCP could not give Hong Kong their entitled rights
even when this is what they promised.
It wants to change the rule of law system in Hong Kong
to achieve uniformity with the mainland.
Under such circumstances, how can it possibly achieve
rule of law? This is a joke.”
Article 35 of China’s Constitution states that citizens of PRC
enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly,
of association, of procession and of demonstration.
Party media “People’s Daily” said recently that China should
“maintain the rule of law in Hong Kong”.
This has been interpreted by the outside world to mean
that the authorities demand the Hong Kong students
to immediately end this movement.
There are many other party media that sent out
similar messages of criticism.
Xing Tianxing, “It’s so called rule of law is to rule the people.
How to make the people obey? It simply does not
follow the law. This is the CCP style.
It will not hesitate to use subterfuge and lies.
It will continuously use seductive words to implement
its own policies. This is how it governs and rules.”
On Tuesday, “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”
noted Beijing’s strategy in dealing with Hong Kong’s
“Occupy Central”, according to DW Chinese online report
The article stated, “APEC summit is drawing near.
The CCP leaders who recently proposed “rule of law”
during the Fourth Plenary Session understood
that at this critical moment,
repudiating international treaties, such as the
Sino-UK Joint Declaration pertaining to Hong Kong,
will cast a very negative light on its image.”
Therefore, with regard to Hong Kong, leaders in Beijing
adopted a strategy that it has often used in
other parts of China –
let the protest brew to a certain extent before alienating it
from the rest of the society.
As part of this strategy, it labelled the protesters
in Hong Kong as “puppets of foreign powers”
and “separatist forces”.
Deputy principal of China University of Political Science and
Law, Ma Huaide stated, “Under the rule of law, the people
will not only look at how many laws you have enacted,
but also how many laws you have actually implemented.”
Interview/ChenHan Edit/WangZiqi Post-Production/Chen Jianming