Fourth Plenum Ruins the Last Hopes
The Fourth Plenary Meeting message stressed, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) should lead with the rule of law. It should set the blueprint for rule of law in China. This announcement was analyzed as contrary to the so-called “to rule by law" and a big setback to law and order. It completely broke the last hope for those who still believe in the CCP for the anti-graft campaign.
During the Fourth Plenary Session, the CCP did not restrict its authority but emphasized the CCP leadership; “The most fundamental guarantee" in its quest toward rule of law.
The message stressed the role of CCP rule and that the CCP leadership is consistent with the socialist rule of law.
It said, the CCP is defined by the Constitution as the country’s leader.It also said, the major tasks are to strengthen the implementation of the Constitution, to safeguard judicial justice, to sharpen the CCP’s leadership, and so on.
Democracy Academy of China President Tang Baiqiao said, “it is a step backwards to the time before 1979. Insistence on Party leadership is in direct conflict with the constitutional government, directly opposing the rule of law. No constitutional state in the world is under the one-party leadership without elections. Speaking of this now is telling people to give up any illusion about the CCP. This is a one way street."
In an interview, famous Chinese law professor Li Buyun told ifeng.com, “the rule of law is simply abide by Constitution; There are four elements in constitutionalism: democracy, the rule of law, human rights and authority of constitution." He believed that the authority of the Constitution in China is yet to be set up today for lack of institutional support.
Li Buyun revealed when drafting the constitution in 1982, he proposed democratic constitution and independent judiciary. For fear of threatening the CCP leadership and NPC supervision, the judiciary system was never independent. During the amendment of the constitution in 1999 and 2004, the relevant proposal was once again rejected.
Li Buyun also pointed out that party’s intervention in specific cases is contrary to the Constitution.It requires the rule of law to advance human rights, democracy, and the institutional reform.
The “Rule of law" was presented as an ideal in 1979. Former Politics and Law Committee secretary Qiao Shi hoped to introduce rule of law into the constitution in 1999.
However, in 1999, a major event took place in China and ended this attempt of Qiao Shi and other liberal members.
Former CCP leader Jiang Zemin initiated the extinction campaign against Falun Gong practitioners in 1999. Law has become a piece of paper. The freedom of belief, freedom of speech in the Constitution has become meaningless. The 610 Office responsible for carrying out the persecution of Falun Gong overrides the judiciary. The Political and Legal Committee enjoy unprecedented power. Since then, “rule of law" has been shelved.
Since Xi Jinping took over, he has spoken of “rule of law", “cage the power" and “CCP must abide by the Constitution" in multiple events, including the just-concluded Fourth Plenary session. But, why are people left with the opposite idea of the message about the rule of law?
Politics commentator Chen Minghui: “The Jiang’s faction has manipulated all sources in the CCP. The bottom line of the tyranny, as the leader of the party, there are barriers Xi Jinping will not be able to conquer. To break through this bottleneck, he must give up this system, dissolve the party. Otherwise, his dream of rule of law, or China dream will never come true."
Tang Baiqiao, “many people hold illusions about the CCP. They have been deceived by the CCP about the reform. Now their hope is shattered. Some people accept their fate and claim they won’t be Chinese next time, but others claim to strive for a change of the fate of China."
Chinese social issue researcher Zhang Jian pointed out that Xi Jinping had hoped to restore peoples’ belief in the CCP by hitting “tigers", but the message only further proved the CCP has lost its credibility to the people.
Interview & Edit/LiuHui Post-production/Li Zhiyuan