Ushering in a new scene in China’s development of rule of law

At present, China is in a critical stage of reform and development.

By ZHAO DACHENG
January 21, 2015 20:55
4 minute read.
The Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum

Benjamin Netanyahu, his wife Sara, and Israeli Ambassador to China Matan Vilnai cut the ribbon at an opening ceremony for a coffeehouse at the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum.. (photo credit: AVI OHAYON - GPO)

The 4th Plenum of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) was convened in Beijing from October 20 to 23, 2014. The Plenum adopted the “Decision on Major Issues Concerning Comprehensively Advancing Rule of Law” (hereinafter referred to as “the Decision”).

It was the first time that the CPC convened a plenum of the central committee to deliberate specifically on the development of rule of law.

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The gathering itself and the subsequent adoption of the Decision fully pronounced the CPC’s strong will to upholding the rule of law and lawbased governance.

At present, China is in a critical stage of reform and development.

After the 18th CPC National Congress, the new CPC central leadership, led by General Secretary Xi Jinping, initiated its work with the notion of the “Chinese Dream,” and henceforth made and implemented the major strategic decisions of comprehensively completing the building of a moderately prosperous society, comprehensively deepening reforms, comprehensively advancing the rule of law and comprehensively strengthening party discipline.

In this process, the central leadership’s fundamental strategies of governance have become clearer, and evolved continually in implementation.

The law is an instrument of great value in the governance of a country.

The governance systems and capabilities of a country greatly depend on the rule of law. According to an ancient Chinese philosopher, “No country is permanently strong or permanently weak. If law enforcers are strong, the country is strong; if law enforcers are weak, the country is weak.” The Decision provided in-depth answers to an array of theoretical and practical questions, including, inter alia, what kind of rule of law will be developed in China, and how to develop such rule of law, drawing a blueprint for the development of China as a country ruled by law.

The Decision reflects the will of our people, and shapes consensus in our society. A milestone in China’s history of rule of law, it stands as a declaration and platform for actions in the cause undertaken by the CPC to lead and unite the Chinese people to comprehensively advance the socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics at a new historical starting point.

Following basic rules, upholding Chinese characteristics and carrying on good traditions, the Decision outlines the general plan of China’s building of the rule of law. China will take the direction pointed by the Decision to unswervingly chart a path of socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics; establish a system of socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics and build a country under the socialist rule of law, in accordance with the objectives set forth in the Decision; and follow the principles provided by the Decision to adhere the leadership of the CPC, uphold the people’s principal position in the country, ensure that everyone is equal before the law, combine the rule of law with the rule of virtue, and base all we do on the actual situation in China.

Reform- and solution-oriented, the Decision directly addresses prominent issues with the rule of law, responds to ardent expectations of the people, and is committed to solving real problems in China’s development of rule of law.

It seeks to ensure proper implementation of the constitution and the laws, maintain equity and justice in the society, and safeguard the fundamental interests of the people.

China will implement 190 important reform measures to ensure that laws are made in a scientific manner, strictly enforced, upheld by an impartial judiciary, and obeyed by every citizen.

The Decision also encourages more exchanges and cooperation in the field of the rule of law. China will always maintain an open attitude in strengthening foreign-related legal works to facilitate the establishment of a new system of open economy.

Seeking win-win results, we will deepen international judicial cooperation, and actively participate in international law enforcement and security cooperation. China will also learn from all beneficial experience to improve its socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics.

Israel is a country with relatively complete institutions of the rule of law and much experience in its development. The Chinese side is willing to step up exchanges and cooperation with the Israeli side on the rule of law, so that the two countries could strengthen the rule of law respectively through mutual learning, and the relationship between China and Israel can be further promoted.

We firmly believe that as the implementation of the measures decided by the 4th Plenum of the 18th CPC Central Committee proceeds, the CPC can certainly lead the Chinese people to usher in a brand new scene in China’s efforts to build socialist rule of law, which would provide strong guarantee for the realization of the Chinese Dream and the winwin cooperation between China and Israel, as well as the rest of the world.

The author is the Vice Minister of Justice of the People’s Republic of China.


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