Documentary notes gains to rule of law

By An Baijie | China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-22 07:06

Series highlights Xi's influence on transformative changes

A six-part political documentary exploring the advances made to China's legal system over the past five years is winning praise from analysts and viewers since it's first episode aired Friday.

The documentary, named The Rule of Law in China, is being broadcast one episode a day by China Central Television. It summarizes the improvements to China's rules of law under the leadership of President Xi Jinping since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in November 2012.

Jiang Guohua, a professor of law at Wuhan University, said that under the leadership of the CPC, China has made great progress in advancing the rule of law.

"Just as it is mentioned in the political documentary, advancing the rule of law is the basic characteristic of modern nations," he said.

This has great significance on a number of issues, including promoting economic growth, maintaining social security and boosting clean governance, said Wang Ruolei, an associate professor of politics and law at the Party School of the Central Committee of the CPC.

Authorities should constantly try to improve the legislation process and ensure that the people could get "a sense of gain" from building a law-based country, government and society, he said.

The president has attached great importance to promoting the rule of law and has pledged on numerous occasions to build a law-based socialist country.

"To implement the rule of law as the basic strategy, and accelerate the building of a law-based socialist country, we should make laws through proper procedures, enforce them strictly, administer justice impartially and ensure that everyone abides by the law," Xi said in a speech on Dec 4, 2012, to mark the 30th anniversary of the implementation of the current Constitution. The speech came soon after he became general secretary of the CPC Central Committee in November.

In his speech, Xi vowed to ensure everyone enjoys extensive rights in line with the laws; to protect the rights of the person, property and politics; and to safeguard their economic, cultural and social rights.

While presiding over a group study of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee in February 2013, Xi raised the goal of developing a law-based country, government and society.

"We should exercise governance and administration in accordance with the laws, develop a law-based country, government and society simultaneously, and thereby bring the rule of law to a new state," he said.

The CPC convened a plenary meeting of its central committee in October 2014 to further promote the rule of law. It was the first time a plenary session of the CPC Central Committee had taken the topic as its central theme.

In a statement released after the plenary session, the Party said it will further emphasize the role of the Constitution in China's legal system. It also aims to improve judicial independence, promote procedural justice, professionalize judicial officers, and build a law-abiding government.

During a visit to the China University of Political Science and Law in May, Xi said that a comprehensive advancement of the rule of law is a long-term and significant historic mission, which is related to the people's happiness and the development of the Party and the country.

He called on universities and colleges to step up research into the rule of law and other fundamental matters that involve legal issues to help improve the nation's socialist system with Chinese characteristics.

In his speech to mark the 95th anniversary of the CPC in July 2016, Xi vowed to guarantee the authority of the Constitution and laws. No organization or individual is privileged to act beyond the Constitution or the laws, and all acts in violation of the Constitution or the laws must be investigated, he said.

Comprehensively promoting the rule of law is one of the "Four Comprehensives"-a strategic blueprint drawn up by Xi to create paths to realize the national rejuvenation. The other three are comprehensively building a moderately well-off society; comprehensively deepening reforms; and comprehensively promoting stricter governance of the Party.

Last year, the National People's Congress and its Standing Committee made a total of 10 laws, revised 24 laws and adopted six decisions on legal issues. By the end of December, there were 256 current effective laws, apart from the current Constitution, according to the China Law Society.

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