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Clinton Warns China on Iran Sanctions

China/Japan | YP - Sat, 01/30/2016 - 05:00

The secretary of state told China on Friday that it would face diplomatic isolation if it did not fall in line.

Categories: China/Japan News

China Moves to Enact Rule of Law, With Caveats

China/Japan | YP - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 04:00

An embrace of a more rules-based approach to settling legal disputes could have sweeping consequences, but the changes would do little to curtail the power of the Communist Party.

Categories: China/Japan News

My perspective on rule of law in China

China Daily - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 03:16

I have respect for Chinese leadership. The Party leadership is based on very subtle balances. Which is probably more wise and balanced than a so-called democratic system. Democracy was once a good model, but it has contaminated itself. As it happens with all systems, in time. I am a Western and still in my time I have lived it.

Wise and balanced leaders do not use big words. They act in wisdom, with an open eye for all sides of things. I have the impression Chinese leaders are open to that. And by that, they serve the people of China. I wish China a continuing order in society, prosperity, health and balance in justice. We, Westerners, can learn so much from your attitude.

Categories: Chinaganda

In Guangdong, 42 hours of fear

China Daily - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 03:16

Categories: Chinaganda

US-China differences far outweighed by common interests: Carter

China Daily - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 03:16

WASHINGTON -- Former American President Jimmy Carter has stressed present differences between the U.S. and China are far outweighed by common interests, and their cooperation benefits not only the two countries but also the world as a whole.

Carter visited Beijing, Shanghai, Qingdao in east China's Shandong Province, as well as Xian, a historical city in northwest China's Shaanxi Province, during his Sept. 1-10 China tour to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the normalization of the U.S.- China diplomatic ties, in which he played a key role together with former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping.

"The primary purpose of this visit ... was to enhance understanding between our two countries and to promote collaboration between The Carter Center and our primary contacts in China," Carter wrote in a recently-published report on his China trip.

He mentioned that recent polls indicated that deep suspicion and differences exist between the two countries despite the remarkable progress in improving the bilateral ties over the past 35 years.

"There has been a tremendous surge in China's economic strength and worldwide diplomatic involvement during the past 35 years, since normalization of relations with the United States and simultaneous implementation of 'reform and opening up' in China. This creates an inevitable competitive relationship between the two great powers," he noted.

Carter also recalled a "pleasant" journey to China, during which he was greeted with warm reception and hospitality at every stop by Chinese hosts.

"All our public events were warm and cordial, and throughout our trip there were frequent celebrations of my upcoming 90th birthday, the 110th anniversary of Deng Xiaoping's birth, the 35th year of normal diplomatic relations, and 65 years after my first visit to China and the founding of the People's Republic of China. The beginning of the Harvest Festival enhanced the celebrations," he wrote.

In Beijing, Carter attended "an especially frank and productive third forum on U.S.-China relations" and a large event in commemoration of the 35th anniversary of normal relations of the two countries, with Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao as co-host, both held at the Great Hall of the People.

Carter took part in a ceremony in Xian, the provincial capital of Shaanxi, to initiate a Carter Center partnership with Xian Jiao Tong University for holding a new forum of young Chinese and Americans, with the aim of enhancing understanding between the two countries. The new forum is to be held at the Carter Center in 2015.

In Qingdao, where Carter was stationed briefly as a Marine officer not long before the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, Carter was amazed to find that Qingdao, then a small coastal city, has now been transformed into a modern port metropolis. He said he was deeply moved by his Chinese hosts when they presented a birthday cake to celebrate his 90th birthday with a simultaneous fireworks display on the nearby beach.

Carter met with city officials and gave speeches on the U.S.- China ties in Shanghai. In his speeches and following Q&A sessions, the former U.S. president emphasized that peace has prevailed for 35 years between the two countries.

He stressed that the U.S. and China "have had a strong diplomatic, military, and commercial involvement in this region for many generations, and that present differences are far outweighed by interests that we have in common."

"Massive trade and commerce, millions of tourists exchanged, and the 240,000 Chinese students now in the United States provide good opportunities for better understanding and mutual respect," he wrote.

Carter has often described it as his "most important life decision" to formalize the U.S. ties with China in 1979, saying it has brought about not only tremendous changes to the life of both peoples, but also peace and development in the Asian-Pacific region and the world as a whole.

He also stressed that the U.S. and China should not become enemies. "The vast Pacific Ocean has enough space for two large countries like the U.S. and China," he said, quoting Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Xi, who visited the U.S. in June 2013, is to host another summit with U.S. President Barack Obama in Beijing in early November to discuss ways of further implementing the consensus they reached last year on building a new model of major-country relationship featuring non-conflict and non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation.

Categories: Chinaganda

Students aim sky high in Harbin

China Daily - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 03:16

Students of Harbin Air Service Secondary Vocational School practice their sitting posture in Harbin, Northeast China's Heilongjiang province, Oct 23, 2014. Etiquette and security training is compulsory for the 7,000 students in the school who must pass a 520-hour training regimen to apply for a job in an air company. [Photo/Xinhua]





World Cup support goes sky-high in China  Kung Fu flight attendants train for terror

Students of Harbin Air Service Secondary Vocational School practice ballet. [Photo/Xinhua]






World Cup support goes sky-high in China  Kung Fu flight attendants train for terror

Students of Harbin Air Service Secondary Vocational School practice their standing posture training. [Photo/Xinhua]






World Cup support goes sky-high in China  Kung Fu flight attendants train for terror

Students of Harbin Air Service Secondary Vocational School practice squat. [Photo/Xinhua]





World Cup support goes sky-high in China  Kung Fu flight attendants train for terror

Students of Harbin Air Service Secondary Vocational School practice shape up exercise. [Photo/Xinhua]




World Cup support goes sky-high in China  Kung Fu flight attendants train for terror

Students of Harbin Air Service Secondary Vocational School practice walking posture training. [Photo/Xinhua]






World Cup support goes sky-high in China  Kung Fu flight attendants train for terror

Emergency evacuation training is practiced at the Harbin Air Service Secondary Vocational School. [Photo/Xinhua]






World Cup support goes sky-high in China  Kung Fu flight attendants train for terror

Students of Harbin Air Service Secondary Vocational School practice doing a physical training class. [Photo/Xinhua]





World Cup support goes sky-high in China  Kung Fu flight attendants train for terror

Smile training is part of the curriculum at Harbin Air Service Secondary Vocational School. [Photo/Xinhua]

World Cup support goes sky-high in China  Kung Fu flight attendants train for terror

Categories: Chinaganda

Cult-busting office gets deputy leader

China Daily - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 03:16

Liu Jinguo, vice-minister of public security, has been appointed deputy head of the 610 Office, the central government agency responsible for combating cults and handling cult-related issues.

The 610 Office is named after the date of its creation-June 10, 1999. Liu's new position had been held by Li Dongsheng, the former vice-minister of public security, until Li was placed under investigation in December.

Li was sacked for "suspected serious disciplinary violations", according to a statement on Dec 20 from the Organization Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, using a term that usually denotes corruption. Li was expelled from the Party in early July.

Liu, 59, was born in Changli county, Hebei province. In March 2005, he was appointed vice-minister of the Public Security Ministry and has been holding a concurrent post as the ministry's secretary of the commission for discipline inspection since August 2009.

The 610 Office entered the public eye after a woman was beaten to death on May 28, allegedly by six members of the illegal Church of Almighty God at a McDonald's restaurant in Zhaoyuan, Shandong province.

According to the ministry, from June to September, police captured more than 1,000 Church of Almighty God members involving more than 500 cases in a nationwide special action to target cult organizations.

The crackdown will continue for the rest of this year.

"During the action, police officers' priority will be collecting clues reported by the public and intensifying their efforts to attack cult organizers," one statement provided by the ministry said.

Police officers will pay regular visits to local communities and hotels to investigate suspicious people and take measures to prevent their distributing illegal cult publicity materials, it said.

The nature of cult organizations is "inhuman, anti-social and unconstitutional," said Dai Peng, director of the criminal investigation department of Public Security University of China. "It's not religion, but heterodoxy."

He said cults are often involved with violent crimes, money fraud and sex abuse, which pose a serious threat to social security and stability.

"Apart from police crackdown efforts, communities and the media should give more warnings and guidance to the public to distinguish between normal religions and cults and help them stay away from the cults. And if they discover any clues, they should report them to police," he added.

Contact the writers at zhangyan1@chinadaily.com.cn and suzhou@chinadaily.com.cn

Categories: Chinaganda

New proposals for care of the elderly

China Daily - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 03:16

Si Dongmei (left), director of nursing at a medical care institute for elderly people who are unable to live independently because of illness or disability, in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, chats with a resident. Photos By Ding Haitao / Xinhua

The government is looking at ways to relieve the stresses on the elderly and their relativesas China faces the challenge of an aging population, as Shan Juan reports.

China is considering introducing a government-backed, long-term insurance program to provide high-quality, sustainable care for elderly people who are prevented from living independently by illness or disability, according to Du Peng, director of the Institute of Gerontology under Renmin University of China.

Du, who is close to senior decision makers, said: "To cover as many people as possible, the policy needs to be compulsory and held by the government, in the same way that China's health insurance works."

Under the policy, people will start to pay premiums at a certain age, for example 45, and will benefit from the policy in later life if illness or disability means they are unable to live independently for a period of six consecutive months, he added.

There were 180 million people aged 60 and older on the Chinese mainland by the end of 2010, and at least 9 percent of them were completely reliant on other people, according to the latest census statistics. Statistics from the China National Committee on Aging show that more than 47 million elderly people in rural areas are now living alone because their children have moved to cities and large towns for work.

In urban areas, the first children born under China's family planning policy, which until recently limited most couples to one child, are now in their early 30s, and are facing huge pressures because of the need to take care of their parents, especially if the parents are disabled.

Social changes have resulted in large numbers of elderly people living on their own in "empty nests", which means they rarely receive any help from their children, Du said.

"People such as this, and the nation as a whole, are in urgent need of a long-term-care insurance policy, particularly because the nation is aging rapidly and the traditional model that care of the elderly is the duty of the family is hardly sustainable today," he added.

A tough challenge

Wu Yushao, deputy director of the China National Working Commission on Aging, said China is facing a tough challenge to look after older citizens, and urged the government to shoulder more of the responsibility for providing care for them.

"The country should start building up an old-age-care mechanism, especially for people whose children have left home, and who are unable to live independently," he said. "Insurance policies, such as long-term care and cover for accidental injury, should be considered first," he said.

Four countries - Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, and the Republic of Korea - have introduced long-term care insurance systems, according to the World Health Organization.

"But it will take years to set up a similar program, because a huge amount of preparatory work will be required before it can be implemented successfully," Du said.

Wang Yiming, deputy chairman of the Department of Finance at Peking University, suggested that the government should initially test the policy in economically well-off regions.

"Alternatively, it could start as a commercial program, and gradually evolve into a government-run public program when the government is ready," he said.

Du said that although similar programs are available from commercial insurance companies, they only cover a few tens of thousands of people on the mainland. "They haven't been well-received, and the insurance companies are reluctant to promote these policies because of a number of uncertainties, such as assessment of costs and relatively low public awareness," he added.

Wang Baosheng, a 49-year-old resident of the Chaoyang district of Beijing, said he was not aware that such policies existed. In recent years, he and his wife have struggled to take care of his elderly parents.

Wang's father passed away in 2012 at the age of 86. His mother is 87. "My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2005. My father was diagnosed in 2009. They came to Beijing from Tangshan (in Hebei province) 11 years ago," Wang said.

"My father was in the hospital for about 10 days before he passed away, so my wife and I took turns taking care of him there," he said. The couple's lives were made doubly stressful by the need to take care of Wang's mother, who lives with them.

"My mother doesn't sleep well now, and needs our care 70 percent of the time. My father often got up three times a night - sometimes to go to the bathroom, sometimes to eat. Whenever he got up, we had to get up too," he said.

They were unable to afford the 3,600 yuan ($588) a month it would cost to hire a nurse to stay at the house regularly.

"My wife can't go to work because she needs to take care of my mom. It would really help if the long-term care insurance covered my family, but that would be unlikely because my mother doesn't have a Beijing hukou (household registration)," Wang said. Most public services, such as healthcare, care for the elderly, and education, are related to the hukou system, which usually only allows a person access to those services in the place they are registered.

"We all have parents. They raised us. It's natural that we should take care of them as they get older," Wang said.

Contact the writer at shanjuan@chinadaily.com.cn

 

Categories: Chinaganda

Arrest of HK protesters sought

China Daily - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 03:16

 

Police officers clean up barricades that had been blocking main roads in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong on Thursday. EDMOND TANG/CHINA DAILY

Transport groups want main roads cleared as court ordered earlier

Transport associations in Hong Kong say they will seek arrest warrants against protesters on Friday, as they seek to put teeth into a High Court order to clear roads as the protesters continued to defy decrees for a third day.

The High Court warned that ongoing and illegal occupations verged on civil disorder and were posing a danger to lives, safety, health and property as well being out of proportion to freedoms guaranteed under the law.

Justice Jeremy Poon released his rationale on Thursday for his Monday order for occupation sit-ins to move off key roads, blasting protesters for their disregard of the interests of fellow citizens in monopolizing public highways.

Poon wrote that the conduct at sit-in sites far exceeded the bounds of reasonable demonstration and that the gatherings were leading to increasingly violent confrontations between protesters and police, who characterized the situation as a near-riot.

Poon said the obstruction of roads has deterred potential customers from using taxis, resulting in substantial losses to taxi drivers and managers.

In anticipation of opposition plans to challenge the injunction, Poon wrote that "the protesters' conduct was disproportionate, and any reliance on the fundamental rights to freedom of assembly will not likely succeed."

Poon added that he fully expected the order to be obeyed even if the protesters disagree with it, adding that they could pursue the matter in court if they wished to resolve the controversy peacefully and within the law.

Poon's order to clear roads in Mong Kok, as well as a separate injunction to clear emergency access routes around CITIC Tower in the city's Admiralty district, is set to expire on Friday and continues to be largely ignored by protesters, who refuse to abandon their ramparts.

Chief Justice Rimsky Yuen said the continued defiance of court orders would encourage others to disregard judicial decrees, representing a direct threat to the rule of law in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Taxi Association is planning to seek a permanent injunction on Friday as well as police assistance in enforcing the court's orders.

The China Australia Legal Exchange Foundation's executive council chairman, Lawrence Ma, said the failure by plaintiffs to get protesters to comply with the court orders left the taxi association no choice but to return to the court and ask for arrest warrants.

Ma said enforcement could be problematic, since the association would have to identify individuals who frequently manned barricades in order to obtain arrest warrants; or it could seek a blanket arrest warrant for any persons unlawfully occupying public highways. That would be an extraordinary measure by the courts, he said.

Police arrests 26 in Mong kok clashes in Hong Kong   Cheers for HK police as barricades removed

Categories: Chinaganda

No graft escapes arm of law

China Daily - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 03:16

Anti-corruption drive now covers retired officials to strengthen the rule of law and ensure that offenders don't go unpunished

The Ministry of Supervision announced on Oct 11 that Zhao Shaolin, former chief of the Jiangsu provincial committee of the Party, has been put under investigation for corruption, drawing widespread attention because Zhao retired eight years ago. The announcement reiterated that the anti-corruption campaign would not spare retired officials.

A few provinces have already taken measures to strengthen supervision over retired officials and order probes against those suspected of being involved in corruption. At a recent press conference of the Guangzhou municipal disciplinary agency, its spokesman Mei Heqing said that some retired officials had been penalized for the corrupt deeds they committed 20 years ago. "They are gray-haired but still have to be responsible for their misdeeds," Mei said, adding that corrupt officials, serving or retired, must be punished according to the law.

The move is welcome because unlike in many Western countries, corrupt officials in China can continue to trade power for money even after retirement. A common trick used by such corrupt officials is to "assign" loyal "subordinates" in their offices to maintain the dirty "arrangement" after their retirement and then seek new positions in other public enterprises to continue the illegal deals. By doing so, the corrupt officials not only change their share of the dirty money into legal income, but also better cover the clues that could expose them as their "loyal" subordinates need not directly participate in the power-for-money exchange.

Sometimes a retired official can weave a network of personal relations wide enough to control many powerful government agencies. Former national security chief Zhou Yongkang, now under investigation for corruption, had succeeded in spreading such a net.

Until recently, corrupt officials felt quite safe in running their rackets after retirement, because anti-corruption officials believed retirees were beyond their supervision. As a result, corruption passed from one person to another like an epidemic, and sometimes involved most officials in an agency or bureau.

The ongoing anti-corruption drive, however, is expected to end this vicious circle. By hunting down retired "tigers" and strictly imposing disciplinary measures that prohibit retired officials from assuming improper positions in enterprises or social organizations, the new leadership has ended the illusion that "retirement makes an official safe".

The drive against retired corrupt officials could also deter those still in office from indulging in corruption. Now corrupt officials have to worry about the consequences of their misdeeds as long as they are alive, knowing that the long arm of law will reach them one day.

The move is a smart strategy also because it will diminish the influence of retired officials and thus prevent the corrupt ones from mobilizing enough resources and manpower to evade investigations. Two such examples are Xu Caihou, former vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission, and Zhou Yongkang, both of whom are now under investigation for corruption.

The damage done by retired corrupt officials should never be underestimated. After the investigation against Zhou was announced, some media outlets prepared graphics of his corrupt relationship network, in which a number of officials of the level of vice-minister or above were involved. Without Zhou being put under investigation, his network of corruption would not have been exposed.

These facts make it all the more necessary to strengthen supervision over officials even after they retire. Keeping in mind this necessity, the central leadership has already issued a number of disciplinary measures to regulate the behavior of retired officials.

In September, the People's Liberation Army introduced a new regulation on salaries, rights and responsibilities of retired military officers, which prohibit them from taking up certain positions in social organizations. Civil officials are likely to be bound by similar regulations in the near future to end the corruption rackets run by retirees.

Of course, one or two regulations are not enough to solve all the problems. The existence of retired officials engaged in corruption best explains how loose the supervision over power is. Corruption can be rooted out only by strengthening the rule of law and shutting power in the cage of law. That may be a long process, but China has to start the aggressive operation because corruption has already taken a cancerous form.

The author is a researcher in political science at the Central Institute of Socialism.

Categories: Chinaganda

Historic step for rule of law

China Daily - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 03:16

The Fourth Plenum of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, which ended on Thursday, has made it clear that governance according to law will have institutional guarantee.

Institutional guarantee is the supremacy of the Constitution, which for the first time has been emphasized as the core of the socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics in an important Party document.

The communiqué issued by the Fourth Plenum says that abiding by the Constitution is a prerequisite for establishing the rule of law in the country. An institution should be established for the implementation of the Constitution and so should a system to ensure that citizens' rights stipulated in the Constitution are protected.

What is especially noteworthy in the communiqué is the emphasis that the National People's Congress, the country's top legislature, and its Standing Committee will get more power to supervise the implementation of the Constitution. Also, a procedural mechanism will be established for the interpretation of the Constitution.

It goes without saying that there is room for improvement when it comes to the implementation of the Constitution under the country's political system with the CPC as the governing party. Establishing the supremacy of the Constitution and allowing citizens to enjoy the rights stipulated in the Constitution is not in conflict with what the CPC pursues despite the abuse of power by some Party members and government officials tarnishing the Party's image and thereby creating an impression that the implementation of the Constitution may not be conducive to the Party's plans.

The anti-corruption campaign in recent years has validated the leadership's resolve to build the Party into a political force dedicated to the rejuvenation of the nation. The decisions reached at the plenum to base the country's major policy making on law, give full play to the judiciary and pull up officials intervening in the judicial system point to the building of a mechanism that cages power.

What the new leadership has done indicates that building a clean Party with strong governing capability conforms to the promotion of the rule of law, which has found pride of place in the call for the implementation of the Constitution in the plenum's communiqué. They are complementary.

Citizens with a strong sense of rule of law will act as deterrent to corruption in the Party and the government. And a clean and strong Party will better protect the rights of citizens and help take the country toward greater prosperity.

Other Views

The Fourth Plenum of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China again showed the rest of the world the Party's determination to deepen reforms. Deepening of reforms is inseparable from strengthening the rule of law in China, because the latter remains a high priority during the country's transition period. People have reason to believe that popularizing the concept of "rule of law" will help forge a harmonious society and help realize the Chinese Dream.

People's Daily, Oct 23

By making the promotion of the rule of law its theme, the Fourth Plenum has raised people's expectations for better governance. A series of remarks made by Party leader Xi Jinping - such as the country should strengthen anti-corruption legislation, reforms should be based on laws, and efforts should be made to ensure people get justice in every case - highlight the direction the rule-of-law campaign is taking.

www.people.com.cn, Oct 22

The CPC Central Committee has for the first time made the rule of law the theme of its plenary session. By doing so, the Fourth Plenum has demonstrated that the rule of law is closely related to the Party's perception of the nation. The rule-of-law campaign is expected to intensify after the plenum.

Hong Kong Daily News, Oct 21

The Party and the Chinese people have a high degree of uniformity on establishing the rule of law in the country. People are now more concerned than ever over what laws the nation's governance will be based on. To promote the rule of law, the leadership should first establish the supremacy of the Constitution.

Beijing Evening News, Oct 23

The Fourth Plenum marks a milestone for the nation's mission to fight corruption, cleanse the bureaucracy and promote social justice. The root of corruption lies in the lack of supervision over and counterbalance of power, while rampant corruption foments further social resentments.

The Chinese-version website of South China Morning Post, Oct 21

 

Categories: Chinaganda

Beidou system poised to spread wings

China Daily - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 03:16

China's Beidou navigation satellite system, whose positioning accuracy will reach 2.5 meters by 2020, will soon provide services to more countries.

The National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation said China will cooperate with several countries, including Mexico, Israel and Sweden, to improve establishment of the Beidou system and geoinformation database.

International cooperation and establishing monitoring stations in foreign countries are essential for improving the accuracy of the system, said Li Pengde, the administration's deputy director.

"The system now covers the Asia-Pacific region, but by 2020 it will cover the whole world," Li said at the third United Nations global geo-spatial information management forum, being held in Beijing from Wednesday to Friday.

Miao Qianjun, executive vice-president of the Global Navigation Satellite System and Location-Based Service Association of China, said the country will cooperate with Singapore, Malaysia and other Asian countries to promote the Beidou system.

"This year, China has worked with some Southeast Asian countries to promote the system, including Thailand, Pakistan and Laos," Miao said. "Next year will be essential for expanding the system in the Asia-Pacific region."

In July, China and Russia signed a memorandum of understanding on the joint application of the Beidou Navigation Satellite System and Russia's Glonass system, allowing the two nations to establish navigation system monitoring stations in each country from this year.

"Beidou system equipment has been sold to more than 30 countries," said a deputy director of the Navigation Satellite System and Location-Based Service Association of China, who asked not to be named.

"In 2013, the output value of the satellite navigation industry reached 104 billion yuan ($17 billion) in China, while only one-tenth came from the domestically made system," the industry insider said, adding that Beidou occupies only 1 percent of the Asia-Pacific market.

"Compared with some other systems, Beidou hasn't been put into commercial use for a long time," he said. "It needs time to develop and promote itself."

Beidou, the United States' GPS, the European Union's Galileo and Russia's Glonass are the navigation system suppliers authorized by the UN.

The Beidou system has been installed in more than 200 car models in China and its chips have been embedded in 40 million smartphones.

The system now has 16 satellites and plans to establish a global coverage network through 36 geostationary orbit and non-geostationary orbit satellites by 2020.

 China launches remote sensing satellite Satellite captures stunning China images

Categories: Chinaganda

Judicial system should enforce the Constitution

China Daily - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 03:16

Improving the judicial system according to the rule of law should include better enforcement of the Constitution, access by lawyers to judge and prosecutor posts, and independent handling of disputes, judicial experts said on Thursday.

"The life and energy of the Constitution should be embodied in its implementation, and its enforcement also represents its authority and power," said Ying Songnian, professor of law with the China University of Political Science and Law.

"Therefore, the first step to fulfill the rule of law lies in developing work in accordance with the Constitution. Upholding the Constitution is also the premise of respecting and protecting human rights."

Yi Shenghua, a criminal lawyer at Beijing Yingke Law Firm, called for improving access by judicial professionals to judges' and prosecutors' posts. Legislators, judges and prosecutors should be recruited from among lawyers and legal specialists, Yi said.

"I am glad to see that the central government has highlighted and boosted communications and interactions among judges, lawyers, prosecutors and legal professionals. It's necessary and must be effective to upgrade our judicial team," Yi said. "Lawyers are familiar with practical cases, which can help them solve disputes if they are selected to be judges."

It's also important to guarantee that judges and prosecutors can handle disputes independently, said Bi Yuqian, director of the trial research center under the China University of Political Science and Law.

Additionally, leaders should be encouraged to supervise judges and prosecutors, looking at their records of cases and establishing a system of accountability.

"Such supervision can avoid some judges and prosecutors making use of their position to deal with cases, or tackling their work for money," Bi said.

But he said the leaders' supervision should also be legally enforced, which means they cannot abuse power, either.

Categories: Chinaganda

Party expels senior military officer for breach of discipline

China Daily - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 03:16

A senior military officer has been expelled from the Communist Party of China, according to a key meeting concluded on Thursday.

Yang Jinshan, a lieutenant-general and former deputy head of the Chengdu Military Area Command, gravely violated Party discipline, according to a decision made at the Fourth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, which started on Monday.

Under the Party's rules and regulations, the highest penalty for a Party member is to strip him or her of membership. Those suspected of breaking criminal laws are transferred to judicial authorities and prosecuted.

Yang was also stripped of membership in the CPC Central Committee during the meeting. The committee has 205 members, mostly senior Party and government officials. Yang, 60, had worked at the Chengdu Military Area Command since he joined the army in 1969. The Chengdu Military Area Command is in charge of national defense work in Chongqing, in the Tibet autonomous region, and in Sichuan, Guizhou and Yunnan provinces. Yang, who assumed his post in July 2013, had kept a low profile in previous media reports.

On Nov 10, 2011, accompanied by Bo Xilai, then-Party secretary of Chongqing municipality, Yang attended a military drill in Chongqing, according to a report published by cqnew.net, a website run by the Chongqing municipal government. On Sept 22, 2013, Bo was sentenced to life in prison for bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power.

Military authorities have stepped up their supervision of corrupt activities in recent years amid the national anti-graft campaign.

On June 20, Xu Caihou, former vice-chairman of China's Central Military Commission, was expelled from the Party and transferred to military prosecutors for further investigation on bribery charges.

On March 31, the military procuratorate charged Gu Junshan, former deputy head of the PLA General Logistics Department, with embezzlement, bribery, misuse of State funds and abuse of power.

Categories: Chinaganda

Antigraft campaign needs to move forward, experts say

China Daily - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 03:16

Analysts emphasize need for legal framework to fight corruption

Chinese anticorruption work should step into a new stage with upgraded laws that prevent as well as fight graft, judicial experts said, after a landmark meeting of the country's top Party officials concluded on Thursday.

The number of local and national officials who were investigated or punished for graft over the past two years shows the seriousness of corruption, but it also reflects the significant effects of the country's antigraft campaign, said ChengLei, associate law professor of the Judicial Reform Research Center at Renmin University of China.

The efforts against graft will be intensified after the Fourth Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, which was held in Beijing from Monday to Thursday, and more corrupt officials will be exposed,Cheng said.

Since the Chinese leadership launched the antigraft campaign, more than 40 officials at the ministerial level or above have been sent to prison or investigated for corruption.

Several national level officials attracted the most public attention.

One month after Xu Caihou, a top military general, was expelled from the Party for violating discipline on June 30, Zhou Yongkang, former member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China, was probed for "serious disciplinary violations".

Also in June, Su Rong, a former vice chairman of China's top political advisory body, was investigated and removed from office.

Before the probe of the three national level officials, Bo Xilai, 65, former Party secretary of Chongqing,was sentenced to life in prison for accepting bribes, embezzlement and abuse of power in September 2013 in Jinan, Shandong province.

"As these officials are investigated and legally dealt with, it's also the time, and a necessity, to upgrade the crackdowns and prevention of graft under laws," Cheng said.

Althoughofficials are asked to report their property to the public, "there are still some people who refuse and disobey because the requirement is not a law that everyone mustabidebyandcanbepunished for violating",he said.

Cheng highlighted the urgency of developing a legal framework and effective procedures for better enforcing the rule of law. YangXiaojun, a law professor at the Chinese Academy of Governance, said the work against graft cannot only rely on a group or department.

"Instead, what we demand is a system or mechanism" that is established under laws.

The deterrent effect of the country's antigraft work has been established after a large number of officials were investigated and punished, "but how to keep more officials from corruption is more important," Yang said.

"As power is put in a cage, officials' improper behavior will be restricted. Only when the antigraftwork is put into laws will the campaign against corruption never cater to leadership," he said.

It was also the first time the plenary session took the rule of law as a priority and topic in such a key meeting, "which shows the Party's determination to push forward our country's judicial work," he added.

 

Categories: Chinaganda

Party points way for rule of law

China Daily - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 03:16

Top leaders including Party chief Xi Jinping attend the Fourth Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China in Beijing.LAN HONGGUANG / XINHUA

Related: Judicial system should enforce the Constitution

Party expels senior military officer for breach of discipline

Key meeting agrees on penalties for those abusing their power

Government officials will be given demerit penalties and held accountable if they are found to have interfered in lawsuits, under a decision taken at a key meeting to advance the rule of law.

The move is aimed at ensuring that judicial power is exercised independently, according to a statement issued on Thursday after the Fourth Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.

The meeting decided that the top court will initiate a pilot project to set up cross-administrative region courts and procuratorates. This is expected to prevent local government officials from interfering in judicial cases.

The statement also said that a mechanism will be established to recruit judges and prosecutors from qualified lawyers and legal experts.

The meeting, held from Monday to Thursday, was presided over by the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, the country’s top leadership body. It adopted a decision from the CPC Central Committee on "major issues concerning comprehensively advancing the rule of law".

This is the first time that a plenary session of the CPC Central Committee has taken the rule of law as its central theme. A total of 363 members and alternate members of the committee attended the meeting.

The main aim of the Party’s drive to advance the rule of law is to "form a system serving the socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics" and build a country with socialist rule of law.

"To realize the rule of law, the country should be ruled in linewiththeConstitution," the statement stated.

The National People’s Congress, the country’s top legislature, should play a better role in supervising the implementation of the Constitution, it said.

Assessment of officials will take the way in which they implement the rule of law into consideration, according to the statement. Ying Songnian, a professor at ChinaUniversity of Political Science and Law, said the plenumhas drawn up a blueprint for the implementation of "governance by law".

Government leaders should set an example in abiding by laws and regulations, but many officials have violated laws through corruption and abuse of power, he said.

Some central government departments have made a good start by streamlining approval procedures and delegating some of their approval powers to lowerlevel authorities, Ying added.

Ma Huaide, vicepresident of China University of Political Science and Law, said that under the current appraisal systemmany government officials make economic growth the top priority and neglect the implementationof the rule of law.

Research carried out by Ma last year found that only 36 of 53 cities sampled, including Beijing and Shanghai, reached the pass mark in an assessment of "governance by law".

None of the city authorities scored higher than 80 out of 100 points.

Lawsuits should be more transparent and the law enforcement process should be supervisedmore effectively, Ma said.

Categories: Chinaganda

Party's leadership "most fundamental guarantee" for rule of law in China

China Daily - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 03:16

BEIJING, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- The Communist Party of China (CPC) leadership is "the most fundamental guarantee" for comprehensively advancing the rule of law and building a country under the socialist rule of law, leaders said at a key meeting Thursday.

The effectiveness of implementing rule of law will be a significant index in judging the work of officials at various levels and will be added to their performance appraisal system, the Party said, according to a communique of the fourth plenary session of the 18th CPC Central Committee held from Monday to Thursday.

The communique called for governing by law, and all cadres taking the lead to abide by law, warning against illegally exercising powers, allow replacement of law with words, pressing law with powers, and bending law for personal gains.

Party organizations in the people's congresses, governments, political advisory bodies, judicial apparatus and procuratorates at all levels should lead and monitor their units in abiding by Constitution and laws, and all legal violations in exercising powers, the communique said.

The communique also called for improved regulations and system of the Party to strengthen self-discipline and promote Party members to take the lead in abiding by state laws.

The People's Liberation Army will promote the rule of law and enforce strict discipline. Tightly focusing on the goal of building a stronger army under the new circumstances, the country will establish a military legal system with Chinese characteristics, and improve the level of rule of law in national defense and army building.

China will guarantee the practice of "one country, two systems" and promote national reunification in line with laws, maintaining the long-term prosperity of Hong Kong and Macao, and protecting the rights and interests of peoples in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, according to the communique.

The country will also strengthen its work on foreign-related legal work, safeguarding China's sovereignty, security and development interests, as well as Chinese citizens, legal persons' legitimate rights in abroad and that of the foreign people and legal persons, the communique said.

Categories: Chinaganda

CPC officials ordered to stop meddling judicial cases

China Daily - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 03:16

BEIJING - China will establish a system in which officials will be given demerits or held accountable if they are found interfering in judicial cases.

According to a communique released after a key meeting of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on Thursday, officials will be criticized in public notices if they influence judicial activities or meddle in a particular case.

The communique, adopted at the Fourth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, hails justice as the "lifeline" of rule of law.

Judicial injustice can inflict a "lethal damage" to social justice, reads the communique.

China will improve the system in which judicial powers are exercised and strengthen supervision over judicial activities, it says.

The Supreme People's Court will set up circuit courts to facilitate the handling of judicial cases filed by the public from local communities. The country will explore establishing courts and procuratorates with jurisdictions spanning across different administrative regions, and building a system in which prosecuting bodies can institute public interest litigations, according to the communique.

Trial judges and procurators will assume lifelong accountability to their cases, and public participation will be ensured in judicial procedures, it reads.

No illegal mitigation of a sentence is allowed, and the handling of judicial cases should not be influenced by personal connections, favors or bribery, according to the communique.

Categories: Chinaganda

Rule of law must follow China's path

China Daily - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 03:16

Highlights of the communique

-- The general target is to form a system serving "the socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics" and build a country under "the socialist rule of law".

-- China will ensure the leadership of CPC in "the socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics".

-- The major tasks are to improve a socialist system of laws with Chinese characteristics, in which the Constitution is taken as the core, to strengthen the implementation of the Constitution, to promote administration by law, to speed up building a law-abiding government, to safeguard judicial justice, to improve judicial credibility, to promote the public awareness of rule of law, to enhance the building of a law-based society, to improve team building and to sharpen the CPC's leadership in pushing forward rule of law.

-- To realize the rule of law, the country should be ruled in line with the Constitution.

-- The system to ensure the implementation of the Constitution and to supervise the implementation should be improved.

-- The National People's Congress and its Standing Committee should play a better role in supervising the Constitution's implementation.

-- China will work to build a law-abiding government.

-- A mechanism to examine the legitimacy of major decision-making in governments should be set up, with a lifelong liability accounting system for major decisions and a retrospective mechanism to hold people accountable for wrong decisions.

-- China will promote transparency of government affairs.

-- A mechanism will be set up to record officials who interfere in judicial cases and name them publicly to hold them accountable.

-- The Supreme People's Court will set up circuit courts, and the country will explore establishing cross-administrative region courts and procuratorates, and seek to allow prosecutors to file public interest litigation cases.

-- The country will enhance the protection of human rights in judicial procedures.

-- China will try to recruit lawmakers, judges and prosecutors from qualified lawyers and law experts.

-- The CPC will improve its internal rules and mechanisms.

-- The effectiveness of implementing rule of law will be a significant index in judging the work of officials at various levels and will be added to their performance appraisal system.

-- The People's Liberation Army will promote the rule of law and enforce strict discipline.

-- China will guarantee the practice of "one country, two systems" and promote national reunification in line with laws.

History was made at the Fourth Plenum of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, because for the first time a Party plenary session discussed the rule of law, to be precise, how to strengthen the rule of law and constitutional governance, and boost the ongoing anti-corruption campaign.

The four-day plenum that ended on Thursday was important for another reason: Party General Secretary Xi Jinping reiterated that he is committed to deepening reforms to boost economic transparency, public trust and investor confidence.

Recognizing the historic significance of the plenum, Jiang Ping, a professor at China University of Political Science and Law, said in an article, "No exceptions to the rule of law," in China Daily on Oct 20: "As a key step toward the rule of law, all forms of judicial reform should first emphasize the supremacy of the Constitution. This is the only way to remove the obstacles in the path of judicial reform. Judicial power belongs to courts, and courts should adhere to the Constitution and laws while passing verdicts … There is a close link among China's efforts to promote political institutional reform, rule of law and judicial reform, because the rule of law is an important aspect of political institutional reform while judicial reform plays a crucial role in promoting the rule of law."

Now, the plenum's resolution will ensure that judicial reform does not meet with any more setbacks, for the reform is likely to focus on promoting constitutional governance, boosting the independent powers of the judiciary and the law-enforcement forces. Local courts are expected to get more powers, so that they can resist pressure from local Party committees and governments. And judges will now be treated less like any other civil servants and more like independent officials delivering just verdicts.

According to the plenum, judicial reform will promote judicial transparency, because a transparent judiciary is a precondition for judicial fairness. Pilot projects with these goals at their core have already been launched in some cities such as Shanghai and Shenzhen, Guangdong province, to make judges more professional and independent.

American and European observers, however, may hesitate before either celebrating the plenum for its historic significance for reforms, because the plenum has emphasized the leading role of the Party in the country's "socialist rule of law". They may urge the Chinese leadership to further expedite reform efforts according to the West's "action now" agenda.

The deepening reform, however, is aimed at establishing a fair and just society. The scale of the program will be enormous given its admirable aim, and it will benefit from established institutions and past reform efforts. Also, increasing the independence and status of the judiciary will be crucial for the success of the program — this element has deep roots and precedents in thousands of years of Chinese history.

The success of the program will depend on the extent to which the law-enforcement and judicial departments change to meet the needs of the people. Here it is important to recall that the disastrous failure of former Russian president Boris Yeltsin's crash privatization and "instant free market" reform in the 1990s was the direct result of the impatience and messianic mania of Western, especially US, experts that the Kremlin naively turned to after the disintegration of the Soviet Union. In contrast, China has made it clear that in implementing its legal and judicial reform, it will stick to its own path and never blindly follow the Western model of division of power.

This is bound to invite criticisms from many Western media outlets and even official circles. Such criticisms should be ignored by China. The bane of constructive social reformers around the world in the last quarter century has been the inability of so many Americans and Europeans to recognize that different societies and cultures must be allowed to evolve differently and adapt to the changes at their own pace, a pace that suits their different economic conditions, political systems and historical experiences.

China should be guided in its judicial reform, as it has so successfully been in its economic miracle, by its own experiences and pragmatic results. And it should keep at arm's length the abstract ideological and sweeping theoretical solutions imposed by unworldly Western theorists.

The author is a senior fellow at the American University in Moscow, a columnist for the Post-Examiner online newspapers in the US, and has the book, Shifting Superpowers: The New and Emerging Relationship between the United States, China and India, to his credit.

Categories: Chinaganda

Senior justice official probed in Hunan

China Daily - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 03:16

CHANGSHA - A senior justice official in central China's Hunan Province is under investigation for a suspected discipline violation, said the provincial discipline watchdog on Thursday.

Wan Chuanyou, born in 1962, was appointed deputy head of the Hunan Provincial Justice Department in 2007.

He is now under investigation for discipline violation, said the Hunan Discipline Inspection Commission of the Communist Party of China.

Since the new CPC leadership assumed office, China has been pushing an unprecedented anti-graft campaign in which dozens of high-ranking officials have been investigated.

Categories: Chinaganda

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