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  • Jul 25, 2014
  • Updated: 8:13am
NewsChina
POLITICS

Rule of law key issue at meeting of Communist Party leaders

Central Committee plenum also likely to be held earlier than usual as Xi Jinping rallies party elite behind graft inquiry into ex-security chief

PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 May, 2014, 3:50am
UPDATED : Monday, 12 May, 2014, 7:51am
 

Discussions on the rule of law are set to dominate a top leadership meeting later this year as Beijing tries to build consensus for an announcement on the graft investigation into former security chief Zhou Yongkang.

The date of this year's Communist Party Central Committee plenum is also likely to be brought forward as pressure grows for the leadership to make a final decision on Zhou.

The plenary session traditionally takes place in September. But several sources told the South China Morning Post that party leaders were considering bringing it forward, although the exact date had yet to be decided.

The leadership meeting usually maps out the party's administrative and ideological development. Senior appointments are often announced, paving the way for more government reshuffles.

It is understood that President Xi Jinping may use the meeting to pledge to safeguard the constitution and fight graft, even at the top of government.

This will help to rally the party elite and convince them the investigation into Zhou was part of the campaign to bolster the rule of law, not a political power struggle as some have suggested, several sources with knowledge of the matter said.

Zhou, once a member of a nine-man Politburo Standing Committee of top leaders, has been in detention since December for alleged corruption.

The investigation into Zhou may be announced around the time of the annual meeting, two sources said, adding that it remained unclear if the authorities would hand the case over to prosecutors to press formal charges.

An earlier briefing for senior officials was told the investigation into Zhou would deal only with alleged financial wrongdoing and corruption and that the sums of money involved would be far less than reports have suggested, a person familiar with the meeting previously said.

Zhou was head of the Central Politics and Law Commission - which oversees the courts, prosecutors and police - before he retired in November 2012.

The government spent more money on domestic security than defence under Zhou to maintain social stability, with activists arguing it gave police too much power and harmed civil liberties.

"To promote the rule of law at this stage means a negation of the legal system over the past years, which was under the control of Zhou," said one of the sources.

Wang Guixiu, a retired Central Party School researcher, said officials and the public had different perceptions of the rule of law. "The public say it is about putting officials in check, while officials say it is about how to govern the public."

The party issued two documents in May last year to set out the internal rules for its 80 million members, which experts said was an attempt by Xi to exercise stricter controls over cadres' conduct.

Xi has promised to uphold the rule of law and tackle abuse of police powers, but the public has questioned his sincerity after several cases of rights activists being jailed or detained since his administration took power in 2012.

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This article is now closed to comments

ann.wei.121
The Chinese rule of law is who holds power has the law, full stop.
rolftsui
CCP and Rule of Law = unfathomable idea. The very ideology of a Communist Autocracy and Kleptocracy is incompatible with the rule of law.
This is laughable and quite entertaining.
serpiente
I sincerely thought the rule of law was a Western idea.
chaz_hen
More transparent compared to what? The irony is that people like you buy up the b.s. the CCP throws at you, knowing full well they're full of shxt...
Formerly ******
How can a government built upon Mao's murder of tens of millions ever have a rule of law?
建成後的數以千萬計的毛澤東的謀殺過政府如何能有一條法律規則?
tbhdbl
"Wang Guixiu, a retired Central Party School researcher, said officials and the public had different perceptions of the rule of law. 'The public say it is about putting officials in check, while officials say it is about how to govern the public.'" In other words, the Communist Party officials are legalists of the ancient Han Fei Tze school, which espoused using law to control the people, and which is quite different from the modern conception of rule of law. Modern societies understand the rule of law as controlling and confining the rulers as well as the ruled.
newgalileo
Unfortunately true. There is rule of law - unless it does not suit the leaders, and then there is no law anymore. And as for the Constitution, that is officially an illegal document, it cannot be invoked, certainly NEVER in a court of law.
dienw
How About: how about considering the irony of the avatar you use - it is a Guy Fawkes mask. If you didn't already know, Guy Fawkes was an English Catholic conspirator who tried to blow up the English Houses of Parliament in the 17th century. He was caught and burnt at the stake, as every English schoolboy knows.
So, as a CCP apologist, please explain (1) why you use the symbol of a hated Western icon (I know China doesn't need any Western influences now it is nearly the most powerful country the world has ever seen (sic)) and (2) why you find this symbol appropriate given it represents violent overthrow of the establishment. Surely, some mistake?
Perhaps just replace your avatar with, maybe, a picture of Mao or, better, a 5 x 10c coins?
captam
Have you ever considered going to school?
ejmciii
Seems pretty spot on, although your masters don't want us to say it. So it goes.

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