A MAINLAND professor yesterday defended the decision by the Beijing People's Higher Court to reject the appeal of Wei Jingsheng and said it conformed to universal legal standards. Professor Gao Mingxuan, of the People's University in Beijing, said the decision was in accordance with Chinese laws and even in line with legal principles enshrined in US laws. Professor Gao, described as a principal drafter of China's Criminal Law, said he believed Wei was guilty because he actually committed subversive activities against the Government. He said newspaper articles by Wei in Hong Kong and overseas were 'subversive propaganda . . . plotting to overthrow the Chinese Government'. 'By plotting to overthrow the Government we mean the planning and preparations taken for the toppling of the Government, for example, the organising of personnel, the raising of funds and media preparations. Item 92 of the Criminal Law of China has a clear stipulation about this,' he told Xinhua (the New China News Agency). 'What he said in these articles goes far beyond expressing his own points of view . . . and his actions were targeted at shaking the four Cardinal Principles,' Professor Gao said. The Four Cardinal Principles refer to the tenets of Marxism, Leninism, Mao Zedong's Thoughts and the leadership of the proletariat. 'During his period of probation, Wei Jingsheng secretly contacted certain people at home and abroad in an attempt to organise an anti-government force. 'He instigated his followers to edge into the cultural field and foment an anti-Government cultural wave. He claimed that several million people in cultural circles, together with their admirers, totalling more than 100 million, would be enough to bring about a fire storm powerful enough to shake up the present Government,' he said. 'What kind of cultural behaviours are they? Anyone can see in them his true motive was to overthrow the Government.' But a Hong Kong-based legal expert said Professor Gao 'completely misunderstood' Western legal systems. Dr Nihal Jayawickrama, senior lecturer in law at the University of Hong Kong, said that unlike Chinese laws, existing US laws did not ban citizens from advocating democracy, criticising government or doing commercial activities with political aims - the kind of activities Wei had done. He added that a person in the US would be found guilty of subversion only if the court could prove he attempted to overthrow the Government by the use of 'violence or unlawful means'.