Rule Of Law ” Arduous But Hopeful Journey” – We Didn’t Say It Xinhua Did

Xinhua Insight: Towards the rule of law: an arduous but hopeful journey for China  …  we suggest you read this first and then get some reality from the article below….

BEIJING, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) — Yan Jinchang is not able to give exact definition for “rule of law” or “rule of man”, the 71-year-old farmer feels good about China’s improving legal system.

Talking about the land ownership certificate and transference, the man from east China’s Anhui Province told Xinhua in strong accent “I know, this is the most important ‘rule of law’ to me.”

In 2005, Yan was persuaded by the villagers committee to lease 0.47 hectares of land to a businessman from Shanghai to run a hog farm. He didn’t sign contract and felt unsure at first.

“But a cadre said to me ‘he couldn’t steal your land and carry it to Shanghai. So I trusted him and agreed,” Yan said. Five years later, the hog farm was transformed into a hotel and the Shanghai businessman left. Yan couldn’t get his land back.

In recent years, the Chinese government has attached greater importance to legitimacy of land transference. “Experts and college students always give lectures here free-of-charge, telling us how to safeguard our own rights,” Yan said.

He has leased another 1.87 hectares of land since 2011. The rent rises each year.


“All the land under heaven belongs to the emperor, and everyone is his servant,” the famous saying from China’s first poetry collection Shijing goes.

But even emperors had their problems. China’s last emperor Aisin-Gioro Puyi said in his autobiography that he had no right to choose his own wife, because two imperial concubines of his father both wanted the new queen to be closer to them.

Similar tragedies also occurred to ordinary people who had no right to choose his or her spouse under the feudal ethics. This situation didn’t change until 1950, when the New Marriage Law was enacted as China’s first basic law since liberation. It banned marriage by proxy, and stipulated that both parties should agree to the marriage.

Statistics suggest that in 1950, about 90 percent of the marriage in China was arranged. This proportion dwindled to 10 percent seven years after the law was passed.

The Land Law passed later made 300 million peasants the owners of 46.7 million hectares of land, while the Trade Union Law ensured that workers had voices in their factories.

In 1954, the first constitution of New China laid foundation for the rule of law.

However, progressive legal reforms were damaged in the decade-long Cultural Revolution that began in 1966. Liu Shaoqi, then Chairman of China, held high a copy of Constitution, but couldn’t change his fate of persecution.

“At that time, China was in a state of turmoil,” said Li Shuguang, a professor with the China University of Political Science and Law. “The country was ruled by men at their own will, without pervasive laws and regulations.”

After the reform and opening-up, China reflected on the disaster. Xiao Yang, former chief justice of the Supreme People’s Court, remembered the private discussions of rule of law against rule of man, but no one dared to bring it on the table at the beginning.

In 1978, senior leader Deng Xiaoping said in a speech that to ensure people’s democracy, the legal system must be reinforced and that legal system and laws won’t be changed with the changes of leaders.

The Fifteenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 1997 decided to make “the rule of law” a basic strategy and “building a socialist country under the rule of law” an important goal for socialist modernization.

An outline for implementation was issued in 2004, which for the first time set forth the guideline for the full-scale promotion of administration by law in the ensuing ten years.

“The rule of law is the basic resort for governing the country,” said Chinese President Xi Jinping, who holds a doctorate of law.


By 2013, China’s National People’s Congress had decreed 243 laws, and the cabinet drafted more than 680 regulations.

Ma Huaide, vice president of China University of Political Science and Law, saw several milestones on the cause of legislation.

An example was the Administrative Litigation Law, which was implemented in 1990. “This law changed the mentality of Chinese people, whom, for thousands of years, couldn’t and didn’t dare to sue officials,” Ma said.

With this law, 52-year-old farmer Song Xinyuan filed lawsuit against the Anhui provincial department of environmental protection, which made an assessment for a local polluting enterprise.

“I haven’t won yet, but operation of the enterprise has suspended,” he said. “I am using the legal weapon to protect our health and own right.”

Sometimes, legislation is triggered by an incident.

A regulation for saving beggars in cities was implemented in 2003 at the price of a young life, after 27-year-old Sun Zhigang was beaten to death in an asylum.

In 2009, 47-year-old Tang Fuzhen from southwest China’s Sichuan province set herself on fire to protest the forced demolition of her house. She died in hospital 16 days later. Tang was just one of the Chinese in violent and deadly protest against land seizures, and their tragedies got people’s attention. In 2010, “administrative forced demolition” was banned.

“During the 30 plus years after reform and opening-up, China has finished a legislation process which took western countries hundreds of years,” said Yang Tianzong, deputy secretary general of the Sichuan provincial committee of the CPC. “However, old habits die hard and the mindset of Chinese people don’t change easily.”