10/05/2013, 00.00
CHINA
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Chinese scholar: Press freedom and independence of the judiciary the first steps for the new China

by Paul Wong
Prof. He Weifang states rule of law only seems to weaken the government , but in reality allows for a governance that respects the rights of the population. Oppression leads to lack of confidence in leadership, creating social unrest and revolution.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - The Chinese Communist Party must take steps to reduce its monopoly on society, first of all ensuring the independence of the judiciary and press freedom, followed by freedom of trade unions and social organizations.

This is according to He Weifang , a law professor at Beijing University ( Beida ) suggests to the Chinese government to help China avoid a social revolution and become State that respects rule of law.

In an interview published in the South China Morning Post , the professor highlighted a " huge gap" between the Government of the Party and the intellectuals with regard to the rule of law and the value of the constitution. " Maybe - he said - they [the leaders ] do not have a deep understanding of what is the government of the constitution. They are still trying to maintain social stability by sacrificing the liberties of the people."

Prof. He believes the constitutional government may seem at first sight to weaken the authority of the Communist Party, but in fact allows for better governance.

In recent months Party publications have hosted a vigorous debate over the idea of constitutionalism, that places the constitution above party . According to some articles, this move would weaken the Party's grip on power in China and is likely to lead to its collapse, as was the case for the former Soviet Union.

He Weifang is considered a liberal in China, his microblog is followed by more than a million followers. Many intellectuals are frustrated with the few results that President Xi Jinping is offering on the role of the constitution. As soon as he came to power he promised to implement the rule of law . But one year later there are still controls on the press, arrests of activists , censorship of the internet. He Weifang says that eliminating people who defend their rights according to the law could turn violent causing conflicts and even revolution.

" I hope - he said - the government can understand that [crackdowns] have the worst effect - making people lose hope in the government, [creating] a huge gap between people and their rulers," he said. "When the best people feel hopeless, then only one option remains: revolution".

 

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