05/22/2020, 12.06
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Zhang Xuezhong to NPC: You don't represent anyone. China has a 'pre-modern' government (I)

by Zhang Xuezhong

The human rights lawyer - former professor of law at a university in Shanghai, later fired - publishes an open letter to the delegates of the National People's Congress, which has already been censored by the regime. For Zhang, the delegates represent no one because they were not elected by anyone; the Chinese constitution is a "pseudo-constitution". Government "for the people" is actually a monster that devours the wealth of society. "Democracy" is not just a "western" ideal, as Xi Jinping says.

Shanghai (AsiaNews) - The National People's Congress (NPC), the Chinese parliament, held its opening session today. The approximately 3 thousand delegates come from all parts of the country, but they are co-opted by the Chinese Communist Party and are not elected by the population. Two years ago, they changed the constitution, allowing Xi Jinping to take over the presidency for life. Two weeks ago, on May 10, a human rights lawyer, Zhang Xuezhong, 44, from Shanghai, issued an open letter to the delegates of the NPC telling them clearly and precisely as a constitutionalist that they "represent no one"; that the Chinese constitution is a "pseudo-constitution"; that the existing government system in China is "pre-modern" and needs updating if it doesn't want to collapse.

The result: Zhang was taken by the police and interrogated for a day, his letter on Wechat was censored. But the magazine "China change" managed to publish it in Chinese and to offer an English translation by Andréa Worden.

Zhang, a law professor at China East University, was fired in 2013 for disseminating documents proving the Party's censorship of academics. His lucid analysis shows that "democracy" and "people's power" are not western myths - as the Party preaches, but remain in the hearts of the Chinese, even at the cost of suffering. In this first part, we present some excerpts from the open letter, referring to the PA and the government structure imposed in China.

Dear Delegates:


My name is Zhang Xuezhong, and I am an ordinary Chinese citizen living in Shanghai. When you attend the third session of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) that begins on May 22, 2020, this novel coronavirus epidemic may not be over yet…

However, admiration for your personal professional performance does not mean that I recognize your legitimacy as representatives of the Chinese people. For the following two main reasons: I don’t consider you to be legitimate representatives of the Chinese people, nor do I think that the NPC is a legitimate representative body…

Delegates, just as you are not the real representatives of the people, the current “constitution” is not a real constitution. It is not a fundamental law used by the Chinese people to create and regulate government power, but only an operating manual used by the ruling party to form and operate its own power…

It is impossible for a country to modernize its political system and social governance through a pseudo-constitution. A politically modern country is one in which citizens’ rights are reliably guaranteed. But in our country, people are not only deprived of their right to participate in politics, they cannot freely elect government officials at all levels, and they also lack effective protection of property rights and personal rights.

For example, an originally completely legal private residential area turned into illegal buildings overnight that “had to be” forcibly demolished, simply because the government issued a new planning document. Public authorities can use the pretext of cracking down on criminal activities to arbitrarily seize lawful assets of enterprises.  In some places, the government even forcefully and savagely removes the tombs of people ’s ancestors or dismantles crosses from the roofs of legally constructed churches.

Another example is that since the petition system is provided for by law, petitioning should be a citizen’s right, but the actual situation is that local governments often dispatch people (i.e., “interceptors”) to restrict the personal freedom of petitioners. In recent years, more and more people have been summoned, detained, and sentenced for making statements on the Internet….

… In normal countries, people with financial difficulties are given priority for social welfare expenditures in government budgets, while in our country, priority is given to those in power. In many places [in China], the salaries of public servants, to begin with, are several times that of company employees, and they also usually enjoy more generous benefits than the latter. The pension public servants receive after retirement is also several times that of firm employees.

Then there’s the shocking corruption and waste at all levels of government, which goes without saying. The entire bureaucracy and civil servants are no longer like public servants serving the people, but more like monsters that devour social wealth with no bottom line…

However, in our country, a government that shouts “ruling for the people” all day long is not willing to do so. Why is this happening? Because it is too difficult for all levels of authorities to hand over the bounty that’s fallen into their hands. Comparatively speaking, it is easier to ignore the needs and demands of the people, because government officials at all levels are not elected by the people and do not need to seek authority from them….

China’s social governance is still in a very backward state. The widespread corruption of government officials, the widespread lack of justice, the widespread deterioration of the natural environment, the repeated occurrence of food, medicine, and vaccine safety incidents, the excessively rapid rise in prices relative to the income of residents, the deficit and loss of faith in the social security sphere; in addition, it’s increasingly difficult for businesses to operate, and increasingly difficult for urban and rural residents to find employment, including college graduates, all of the above have seriously weakened citizens’ feeling of happiness and sense of security, and has made everyone feel confused and anxious about the future….

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