China observes first Constitution Day
chinaBeijing: China today celebrated its first Constitutional Day to highlight the importance of the rule of law amid a nationwide clamour for independent judiciary, free from the influence of the ruling Communist Party of China, which wields enormous powers in the one-party state.
While Chinese President Xi Jinping who is trying to restore the sagging image of the Communist Party of China (CPC) with massive anti-corruption campaign and abuse of power called for more awareness of the Constitution.
Beijing: China State media said it is time officials take oath on constitution to make it legally binding on their actions.
Speaking ahead of today’s Constitution Day, Xi said Constitution is the fundamental law of land and provides the general principles to be followed in the governance of the country, Xi said.
The Constitution of China conforms to the conditions and reality of the country and authority is paramount, he said in an apparent message to the party officials that their actions are liable for legal scrutiny.
Highlighting the importance of the Constitution, state media said six decades on Chinese society is still confused about Constitution-related issues.
“Chinese courts have never used ‘unconstitutional’ as a verdict; most Chinese people have no idea about how to protect their rights under the Constitution,” Global Times said in an editorial today.
“Some even believe Party and government leaders’ directives are more powerful than the Constitution, while there are also some radical dissidents taking public opposition against the CPC’s leadership as a reflection of individual freedom,” it said.
“China’s high-ranking government officials should be requested to swear an oath to the Constitution before they take office. This ritual would attempt to urge civil servants to stick with the rule of law, as many local governments have done unconstitutional deed,” it said.
It also attacked imprisoned rights activists like Liu Xiaobo who was awarded the Nobel Prize saying that his actions were nothing but defiance of the Constitution.
“China lacks an authoritative interpretation of the Constitution. For example, the Constitution clearly states that the CPC is the leader of this country, but it also endows Chinese people with free speech,” it said.
If some people take advantage of their rights to speak freely, circulating ideas to topple the CPC’s leadership, how can we define the nature of their actions? Such debates are growing intense, it said.
“Publicity helps to boost the rule of the Constitution, but it is more important to include the principle into daily judicial practices.
China needs a court ruling to set a precedent on what is unconstitutional.