Confusing concept disrupts rule of law

Source:Global Times Published: 2014-9-12 0:33:11

The topic of rule by law will be listed on the agenda at the Fourth Plenary Session of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee slated for early October. Since the news was released last month, the Internet has been rife with comments on "constitutional governance." Apparently some people have attempted to bring a constitutional context and a special political connotation to the concept of rule by law.

The controversy surrounding "constitutional governance" has frequently been raised in recent years. The term "constitutional governance" has a literal meaning, a historical sense, as well as a kind of denotation made by Chinese public opinion. Its literal meaning is quite close to that of the rule of law, rule by law and rule in accordance with the constitution, and the nuances which differentiate them have no political sense for ordinary Chinese people. Therefore, some people have emphasized the significance of constitutional governance out of good will to promote rule of law.

There are others who only approve of constitutional governance and belittle the rule of law. They feel constitutional governance bears no relation to socialist rule of law and thus becomes a reference or an indication of the Western political system of checks and balances.

Constitutional governance is a good idea in itself, which can be used with the rule of law in a mixed manner. Nevertheless, liberals have changed this situation by dissimilating this term, soliciting the vigilance of mainstream society against the correct use of it.

Under the current circumstances, it is proper to avoid the use of constitutional governance and stress the rule of law in accordance with conventions during the past more than three decades.

Having universal values is another concept that has been distorted for special political purposes in China. But in the huge Chinese vocabulary, there are still enough "uncontaminated" words of choice. By choosing different words, we assert our attitude.

The rule of law, driven by China's social progress, is a core part of the nation's reform. But it is facing obstacles that are behind the country's backwardness. We cannot expect it to be realized overnight, but society is firm about advancing its implementation. It is in the interest of the whole country to support the process, not to disrupt it with confusing concepts.

Constitutional governance can become quite mesmerizing to some people when the country is on the verge of implementing rule of law.

But the popularity of constitutional governance in the public sphere has only brought negative results in recent years. We propose replacing the concept with the rule of law.

China's reform and opening up covers a wide range of spheres, but we lag behind in terms of the ability to create concepts and sum them up in theory. Nomenclature inherited from the West still dominates, affecting the description of reality and the political image of the country.


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