Joint letter disrespects China’s rule of law

Source:Global Times Published: 2016-3-2 0:18:01

A Reuters exclusive on Tuesday revealed that US, Canadian, German and Japanese ambassadors to China wrote a joint letter in late January addressed to the Chinese Minister of Public Security, expressing concern over three new or pending laws, which are about counterterrorism, cyberspace security and management of foreign non-governmental organizations. Later, the EU ambassador to China also made a coordinated move and sent a letter voicing similar concerns.

The two letters were exposed on the eve of China's yearly "two sessions," - the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. Such "good timing" might be on purpose to attract more attention.

A joint bid by several ambassadors to pressure the Chinese authorities is quite rare. But we don't have to overreact. It is widely known through media that the West has different opinions about the three laws.

As China is becoming highly integrated with the rest of the world, it is inevitable and understandable that other countries care about China's policies and laws because they want their interests to be well-protected.

As China should remain open to the world, it needs to take in different opinions from outside, and even make proper concessions for enhanced cooperation with other countries.

However, legislation is part of China's sovereignty, and opinions from outside cannot replace China's legislative body in law-making. This is an international norm which must be clearly recognized by these ambassadors.

The West is quite keen on pointing fingers at China's legislation, and many of their opinions have ulterior motives. China has always been patient in dealing with their inquiries, even malicious ones.

Most of the concerns expressed by the West, on the one hand, aim at protecting the interests of their enterprises and organizations, and on the other hand, are meddling in China's domestic affairs, such as human rights. However, these "concerns" about Chinese human rights are mostly for a handful of Chinese dissidents, who have been manipulated to make waves in China.

The West is concerned about whether China can keep its arms open to the world, but there are some problems with their perspectives. China will not retreat on the path of opening-up, but it doesn't mean it has to adopt a laissez-faire and unbridled policy. The rule of law is an integral part of opening-up.

In the initial stages of opening-up, China did make a lot of concessions to other countries. Perhaps they have got used to all kinds of special treatment, and feel unease when China reins in governance disorders. It is anticipated that the outside will soon adapt to the new situation, because what China is doing in terms of protecting national security through legislation was done by the West long time ago.

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