Bo Xilai Case: China Dream Remains a Distant Dream
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China)
August 30, 2013
Summary: Today's CCP places the party above the law. The party cannot permit the law to control the party. Xi Jingpin wanted the "party to control the party." This is all the result of "one -party dictatorship." This is why there is no "partisan politics." This is why there is no "tripartite separation of powers." This is why there is no "justice." The Bo Xilai trial was a "copy of the West." But it merely inverted cause and effect. It merely adopted the external trappings. The Bo Xilai case tells us that the Chinese mainland remains a long way from its "China Dream."
Full text below:
During the five day long Bo Xilai trial, the Mainland authorities made considerable progress in terms of due process. Leave aside the larger economic and political backdrop for the moment. Look only at the adversarial process within the courtroom. The process was clearly orderly. The prosecution's arguments were reasonable. The defense said everything that needed to be said. The proceedings were directly webcast by microbloggers. Could this mark the beginning of future CCP judicial reform?
Consider the conduct of the justice system. The conduct of the Bo Xilai trial was very different from the 1967 trial of Bo Xilai's father Bo Yibo. Back then, a single document, "The Confession and Surrender of Bo Yibo, Liu Lan Tao, An Ziwen, Yang Hsien-chen" led to the persecution of Bo Yibo. Bo Yibo's wife Hu Ming, Bo Xilai's mother, committed suicide while in custody. The conduct of the Bo Xilai trial also differs from the 1962 persecution of Xi Jinping's father Xi Zhongxun, who was accused of writing an "anti-party novel" entitled "Liu Chih-tan." That case did not even go to trial. Instead an "ad hoc committee" branded Xi a member of an "anti-party group." Xi Zhongxun was imprisoned for 16 years. Over 60,000 people were implicated. The conduct of the Bo Xilai case also differed from the Liu Shaoqi case and the Peng Dehuai case.
The CCP's Criminal Law and Criminal Procedures Act were hastily during the 1980 "Gang of Four" trial. Before that one could say there was no such thing as justice. Evidence was one-sided smears. Courts were "Ad Hoc Committees." There were even "public trials," which were essentially lynch mobs. The Jinan Intermediate People's Court trial of Bo Xilai by contrast, was webcast live by microbloggers. That is amazing progress.
Bo Xilai's retraction of his previous confession may have taken Mainland authorities by surprise. But Bo's retraction makes him the defendant who has contributed the most to criminal justice in the history of the Chinese Communist Party. Bo Xilai was a closely watched, high-profile official. During this trial, prosecution and defense arguments were webcast live by microbloggers. This enabled the public on the Mainland to undestand for the first time, that in a court of law the defendant and the government enjoy equal standing. Their human rights must be respected and upheld. Even after Bo Xilai retracted his confession, the trial continued to be webcast live. The trial was lengthened to five days. One cannot deny that this was a significant achievement for the CCP justice system. It may have been a case of someone riding a tiger finding it difficult to dismount. But it merits affirmation nonetheless.
This was a Trial of the Century. It showed that the CCP authorities know what the civilized world expects from a criminal trial. It attempted to meet those expectations under the watchful eyes of the world. This trial should enable the CCP to better understand why the Mainland's justice system failed to meet required. To meet such stanards requires more than a pro forma, bootlegged version of a Western-style criminal trial.
The CCP denies the existence of "universal values." But it can not deny that "justice" is the highest judicial value. During this trial, they wanted to show that "socialism embodies the rule of law." But that too shows that "justice" is a "universal value." The result however was still not credible. The Chinese Communist Party does not deny the value of "democracy." But it also says it "will not imitate the West." By implication it was affirming "socialism with Chinese characteristics." It was taking another road to "democracy." But that is not a workable option .
The mainstream believes "justice" must be based on the "tripartite separation of powers." The "tripartite separation of powers" must be based on the possibility of "partisan politics." A "one -party dictatorship" cannot ensure the "tripartite separation of powers." Without the "tripartite separation of powers" it is impossible to ensure "justice." The Chinese Communist Party wants on the one hand to uphold the "four cardinal principles." But it wants on the other hand the "rule by law." This is asking for the impossible .
A CCP public security system that is not independent and impartial, violates human rights. It also creates a crisis in national governance. Take the Bo Xilai case. It involves three problems. The first problem was corruption. The Bo Xilai case was exposed because Wang Lijun went to the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu. Corruption was uncovered first. Corruption in this case was overwhelming. Gu Kailai committed murder. Twelve years ago she purchased a "Nice Fontaine St George's Villa" that still belongs to her. The second problem was abuse of authority. Bo Xilai was investigated only because the Gu Kailai case failed to follow procedure and relieved Wang Lijun of his post. This was "abuse of authority." But at the same time they found that Bo's "waving of the red flag to expose corruption" led to many false prosecutions. The third problem was that Wen Jiabao compared the Bo Xilai case to "Cultural Revolution errors and feudal influences." But the justice system cannot address problems at this level. As everyone knows , Bo Xilai's "leftist" maneuvers were more serious than "Gu's murder." They were more serious than the "Xu Mingsong Villa." As we can see, the Bo Xilai case was subject to political spin doctoring. Paradoxically this highlights the CCP governance crisis.
Today's CCP places the party above the law. The party cannot permit the law to control the party. Party Disciplinary Representatives have priority over public security. Therefore the party has no control over the party. Xi Jingpin wanted the "party to control the party." This is all the result of "one -party dictatorship." This is why there is no "partisan politics." This is why there is no "tripartite separation of powers." This is why there is no "justice." The Bo Xilai trial was a "copy of the West." But it merely inverted cause and effect. It merely adopted the external trappings. .
The Bo Xilai case tells us that the Chinese mainland remains a long way from its "China Dream."
2013.08.30 01:56 am