Opinion: Why does China need to amend its Constitution?
所内新闻 | 作者: | 时间:2018-03-05 | 已阅:344

时隔14年,宪法将迎来第五次修改,这将是国家政治生活中的一件大事。高通律师事务所敬云川主任应央视国际频道邀请,就宪法修改背景、必要性及如何加强执政能力作出点评并提出分析意见。

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China's Constitution is not only the fundamental law of the state, but also the legal basis for all other laws. To realize the goal of national rejuvenation in the coming decades, the Communist Party of China (CPC) attaches great importance to the role that the Constitution plays in the governance of the country. The CPC, as the ruling political party of China, not only takes the leading role in amending the Constitution, but also in its implementation.


Necessity for amendments to the Constitution 


In 1982, the fifth session of the Fifth National People's Congress (NPC) adopted the present Constitution and it's been amended four times since – in 1988, 1993, 1999 and 2004. 


Great changes have taken place since the Constitution was last amended in 2004. Great achievements have been made in various aspects, especially with the successful convening of the 19th National Congress of the CPC last October, China has entered into a new era with the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era becoming the leading theory of both the Party and the state. Under these circumstances, it is necessary to amend the Constitution to incorporate both the theoretical and practical achievements made by the Party and the people.

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For example, the reform of the supervision system is a major reform to China’s political system. It will have a profound impact on the anti-graft fight and supervision over the exercise of power by public officials, so it’s important that it's written into the Constitution. On one hand, the supervision commission will become an independent state organ, different from both the administrative department and the judicial organs. On the other hand, the enactment of the Supervision Law shall be grounded in the Constitution. With the amendments made to the Constitution, both the Supervision Law and the supervision commissions will have constitutional basis.  


The amendments also include the revision of the clause stipulating that the President and Vice-president shall serve no more than two consecutive terms (five years each term), which has been necessitated by the need to perfect the Party and the state leadership system. 


All the amendments have injected new ideas and concepts about where the country will go and how it will achieve its goal of rejuvenation and ensure people live happier lives. The role of the Constitution must be highlighted in modernizing the country's governance system and improving the CPC's capacity for long-term governance. 


Improving long-term governance 


As we all know, the CPC has paid great attention to improve the capacity for long-term governance in order to maintain social stability and economic development. In my view, the proof can be heard or seen that only the CPC can uphold the principle of governing for the Chinese people, and lead China's reform and opening-up as well as the building of a modern socialist country.

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First of all, the Party shall take measures to ensure that it will have close links with the people and reduce bureaucracy. If the CPC could maintain good and close relations with the people, serve the people wholeheartedly and always protect their interests, the people would support its leadership. 


Secondly, the Party leaders shall advance the rule of law wholeheartedly. The strategy of rule of law in an all-round manner should be thoroughly implemented in order to uphold social equity and fairness. Because of China’s long history of feudalism, advancing the rule of law is a must for achieving national prosperity and social progress. In the long run, it’s very beneficial for the CPC’s long-term governance. 


Thirdly, to continue the anti-corruption measures.

The people have hated corruption the most, which is the greatest threat to the CPC. In the past five years, the fight against corruption has made remarkable achievements and it’s one of the biggest achievements. However, the situation is still grim and complicated. The purpose of deepening the reform of the state supervisory system is to achieve greater results in the anti-corruption struggle and enhance people's confidence and trust in the CPC. With establishment of the Supervision Commission and adoption of the Supervision Law the CPC’s capacities for governance will be greatly enhanced.  


(The author is founding partner of Beijing Gaotong Law Firm.)



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