Xiao Han (萧瀚): “Truth and Authority”
The most important lesson in the establishment and experience of the “online investigative team” in the “elude the cat” incident is in that it reminds all of us: if we cannot effectively improve our basic institutions then we cannot provide the most basic mechanisms to guarantee the truth, and all other extrinsic efforts will come to nothing.
When the “online investigation committee” set into motion and directed by Yunnan’s deputy propaganda chief Wu Hao (伍皓) became involved in the “elude the cat” incident, this drew even more widespread attention [to the case]. But up to now this investigative committee’s report has been unable to draw any of its own conclusions. For anyone with a basic knowledge of China’s current legal system and a basic familiarity with our judicial system, this result can only be seen as normal. In nations with the strictest traditions of rule of law such as Britain and America, the hope that this sort of “online investigative committee” might draw out the truth behind a death case is inconceivable and not something to be taken seriously. How far must the credibility of state judicial authorities sink before people will place their hopes in an investigation of this sort?
Please also read: The Last Class: How Do We Live Our Lives? by former China University of Politics and Law Professor Xiao Han.