Xi: Stability Maintenance Is Rights Defense
In today’s People’s Daily, Central Politics and Law Commission Secretary Meng Jianzhu reports Xi Jinping’s main points from a recent commission working meeting. In the article “Scientific Guide to Political and Legal Work Under New Circumstances” (新形势下政法工作的科学指南), Meng writes that Xi “clearly indicated that rights defense is the basis of stability maintenance, and stability maintenance is the essence of rights defense” (明确指出维权是维稳的基础，维稳的实质是维权).
Xi invoked the “Marxist legal perspective” (马克思主义法律观) in explaining the relationship between the Party’s leadership and independent courts, writes Meng.
Stability maintenance has been a key government policy since the Hu Jintao-Wen Jiabao administration. Maintaining social stability often means suppressing unrest, rather than solving the grievances that people have brought to the public’s attention.
Meng’s article comes just days after rights defense lawyer Xu Zhiyong was sentenced to four years in prison for “gathering crowds to disturb public order,” while others involved in his New Citizens Movement have also recently stood trial. Xu said his sentence stripped away “the Chinese legal system’s last shred of dignity,” according to his lawyer.
Weibo user MerlotN sees the doublespeak of George Orwell’s novel 1984 in Xi’s declaration:
Never again will I call Xi Jinping an uncultured, idiotic, illiterate thug. To George Orwell’s “War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength,” Xi has added “stability maintenance is rights defense.” It’s fucking perfect.
我再也不敢说习近平没文化是个傻逼文盲加流氓了。“战争即和平、自由即奴役、无知即力量”George Owell 的传世之作，今天习近平加了一句维稳即维权，他妈的天衣无缝啊。
Human Rights Watch argues that the crackdown on New Citizens undermines Xi’s anti-corruption campaign and contradicts the Supreme People’s Court instructions to leave “pressure to maintain stability” out of court decisions.