Fong Tak-ho: China’s rule of law in theory, not practice

From Asia Times Online:

“The rule of the constitution” is one of the political ideals that reform-leaning Chinese President Hu Jintao has been chanting vigorously ever since he acceded to the throne in early 2003. Pursuant to Clause 37 of the country’s amended constitution, “A citizen of the People’s Republic of China is entitled to personal freedom which is protected against infringement.” However, Beijing seems only to be paying lip service to the constitution when it comes to the all too typical case of , a democratic leader who had been held under 15 years’ house arrest without trial before he died of respiratory and cardiovascular disease on Monday.

Political analysts predict that Zhao’s demise will not mean political turbulence because the political and social environment has changed considerably since the Tiananmen Square killings of June 1989. The ruling class in Zhongnanhai, which still have a bitter taste to the June 4 incident in their mouths, can breathe a sigh of relief.

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