Of Kings and Bandits – Bao Tong

From RFA Unplugged blog:

This essay is the second part of ’s commentary on the passing of the of the People’s Republic of China. It was broadcast on RFA’s Mandarin service Friday March 30, 2007. You can read the original essay in Chinese here:

The recognition of private property rights lies at the core of Roman civil law. Liu Bang, in the second century of the Qin dynasty, issued a decree specifying the three main crimes: theft, murder and causing injury. This decree explicitly forbade these three crimes, and also recognised the private rights of individual citizens. In 1946, Clause 8 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China guaranteed the property rights of the people. But Mao Zedong wasn’t haven’t any of it. In January 1949, riding high on the back of his victory in the civil war, he sounded the death knell for this provision, with campaigns entitled “Abolish the Bogus Constitution” and “Abolish the Fake Rule of Law”. But in spite of this, Clause 3 of the “collective guiding principle”, passed by the Central Committee of the Communist Party after extensive political consultation in September the same year, still guaranteed the existence of “the right to private property of the workers, peasants, petty bourgeoisie and ethnic minorities”, extending a promise of “protection”. [Full Text]

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