China Media Project translates an article by Fellow Yu Jianrong, originally published in January in Xinhua’s International Herald Leader. Yu argues that the government’s obsession with stability above all else is misguided:
I have long advocated that the ruling party reflect on the concept of “stability suppresses all else” (稳定压倒一切) [or “stability is the overriding priority”]. This concept was raised by Deng Xiaoping at a very particular moment for our country. At the same time, Deng Xiaoping also said that, “Reform is the overriding priority,” and that, “Development is the overriding priority.” But now we have overlooked every other problem because “stability is the overriding priority.” For the sake of stability, we sacrifice the livelihood of the people; for the sake of stability, some local areas even pull the Cultural Revolution-style method of parading offenders through the streets out [of an earlier chapter in our history]; for the sake of stability, we do not shrink from the abuse of police powers.
So what has “stability suppresses all else” actually suppressed in this time of ours? It has suppressed the livelihood of the people, suppressed human rights, suppressed rule of law, suppressed reform. But stability preservation has not suppressed corruption, nor has it suppressed mining tragedies, nor has it suppressed illegal property demolitions and seizures.
See also ‘The Machinery of Stability Preservation‘, ‘Saving Face in Beijing: Regional Policemen Sent to Intercept Petitioners‘ and ‘For Light, For Time: Visiting Chen Guangcheng‘, via CDT.