“Scholar Warns Against Expanded State Power”

Caixin has a report about some lawyers who sound like they’re asking for an all-expenses paid trip to a black prison soon:

Speaking at a ceremony November 20 commemorating the life of legal scholar Cai Dingjian, China University of Political Science and Law Professor Jiang Ping said the expansion of both government and Communist Party authority is a dangerous sign of an inflexible, oppressive society.

Though Jiang did not clarify which developments pointed to expanded state power, he said Taiwan’s major political reforms in 1986 are a noteworthy example for how China should carry out reforms, while creating checks on the government. That year, Taiwan shifted its single-party system to a multi-party democracy, while also removing state controls over the press.

He also viewed the prioritization of “Stability Overrides Everything Else”—a Deng Xiaoping quote oft-repeated by officials in recent years to describe China’s economic and political direction—as going hand-in-hand with expanded state power. As long as political power is of the utmost importance to the Communist Party, he said, it will never implement real reform.

Another sociologist at the gathering, Tsinghua University Professor Li Dun, said reform in China has reached a standstill. It is a sign that the central government has too much power, he said, when there are all sorts of people who want to revert back to socialism, or to the Cultural Revolution times, and or who advocate militarism for the sake of unification.

“Today’s serious imbalance in power has resulted in a lack of common understanding between different parts of Chinese society,” the scholar said. “This is intertwined with the party’s control. China must establish a societal system based on human rights, democracy and equality.”

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Filed under activism, civil society, Communist Party, political reform

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