Sun, Apr 22, 2012 - Page 8 News List

KMT ignores rights, just like CCP

By Chiu Hei-yuan 瞿海源

As the Bo Xilai (薄熙來) case continues to unravel, a professor at the Beijing Institute of Economics and Management, Wang Zheng (王錚), has demanded that she be permitted to meet with Bo as allowed by Chinese law.

She has done this because Bo’s case is not being handled by the country’s judiciary, but by the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) disciplinary committee, which has also detained Bo. Wang has stressed that the Chinese constitution does not give the CCP any special rights to deprive individuals of their freedom.

She has twice submitted an open letter to National People’s Congress Chairman Wu Bangguo (吳邦國) demanding that the country be ruled in accordance with the law. The CCP continues its one-party rule of China and it is astonishing to see a simple professor daring to criticize a party that rules the country like a criminal gang or an evil cult. Maybe less astonishing is that after national security “invited” her for tea, Wang has not been seen or heard from again.

The CCP continues its suppression of intellectuals who voice dissenting opinions. This is not a big surprise. However, when taking a closer look at the CCP’s totalitarian rule, lack of understanding of concepts such as human rights and rule of law, and its constant, forceful rejection of domestic and international calls for it to respect these values, a comparison with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government can be made, as they behave in similar ways.

The difference is that the KMT no longer directly leads the government or sets government policies. However, it does forcefully reject or ignore calls for the protection of human rights.

After the government signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) two years ago, many domestic laws should have been revised to guarantee the rights enshrined in the two covenants. However, because it still has not completed this process, the government to this day continues to deprive the public of their rights — in violation of the two conventions.

Regarding capital punishment, a serious human rights violation, the ICCPR provides anyone who has been given the death penalty with the right to ask for a pardon. Still, the government has not written an amnesty law that accords with the covenant and continues to carry out executions in violation of it.

As for the revision of other laws not in violation of such major rights as the right to life, the government still procrastinates, postpones and generally seems unable to amend them to comply with the two covenants.

For example, the Civil Associations Act (人民團體法) violates both covenants, but the Ministry of the Interior says only that the law and its sub-laws are being revised, and that it will “eliminate negative perceptions from the martial law and authoritarian era and highlight the spirit in which the government is implementing the ICCPR and the ICESCR, as well as constitutional guarantees for the freedom of association.”

In the end, all it means is that the act and its sub-laws have not been revised, and the government continues to deprive the public of their freedom of association by enforcing old laws.

Is there really any substantive difference between this neglect to revise the law to guarantee civil rights and the CCP’s insistence on one-party rule and ignoring the rule of law and human rights?

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