Thu, Sep 05, 2013 - Page 8 News List

Bo trial is not the end of Bo case

By Ruan Ming 阮銘

Some people have said that given the position and power of Bo and his family, it would be easy for them to make a few hundred million dollars, and that there was no reason to get involved in corruption.

They use this as proof that Bo is a clean official.

Last year, during the National People’s Congress, Bo also argued with conviction that he and his wife did not own any private property and that their son Bo Guagua’s (薄瓜瓜) overseas studies were funded by “full scholarships.”

Now that all Bo’s secrets are out, all he can do is deny knowledge of everything and blame his wife.

This is what is so terrifying about “clean” officials and the way they conduct their corruption.

Fourth, one of the criticisms of the Bo trial is that it focused on less important issues, while ignoring important ones.

Bo has been charged with corruption, bribery and abuse of power, but that only reflects what he has been charged with.

He has done much worse things: for example, the “Sing Red, Attack Black” crackdown on organized crime that he launched during his time as head of Chongqing, which had striking similarities to the Cultural Revolution.

However, because the Bo trial was a legal trial, it had to be separated from politics and ideology. Bo’s “Sing Red, Attack Black” campaign was part of a much bigger political system. The campaign should therefore be reviewed by the CCP National Congress and the National People’s Congress and be solved by political, constitutional amendment and legislative means.

Fifth, the Bo trial represented an attempt at judicial reform. It has been said that both constitutionalists and those in favor of a dictatorship felt disappointed at the end of the trial.

It is not strange that those in favor of dictatorship and opposed to constitutionalism, the rule of law and an independent judiciary would be disappointed.

However, the constitutionalists should welcome trials that are carried out in line with procedural justice and encourage the application of its principles to all court cases, large and small, throughout China.

This is an important step in constitutional reform and a significant political aspect of this trial.

The Bo trial does not mark the end of the Bo case.

In a judicial sense, it is merely the beginning of the process.

Furthermore, the struggles going on between different political lines that exist outside the procedure are issues of constitutional reform.

This is where the Bo case differs from the situations involving former Beijing party secretary Chen Xitong (陳希同) and former Shanghai party secretary Chen Liangyu (陳良宇): It is not a simple criminal case or a power struggle.

The Bo trial marked an important starting point, and the people of China will hope that, from now on, Beijing will handle similar issues in accordance with the law.

Ruan Ming is a former speechwriter for former Chinese Communist Party general secretary Hu Yaobang.

Translated by Drew Cameron

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