Editor’s note: China has clearly demonstrated its development blueprint for the next five years with the successful opening of the 20th National Congress of Communist Party of China. To further elucidate the plan to the world, CGTN has created the “China Blueprint: Opportunities for the World” series. This is the second piece focusing on China’s law-based governance.
In his report to the 20th Communist Party of China (CPC) National Congress, Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, offered an insightful summary of the historic achievements of CPC and the country in the new era over the past decade, and clearly pointed out that a comprehensive framework for law-based governance has taken shape.
From the report delivered at the 15th CPC National Congress in 1997, which first proposed that law-based governance is the basic way for the Party to lead the people in governing the country, to the report delivered at the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, which underscored the important concept of “advancing law-based governance in all fields” and clarified that “law-based governance is the basic way to govern the country”, law-based governance has gradually become a major policy of the Party and the state in pursuing its mission. Driven by the ideology long upheld by the Party, efforts have been made in strategic planning, institution building and practical exploration. As a result, a comprehensive framework for law-based governance has taken shape.
Since the 18th CPC National Congress, the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has taken the rule of law as the basic way of governing the country and, in the course of promoting the healthy development of undertakings on all fronts in accordance with the rule of law, has continuously improved the theory of socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics, providing clear theoretical guidance for developing the system of socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics in the new era.
The “one plan and two outlines” can advance law-based governance on all fronts
Under the correct guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on the Rule of Law, and in order to set the stage for comprehensive law-based governance and provide a clear action plan for all the work involved in promoting the rule of law, the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has taken a long view by designing the overall blueprint and establishing the framework for all the work involved in promoting law-based governance on all fronts of the rule of law, with the formulation and issuance of three key documents, namely the plan on building the rule of law in China, the outline on promoting the building of a rule of law government, and the outline on promoting the building of a law-based market supervision.
In the system of building China under the rule of law, the three components – a nation ruled by law, government ruled by law, and a society ruled by law – complement each other, with a nation ruled by law being the ultimate goal of law-based governance, government ruled by law being the focus of building a rule-of-law nation, and a society ruled by law being the foundation for building a rule-of-law nation. The “one plan and two outlines” cover all areas, processes and aspects of the comprehensive law-based governance, therefore constituting a development strategy for delivering the three essential components in law-based governance and setting out a comprehensive framework for law-based governance.
Building a socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics supports law-based governance
“Building a system of socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics and building a socialist country under the rule of law” are the overarching goals of comprehensively advancing law-based governance, as first proposed at the Fourth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee and further confirmed in Xi Jinping’s report at the 19th CPC National Congress. To build such a system, the main tasks include establishing a comprehensive system of laws and regulations, an efficient law enforcement system, a stringent system for supervising the rule of law, and a powerful system of guarantees under the rule of law and a comprehensive legal system within the Party.
A decision of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on some major issues concerning how to uphold and improve the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics and advance the modernization of China’s system and capacity for governance, which was deliberated and passed by the Fourth Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee, clearly stipulates that building a system of socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics and building a socialist country under the rule of law are inherent requirements for upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics. In his statement on the decision of the Fourth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, Xi Jinping regarded “building a system of socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics” as the means to the end of comprehensively advancing the work of law-based governance.
“Science-based legislation, strict law enforcement, impartial justice and universal compliance with the law” support comprehensive law-based governance
“Science-based legislation, strict law enforcement, impartial justice and universal compliance with the law” are the guidelines for building a system of socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics in the new era, which was clearly put forward in the report of the 18th CPC National Congress. This policy reflects the inherent rules of the practice of socialism with Chinese characteristics in a more comprehensive, scientific and effective manner, lays down solid foundation for comprehensive law-based governance, and plays a fundamental role in the formation of the comprehensive framework for law-based governance, therefore becoming one of the core tenets of Xi Jinping Thought on the Rule of Law.
The 18th CPC National Congress has made a strategic plan to comprehensively promote the rule of law. As the focus is put on “comprehensively promoting” the rule of law, the building of law-based governance has become more all-round and all-encompassing, with unlimited potential and new dynamics. After long-term efforts, the comprehensive framework for law-based governance now covers the work arrangement in the four aspects of legislation, law enforcement, judiciary and legal compliance by the public. It highlights that ruling the country in accordance with the Constitution is the core; science-based legislation is the premise; strict law enforcement is the key; impartial justice constitutes the line of defense; law-abiding by all people is the foundation; law-based governance offers guarantee of protection; and the spirit and culture of rule of law is the soul. All of these provide a solid and practical basis for reaching the conclusion on the historic achievements of building the rule of law in China in the new era and for putting forward the major theoretical proposition that “a comprehensive framework for law-based governance has taken shape.”
(Contributed by Mo Jihong, director and researcher of Institute of Law at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.)
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