• By The Financial District


Veteran South China Morning Post (SCMP) columnist Wang Xiangwei has warned that President Xi Jinping’s five-year ambition to establish a law-based bureaucracy has been dashed to smithereens by extralegal detentions.

Wang, a former SCMP editor, wrote that the pledge, made in 2015, was anchored on “scientifically-conceived functions, legally defined authority and responsibility, strict application of law, fairness and transparency, honesty and high efficiency, adhering to the law and strong credibility.”

Blatant attempts to stifle dissent from outspoken activists, lawyers, and academics show just how far China still has to go, Wang noted, stressing that the National Security Law imposed in Hong Kong by Beijing does not help any in guaranteeing that law and justice would reign supreme in the territory until 2047.

“Now that the year 2020 is coming to an end, the goal has apparently been pushed back to 2035 when ‘the goal of building a country, government, and society based upon the rule of law shall be basically achieved.’ according to a landmark document released by the Chinese leadership after a key meeting in late October,” Wang argued. “This shows China has a long way to go before Chinese-style rule of law is firmly established, because of deep-rooted structural issues, weak lawmaking and a weak judicial system as well as blatant use of extralegal means to stifle dissent,” he concluded.