Editorial: “Constitutionalism” Is a Roundabout Denial of China’s Development Path

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Global Times, 22 May 2013

This concept “constitutionalism” has been used frequently by a number of people over the past two years, and has become a hot topic in a number of circles. This word also appears at a certain frequency, and there are quite a few people parroting each other’s words.

The “constitution” part of constitutionalism refers to the Constitution, but even so, as everyone knows, the Constitution is the basic law of China, there is no real dispute as to its position. The Constitution has laid down China’s basic national system and political system, as well as people’s fundamental rights, in general terms, its text marched at the forefront of China’s reality in those years. China’s development both holds fast to the Constitution, and is a complete implementation of the Constitution. The new generation of Chinese leaders have collectively studied the Constitution, and the loyalty of rulers towards the Constitution is extremely clear.

The concept of “constitutionalism” has suddenly entered the public opinion sphere, and is a branch outside of China’s mainstream political development. From the start, it wasn’t a theoretical issue but a political standpoint. It originated from Western discourse systems, and was forcibly linked up with some vocabulary of Chinese political theory, to reach a conclusion that denies China’s current political system. In fact, “constitutionalism” is taking a detour and using new wording to put forward the old demand that China accepts the Western political system.

Having a theoretical debate around “constitutionalism” has no real significance, because its objective has already been made very clear, which is that it aims to change China’s development path, this is something that is absolutely unacceptable for this country. China’s theoretical debates should be conducted within the scope of the large political plan for the country, and should not be draped in theoretical clothes that are opposed to the country’s domestic politics.

Furthermore, people who are familiar with the “constitutionalism” debate are all very clear about the fact that in the end, it aims to weaken and deny China’s fixed development path, at least, this is the real ideological direction of this context. And anyone knows that China’s current Constitution and their appeals are diametrically opposite, the standpoints of “constitutionalism” are profoundly opposed to China’s current Constitution.

The “constitutionalism” theory has misled a number of intellectuals, and has lured in a number of followers on the Internet, but it has no real basis at all, and is increasingly reduced to an empty political slogan. In reality, it has become a lark by opportunists to create individual influence for themselves, or a pretext for some people to vent their dissatisfaction about society. Its real influence on Chinese society is not large.

China firmly marches towards ruling the country according to the law, the Constitution is naturally included first within this “law”. China’s democracy is also progressing with the times, democracy and the rule of law are inseparable, this is currently becoming a broad consensus within China. China must be able to conform to and satisfy the institutional arrangements of the practical demands of this country’s politics and society, this process itself is practical in nature, and it must be responsible to the interests of the Chinese people, not to some concept.

The breadth of the politics that China developed is quite large, China’s economic and social construction is vigorous and dynamic, as well as coordinated with its political development. The reason why “constitutionalism”, this concept imported from the West, is isolated, is because it refuses to coordinate and interact with China’s reality, it aims to interrupt China’s progress and revers China’s political orientation. In the final analysis, it is a sort of illusion, let us not go and “make such radical mental changes”.

People in China who are fascinated about politics must be clear about one thing: China’s national path has been determined, China has passed the crossroads long ago, and has entered the path of “Socialism with Chinese characteristics”. This is a choice that the Chinese people made after a very difficult history, and in a certain sense, China’s constitution defends this national path. Those wanting to bring China onto a different path, would not have enough strength even if they brought in the entire Western world, and it will be even less possible with a small amount of people with different opinions domestically.

To attract eyeballs, upholding and refining China’s development path is inferior to acrimoniously denying it, but it is exactly in this matter that China’s path to rejuvenation requires strength and perseverance. This concept of “constitutionalism” is lightweight in comparison with the reality of China’s reform and opening up, and exactly because of this, it will not find a place to land in China, and certainly not a place to take root.

社评:“宪政”是兜圈子否定中国发展之路

“宪政”这个概念这两年被部分人频繁使用,在一些圈子里成为热词。在互联网上,这个词也有一定的出现率,人云亦云者不少。

宪政的“宪”字指的是宪法,然而众所周知的是,宪法作为中国的根本大法,它的地位并不存在实际争议。宪法规定了中国的基本国体、政治制度以及人的基本权利,它们当年的成文总体上走在了中国现实的前面。中国的发展既是对宪法的坚守,也是对宪法的全面落实。新一代中国领导人集体学习宪法,执政者对宪法的忠诚非常明确。

“宪政”概念突然走进舆论场,是中国主流政治发展之外的一个枝杈。它从一开始就不是理论问题,而是个政治主张。它从西方的话语体系出发,与中国政治理论的一些词汇强行对接,得出否定中国现行政治制度的结论。“宪政”实际上是绕了个弯,用新说法提出中国接受西方政治制度的老要求。
围绕“宪政”做理论论辩没有实际意义,因为它的目标设定已很清楚,就是要改变中国的发展道路,这是这个国家断不可接受的。中国的理论争论应当在国家大的政治规划范围内进行,而不应是为推动国家内部的政治对立披上理论的外衣。

其实,熟悉“宪政”争论的人都清楚,它最终是要削弱、否定中国既定的发展道路,至少这个概念的实际思想引导就是这样。而谁都知道,中国现行的宪法和他们的诉求南辕北辙,“宪政”主张在深层上是与中国现行宪法对立的。

“宪政”说误导了部分知识分子,在互联网上也引来一些追随者,但它毫无实践基础,越来越沦为空洞的政治口号。在现实中,它还成为少数投机者制造个人影响力的噱头,或者成为有些人发泄对社会不满的说辞。它对中国社会的真实影响不大。

中国在坚定地走向依法治国,这个“法”里面,当然首先是宪法。中国的民主也在与时俱进,民主与法治密不可分,这在中国正成为广泛的共识。中国需要能够符合并满足这个国家政治及社会实践需要的制度安排,这个过程本身就是实践性的,它必须对中国人民的利益、而不是对某个概念负责。

中国发展的政治宽度相当大,中国的经济和社会建设轰轰烈烈,与政治发展相协调。“宪政”这种从西方传入的词汇之所以孤独,就是因为它拒绝同中国现实协调互动,而是要打断中国的进程,扭转国家的政治方向。说到底这是一种幻想,还是不要做这样的“脑筋急转弯”吧。

在中国热衷政治的人一定要清楚一个事实:中国的国家道路已经选定,中国早已迈过十字路口,行走在“有中国特色社会主义”的路上。这是中国人民历经苦难好不容易选出来的,中国宪法从一定意义上说是对这条国家道路的保卫。想引中国走另一条路,整个西方世界加起来也没有这个力量,国内少数有不同意见的人更不行。

维护、细化中国的发展道路不如尖刻否定它吸引眼球,但这恰是中国复兴路上最需要的坚定与执着。“宪政”这个概念同中国改革开放的现实相比轻飘飘的,正因如此,它在中国落不了地,更生不了根。

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