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.