Tracking People’s Daily — Dec. 8, 2020

  • The key characteristic of socialist rule of law entails adherence to the construction of a country ruled by law, a government ruled by law, and a society ruled by law; cultivate and practice core socialist values, promote the spirit of the socialist rule of law, build a socialist rule of law culture, and enhance the enthusiasm and initiative of the whole society to enforce the rule of law.
  • There are two overall goals. The first is for 2025 and the final goal is for 2035.
  • The document calls for maintaining the “authority of the Constitution.” It then calls for “in-depth study and publicity of Xi Jinping’s thought on the rule of law, in-depth publicity of the socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics with the Constitution as the core, and extensive publicity of laws and regulations closely related to economic and social development and the interests of the people, so that the people consciously respect, believe in, and abide by the law.”
  • One section sheds light on the legislative agenda for the leadership. Along with improving legislation in areas like “education, labor and employment, income distribution, social security, medical and health, food and medicine, safe production, road transportation, poverty alleviation, charity, social assistance…” the Party also wants to “improve the legal policy system that promotes the core values ​​of socialism, and strengthen legislation in such areas as acting bravely, respecting heroes and martyrs, volunteering, filial piety and loving relatives.”
  • There’s a chunk in there on social credit. It says: “Improve the law-abiding credit records of citizens and organizations, and establish a unified social credit code system based on citizen ID numbers and organization codes. Improve the long-term mechanism of integrity building, complete the credit investigation system covering the whole society, and establish and improve the punishment system for untrustworthiness. Establish a credit restoration mechanism and an objection system based on the actual situation, encourage and guide untrustworthy entities to actively correct illegal and untrustworthy behaviors.”
  • There’s a lot written about rights and protecting rights of citizens and social entities. But this phrasing is worth noting: “Adhering to the unity of rights and obligations, social entities must perform legal obligations and assume social responsibilities.”
  • On use of technology: “Promote the deep integration of scientific and technological innovations such as big data and artificial intelligence with judicial work, improve the Internet + litigation model.
  • On human rights: It’s interesting that the paragraph doesn’t talk about specific rights. It talks about people’s livelihood and legitimate rights and interests of the people. It talks about consumer rights protection, access to lawyers, prevention of illegal evidence collection, and essentially improving efficiency of the judicial system. “By 2022, a modern public legal service system covering urban and rural areas, convenient, efficient, and equal and inclusive will be basically formed to ensure that the people receive timely and effective legal assistance.”
  • The next section talks about improving social governance. This essentially focuses on lower levels of government, where tasks for local authorities have been outlined. The objective is to nip what could be stability challenges at the local levels. So for instance, it calls for “uphold(ing) the party’s leadership over social organizations, strengthen(ing) the party building of social organizations, and ensur(ing) the correct political direction for the development of social organizations.” Another example is this bit: “Effectively resolve social conflicts and disputes in accordance with the law. Adhere to and develop the “Maple Bridge Experience” in the new era.”
  • “Formulate an “Internet + Public Security” action plan before the end of 2020. Promote normalization of the eradication of gangsters, severely crack down and punish illegal and criminal activities such as violent harm to medical staff, destruction of wildlife resources, violent terror, pornography, gambling, illegal abduction, high-tech crimes, cyber crimes, etc., to deter and prevent serious crimes occur. Strengthen the construction of an emergency response system to improve the ability of epidemic prevention and control, disaster prevention, reduction and disaster relief.”
  • On Cyberspace: Some useful bits: 1. “Adhere to the combination of the rule of law and the morality of the Internet, and promote the main theme of the times and the positive energy of society.” 2. “Resolutely crack down on the spread of rumors, obscenity, violence, superstition, cults and other harmful information in cyberspace in accordance with the law, and establish and improve an integrated acceptance and disposal system for Internet illegal and harmful information reports.” 3. “Strengthen the protection of the legal rights and interests of cyberspace communication secrets, business secrets, personal privacy, reputation and property rights. Strictly regulate the collection and use of personal information such as user identity and communication content, and increase the punishment for illegal and criminal acts of illegally obtaining, leaking, selling, and providing citizens’ personal information.”

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