There have been constant discussions on the relationship between the party and the law and which one is more powerful. In a list of internal speeches that Xi Jinping made, Xi has repeatedly stated that China will not follow the path of Western Constitutionalism. The Central News Agency published an article which contains those speeches. Below is the summary of Xi’s statements:
1. In August 2018, during the first meeting of party’s Central Committee, Xi said that the party’s policy is the forerunner and guide on national law. (China) will never take the Western constitutional path. To promote the rule of law comprehensively, China must take the right path. It must proceed from China’s national conditions and actual conditions and follow the path of the rule of law that suits us; it will not copy the models and practices of other countries. It will not follow the Western “constitutionalism,” “separation of powers,” and “judicial independence.”
2. In January 2014 during the Political Work Conference of the Central Committee, Xi said that, “The relationship between the party’s policies and national laws should be handled correctly.” The party’s policies and the national laws are “essentially consistent” and are the reflection of the fundamental will of the people. However, “the party’s policy is the guide concerning national law; it is the basis of legislation and an important guide for law enforcement and justice.” Xi also said that “it is necessary to be capable of seeing that the party’s will shall also be the will of the state; it will form the law through legal procedures,” it will ensure the effective implementation of party policies through the law,” and will ensure that the party plays the overall role of the overall leadership and the parties to the agreement.”
3. In February 2014, Xi told a group of provincial level officials that the “Chinese people’s democracy” is essentially different from Western constitutionalism. “The leadership of the party is the most essential feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics.” Xi stressed that, “We say that governing the country according to law means that, under the leadership of the party, the general public manages state affairs through various channels and forms in accordance with the constitution and the laws.” As for “ruling the country according to the constitution and governing according to the constitution, it is not to negate and abandon the party’s leadership, but to emphasize that the party leads the people to formulate the Constitution and the laws, and the party leads the people to implement the Constitution and the laws.”
4. In February 2015, Xi told another group of provincial level officials that the relationship between the party and the law is a political trap, a false proposition. To the party and the government organizations and leading cadres at all levels, which side has the power is the true issue.
Source: Central News Agency, February 16, 2019