The fourth plenary session of the 18th CPC Central Committee — slated for Oct. 20-23 — is billed as a milestone in China’s political reforms and progress, as it will be devoted to the central theme of “rule of law” for the first time in the Party’s history.
The meeting will deliberate on a draft decision of the CPC Central Committee on “major issues concerning comprehensively advancing rule of law,” sources close to the meeting said.
The decision is widely expected to set the tone for the CPC to promote rule of law in China in an all-rounded manner under new circumstances.
Seldom has any other political concept been assigned the same gravity. Rule of law is, as many analysts have noted, the cornerstone of the modernization of China’s state governance and national rejuvenation.
But the phrase is not new in the CPC’s official discourse, rather one that has been championed for decades.
China wrote rule of law into its Constitution in the 1990s. The 15th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 1997 decided to make “the rule of law” a basic strategy and “building a socialist country under the rule of law” an important goal for socialist modernization.
There may be some efforts at the four-day plenum to discourage rampant corruption in low-level courts, they say, but the key goal will be to build a legal system that protects and strengthens the party’s political dominance.
The central theme of the meeting will be rule of law. As CCTV’s Hou Na reports, it marks a milestone in the country’s push toward a complete legal system.
'Rule of law' is the theme for the CPC's plenary sessionThe central theme of the meeting will be rule of law. As CCTV’s Hou Na reports, it marks a milestone in the country’s push toward a complete legal system.
As usual, this year’s plenary session will be held in a conclave in Beijing, and its decisions, expected to be announced after the conclusion, set the broad policy framework for the upcoming year.
The Constitution of the Communist Party of China
The constitution itself was revised and adopted at the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China on November 14, 2012:
“The Communist Party of China is the vanguard both of the Chinese working class and of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation. It is the core of leadership for the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics and represents the development trend of China’s advanced productive forces, the orientation of China’s advanced culture and the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the Chinese people. The realization of communism is the highest ideal and ultimate goal of the Party.’
‘The Communist Party of China takes Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the important thought of Three Represents and the Scientific Outlook on Development as its guide to action.”
– General Program of the CPC Constitution
Backgrounder: what is the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee and its plenum?
What is the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee and its plenum?What is the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee and its plenum?
Participants: 205 full (voting) members of the CPC Central Committee and 171 alternate (non-voting) members of the CPC Central Committee
Non-voting attendees: standing committee members of CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, leading officials from relevant departments, grassroots-level delegates to the 18th CPC National Congress, and experts and scholars
Due to anti-corruption campaign, two full members of the CPCCC and three alternate members of CPCCC who have been expelled from the CPC after investigations will not be able to attend the fourth plenary session this year.
CCTV current affairs commentator Victor Gao said the current Chinese government has done a lot to curb corruption, with a number of high-ranking officials being investigated.
Victor Gao: China strengthens fight against corruption over past yearsCCTV’s current affairs commentator, Victor Gao, shared his perception of China’s corruption situation. He said the current Chinese government has done a lot to curb corruption with a number of high-ranking officials being investigated, and added that this crackdown will be the key to realizing the CPC’s goal to promote modernization of China’s governing system and capabilities
Rule of Law: For the first time, “rule of law” will be the central theme of a Party session, showing that CPC is striving to build a complete legal system.
Anti-corruption: Since President Xi Jinping assumed office in late 2012, he has regarded anti-corruption as an issue that affects the Party’s and country’s survival. Now after more than 22 months since late 2012, China’s anti-corruption campaign is still going strong and likely to continue. Tens of “tigers” above the ministerial level have fallen, including a former member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.
Household registration reform: in July 2014, the State Council, China’s cabinet, announced that better services will be provided to migrant workers in cities to help them become urbanites as it plans to help about 100 million migrant rural people settle in towns and cities by 2020.
‘Mass line’ campaign: this October is the end of CPC’s “mass line” campaign. It refers to a guideline under which CPC officials and members are required to prioritize the interests of the people and exercise power on their behalf. Based on arrangements made at the 18th National Congress of the CPC in November 2012, the Party has tried to clean up undesirable work styles such as formalism, bureaucracy, hedonism and extravagance, promoting closer ties between Party members and the people.
Wang Xixin, Peking University Law School’s Deputy Dean, joined CCTV explaining how rule of law in China will help regulate foreign investors.
Wang Xixing:how rule of law in China will help regulate foreign investorsWang Xixin, Peking University Law School’s Deputy Dean, joined CCTV explaining how rule of law in China will help regulate foreign investors.
A key goal of the plenary meeting of the CPC’s Central Committee is the setting up of a well-grounded system to prevent corruption in governance.
Since China renewed its all-out effort to fight graft, hundreds of corrupt officials, from village heads all the way up to a former state leader, have been sacked and placed on trial. CCTV’s Ai Yang reports.
China's anti-corruption drive to continueSince China renewed its all-out effort to fight graft, hundreds of corrupt officials, from village heads all the way up to a former state leader, have been sacked and placed on trial. CCTV’s Ai Yang reports.
Report compiled with information from Xinhua, China.org and The Associated Press.