> There are no clear laws, only interpretations of the law based on the Party’s interests. China is not a nation under the rule of law. China is a nation under the rule of the Party.
Chinese government has
- placed 1M muslims into internment camp
- forced muslims to eat pork and drink alcohol
- arrested muslims observing Ramedan
- placed muslims in "re-education centers" to forcefully convert them.
I don't trust anything this evil government says.
"The state protects normal religious activities. No one may make use of religion to engage in activities that disrupt public order, impair the health of citizens or interfere with the educational system of the state.
Religious bodies and religious affairs are not subject to any foreign domination."
The Chinese government justifies their actions in Xinjiang as an attempt to prevent extremism (terrorists disrupting public order) and prevent foreign extremist influence, so technically the government could claim its actions in Xinjiang are "protecting normal religious activities". The statement that "religious affairs are not subject to any foreign domination" could allow it to argue that it's free to define Islam however it sees fit, such that it could claim things like Ramedan are artifacts of foreign domination.
Note that the government is not arbitrarily oppressing muslims; the muslim Hui minority are not being locked up, as they haven't been pressing for independence. The Chinese government doesn't care about religion, what it cares about is stopping anyone who tries to resist it, such as separatists, and the separatists in Xinjiang just happen to be muslims, and the government sees their religion as a motivating factor behind their separatism.
Of course, this doesn't make it any more acceptable, I'm just pointing out that the Constitution as written gives the government a lot of leeway to do such things without technically breaching it.
"Article 51. Non-infringement of rights
Citizens of the People's Republic of China, in exercising their freedoms and rights, may not infringe upon the interests of the state, of society or of the collective, or upon the lawful freedoms and rights of other citizens."
So the government could justify pretty much anything in the name of not allowing people to "infringe upon the interests of the state".
NYTimes: "China Is Detaining Muslims in Vast Numbers. The Goal: ‘Transformation.’"
"China’s Detention Camps for Muslims Turn to Forced Labor" https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/16/world/asia/xinjiang-china...
The parent comment calls this evil. Whole-scale internment of an entire population without any legal due process; resulting in deaths of those who resist; does fit the bill.
Radio Yerevan was asked: "Is it true that there is freedom of speech in the Soviet Union the same as there is the USA?"
Radio Yerevan answered: "In principle, yes. In the USA, you can stand in front of the Washington Monument in Washington, DC, and yell, ´Down with Reagan!´, and you will not be punished. In the Soviet Union, you can stand in the Red Square in Moscow and yell, ´Down with Reagan!´, and you will not be punished.
Q: What is the difference between the Constitutions of the USA and USSR? Both guarantee freedom of speech.
A: Yes, and the US Constitution also guarantees freedom after speech.
It clearly doesn't matter what is written down. To go back to the original quote:
While I'm sure they don't have any intention of making the judiciary independent, there were signs that even party members were a bit dismayed by some of the decisions if only because they were worried about public perception. I belive they talked about launching some educational efforts.
The result is a bit predictable.
Or does Mr. Weiwei expect the Chinese Communist Party to willfully give up power in order to put itself under a legal regime?
Even Europe has moving slowly away from rule of law towards rule by international technocratic bureaucracy, borne out of the need to make a historically extremely heterogenous landmass peaceful. The UK was never going to be part of that tribe, it's fine with its rule of law.
And Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, German (speaking), Finnish, Latvian, Estonian at a minimum. The rule of law is very much not an Anglo thing. Outside North(Western) Europe where the rule of law absolutely was a thing you’d be pretty hard pressed to deny that it was never present in Iberia, particularly Aragon, Italy or the entirety of both Latin and Orthodox Christendom. Hell, the Ottoman Empire’s kanun law was based on... canon law.
A government of laws, not men was an ideal dating back to Rome and indeed much earlier. But Christianity preserved Roman law. There were clearly areas that approached rule of law more and less closely but the idea that it’s an Anglo thing is historically ignorant to a ridiculous degree. How closely any particular state approached it varied a great deal, France and Hungary weren’t Prussia or Russia but they certainly weren’t England or Holland either.
If you want to learn more about the various ways premodern societies ordered themselves Francis Fukuyama, Origins of Political Order, is a great place to start.
Rule of law refers to something quite specific. That at the very precipice of organizing principles of society, the people at that precipice, are themselves governed by law.
Rule of law means we don't have to worry about Trump turning America into a dictatorship. If you have to worry about your leaders running away with power, then you don't have rule of law.
The idea that Germany, of all countries, has the rule of law is absolutely laughable. This is the country that started WW2 for lebensraum. Everything Hitler did was totally legal. But he still was an autocrat. This is because Germany did not have the rule of law.
Maybe after WW2 Germany figured out how to make sure their leaders can't seize total political control. I'd have to go look. But there's no way under the sun they had it before.
I suggest you read more history and novels originally written in German from before the 1900s. The fact that Germany became a dictatorship is hardly dispositive of having the rule of law historically and generally. Germany, more than any other part of Europe was full of lawyers, and the law mattered to a great extent historically. The Holy Roman Empire was full of independent cities, free cities that had charters and were well aware of their rights and defended them and burghers who were keenly aware of the distinction between them and peasants and who engaged in self-rule in the same way as the Dutch did. The fact that it was the militaristic Prussian who unified Germany is a contingent fact. Even Prussia was absolutely a state governed by the rule of law. The Nazis coming to power no more shows that Germany did not have the rule of law than Andrew Jackson defying the Supreme Court to send the Five Civilised Tribes on the Trail of Tears does, or Lincoln suspending habeas corpus, or Roosevelt completely upending the constitutional order and ruling for four terms does.
But at the most basic level, just read this and try and tell me with a straight face that the rule of law was not a German thing.
> Rechtsstaat is a doctrine in continental European legal thinking, originating in German jurisprudence. It can be translated into English as "rule of law", alternatively "legal state", "state of law", "state of justice", "state of rights", or "state based on justice and integrity".
> A Rechtsstaat is a "constitutional state" in which the exercise of governmental power is constrained by the law, and is often tied to the Anglo-American concept of the rule of law, but differs from it in that it also emphasizes what is just (i.e., a concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, or equity). Thus it is the opposite of Obrigkeitsstaat or Nichtrechtsstaat (a state based on the arbitrary use of power), and of Unrechtsstaat (a non-Rechtsstaat with the capacity to become one after a period of historical development).
> In a Rechtsstaat, the power of the state is limited in order to protect citizens from the arbitrary exercise of authority. The citizens share legally based civil liberties and can use the courts.
But it was all tossed out the window the second the Germans found it convenient to let a dictator whisper sweet nothings into their ear.
That's the difference. Not in the fictions the common folk tell themselves to help them feel better. But in what actually happens when some ambitious army officer or legislator or populist upstart decides to grab the brass ring. Is your society's legal systems and political customs and culture enough to render them impotent? No? Then you don't have rule of law. You have rule by whatever's got popular legitimacy at the time.
What keeps the Pentagon from surrounding Washington DC with troops and declaring a state of emergency and anointing a dictator? Why aren't Americans even remotely afraid of this possibility, even though military overthrow is something that happens all the time? Rule of law. Why do many Commonwealth countries still to this day accept Queen Elizabeth as their sovereign head of state, even though she has no power other than to make phone calls? Rule of law and respect for the history and events that got them there.
Rule of law means that a country's population, first and foremost, values political stability over all else. Not that you can just get some smart people to jot down a few lofty principles. Rechtsstaat? Should be in the dictionary under 'farce'. The Soviets used those same principles to railroad people in show trials. Kangaroo court.
This is not an abstract concept. Nations have their states coopted by their militaries and demogogues all the freaking time. Why doesn't it happen in Anglo countries, or if it does, is short-lived and useless? Rule of law. Once a society has it, they will defend it to the death. Americans weren't the most well-trained bunch in WW2, but we made up for it in sheer, murderous bravado.
Nations may have their states Cooper by militaries and demagogues all the time but no German speaking state was taken over by a junta and Germany was taken over by a demagogue because it was impossible to form a government without one. Hitler did not follow rule of law but neither that no more reflects on the fact that overwhelmingly all the German speaking lands have and did for the great mass of their history than Jackson, Lincoln or Roosevelt show that American rule of law is a farce.
We certainly have enough laws that everyone is a criminal and selective enforcement perverts the idea of justice.
Of course, I'm not saying things are equally as corrupt as they are in China, but we're definitely on the same spectrum. Maybe the difference is, in the USA, "The Party" includes both big business AND the government.
That is absolutely ridiculous.
USA has an independent judicial system, investigations of government behaviour via congressional committees, oversight over consumer impacts via Bureau of Consumer Protection, oversight over corporate governance via SEC. China has none of this.
I would also refer you to the Corruption Perceptions index:
USA has a score of 71/100 and for China it is 39/100.
Now how about the 55+ autonomous regions in the US where only the richest get to afford their rights all the way up to a Federal appeal's court.
There are user experience problems impacting a large swatch of the population. I would bet that you aren't exempt from them even if you don't experience it, I'd also bet that would also have a great experience in China and not experience their problems either.
What are you talking about???
Peter Thiel, verbatim: "If you're a single-digit millionaire like Hulk Hogan, you have no effective access to our legal system."
The luxury of the Federal umbrella isn't accessible to the vast majority of the population that becomes ensnared in the whims of any particular state.
So the constitution, even if followed perfectly, technically only guarantees such rights when they don't interfere with the interests of the state.
Which makes it meaningless in practice.
But realistically, the problem is that America has more laws than anyone can read and has also developed a secret legal apparatus so has case law on the books that essentially nobody is allowed to know about . Since an American can't possibly know what the law is, it seems like a stretch if they claim to be following it. Particularly if they do something off the beaten track like run a business, live overseas (byzantine tax system), talk to government officials (see above) or communicate with other people using the cell phones or internet (I think teen sexting laws in the US might be a federal crime, for example, which is sometimes a nasty shock to many minors).
Also note that for all this stuff the tests involve dangerous legal words like 'reasonable' and 'contemporary adult community standards', which we all think we know what we mean up until it turns out that they mean something slightly different to everyone and the lawyers have very different standards to on some topic. Everyone is unreasonable on something, hopefully there not on something there is a law about, eh?
You've missed the point. If someone puts a bear trap just outside my door it is easy to avoid - just hop over it. That doesn't change the fact that there is a bear trap outside my door. The whole point here is there are so many laws on the books that just talking to a federal agent is potentially incriminating, which is what is being part of what is being acknowledged by pleading the 5th immediately and getting a lawyer.
Also, if I don't know about the bear trap, there is a very high chance I will get caught in it even though it is easy to avoid.
Take the simple case of fighting a speeding ticket the cost of fighting it is so much above the cost of paying it that to most people there is not differnce to having a man in a suit say pay this or else without any evidence or compliance with a law in a dictatorship.
Parent law shake downs is another example of little difference between a patent shake down in a western country and an oligarch
Now obviously it isn’t doom and gloom and it’s all the same. But also for most people living in a democracy or a dictatorship there isn’t much impact to their lives
You say this like it's a good thing. The democrats are losing their minds because of all the judges being appointed by Trump. You still elect sheriffs and prosecutors like it's the wild west.
Instead of being beholden to nobody, the pillars of your justice system are held up by whichever lobby or wealthy individual wants to spend the most money on getting people elected.
This is a far cry from in the states, where while crony capitalism is an issue -- it isn't the actual law like in China when it comes to large firms and the amount of state intervention.
Ok maybe I’m in a mood ;)
>>>>> Would a corporation sink billions into there knowing full well they can come up with arbitrary laws to get their way?
>>>> Yes they already do that. Even Taiwanese companies like foxconn and HTC.
>>> The China of today seems less safe than the China of ten years ago though. Are foreign companies making big investments lately?
>> Yes, Apple had done as well as an investment into Didi. You'll notice a lot of western brands in China from Mars (M&M), Nestle, General Motors, etc.
> The Apple investment was almost three years ago, were the others more recent?
It will not end the prohibition on foreign ownership in restricted industries.
What it will do is that the state will not be allowed to say "you can't do that, but we will let you do it in a joint venture"
Now, the question in between doing a JV and setting up an own company is up to an applicant in every industry.
"Article 35 of the 1982 State Constitution proclaims that "citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession, and of demonstration.""
So technically those rights may only be exercised when they don't "infringe upon the interests of the state".
Let's assume the worst case scenario however, that there is an expectation and result of zero improvement. The goal would be to push supply chains out of China by increasing political concerns and costs. Business hates chaos and risk in the supply chain. Whether some of that shift ends up being back to North America and Europe, or all of it goes to other nations in Asia that will never be the potential threat that China is, it's all a net gain strategically for the US and Europe.
Indonesia + Vietnam + Bangladesh + Philippines = ~620 million people.
Brazil + Mexico have 340 million (larger than the US). India has 1.3 billion. Nigeria has 190 million people.
There are plenty of other places to consider when it comes to allocating investment for overseas manufacturing (depending on what you're making). It will take time and cost money to alter supply chains, however that is always an inevitability. Every few decades supply chains get remade due to cost changes, political issues, and so on.
Okay, can you list real, permanent, verifiable changes as a result of his "method" (whatever that is)?
Anyone can get empty promises, empty laws that have no teeth etc for PR purposes...