Is China a Republic? – Part 4/4

January 25, 2012

In China, the power of legislation is not held by a single power organ or one particular person.

China’s legislative power is carried out by two or more power organs, which means the country has multi-legislative powers, including at national level, that for administrative laws and local laws, each subject to different organ authority.

However, unlike the United States, the structure of China’s government is not one of checks and balances, where the legislation, administration and court stand independently to restrain one another, but more like the democratic parliamentary system [seventy-seven countries such as the UK, Spain, Canada, Germany, Thailand, Japan, etc.] which also offers few effective checks and balances so China is not alone in this regard.

The National People’s Congress and its Standing Committee make state laws; the State Council and its relevant departments draw specific regulations respectively; and relevant authentic organs of ordinary localities and governments formulate local regulations.

China’s current legislation structure is deeply rooted in the specific conditions of the nation. First, China is a country where the people are their own masters, so laws should reflect their will [should does not mean the will of the majority automatically leads to new laws—that is what happens in a true democracy but not in a republic].

Then on December 31, 2011, in another post, I had this comment from Alessandro about China’s political system.  He is an Italian married to a Chinese citizen, and they live in China.


Online Democracy in China

Are Chinese citizen entitled to vote?

“Yes,” Alessandro said, “my wife and her family just did it less than a couple of months ago.

“Was that how the communist party’s secretary Hu Jintao got his position?

“Yes,” Alessandro said, “Hu Jintao was voted in by the people entitled to do that, the National People’s Congress (全国人民代表大会), which in turn has been elected by the people’s congresses of the lower level, and so on down to the lowest levels.

“At a grassroots level in villages, village chiefs are directly elected by the residents. That is how the people’s congresses system works…

“People directly elect the people’s congresses at the local level, which in turn elects the congresses of the superior level, to arrive at the top level (after scrutiny and evaluation of their preparation by their peers).”

Before you judge China, and answer the question, “Is China a Republic?” here are a few definitions of dictatorship.

According to Webster’s Online Dictionary.org, a dictatorship is an autocratic form of government in which the government is ruled by a dictator. In contemporary usage, dictatorship refers to an autocratic form of absolute rule by leadership unrestricted by law, constitutions, or other social and political factors within the state.

In fact, a dictator is a ruler with total power over a country, typically one who has obtained control by force. Source: Oxford Dictionaries.com

People’s democratic dictatorship [sounds like an oxymoron] is a phrase incorporated into the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China by Mao Zedong. The phrase is notable for being one of the few cases in which the term dictatorship is used in a non-pejorative manner, which means not in a negative, disparaging or belittling manner.

By saying “People’s Democratic Dictatorship”, the CCP meant that the people rule. However, that would be incorrect since even in all three types of democracies, the people do not rule. The people elect those that rule—well, at least some or most are elected.


PBS Documentary: China from the Inside (Power and the People)

Over at William Meyers.org, you may learn more about how the United States was born as a republic and over the course of one hundred and fifty years, step-by-step, became what Meyers calls a “true representative democracy”.

Meyers says, “Democracy means rule of the people. The two most common forms of democracy are direct democracy and representative democracy. Representative democracies are, therefore, a kind of republic. Self-appointed governments such as monarchies, dictatorships, oligarchies, theocracies and juntas are not republics. However, this still allows for a wide spectrum.

“The classic is the Roman Republic, in which only a tiny percentage of citizens, members of the nobility, were allowed to vote for the Senators, who made the laws and also acted as Rome’s supreme court.

“Most people would say that Rome was a Republic, but not a democracy, since it was very close to being an oligarchy, rule by the few. Although the Roman Republic was not a dictatorship (until Augustus Caesar grabbed power), it did not allow for rule of the people.

“In both theory and practice the Soviet Union, that late evil empire, was a republic (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) because the lawmakers were elected, if only by the Communist Party members…”

“But,” Meyers says, “the main Amendment that tipped the scales from the national government of the United States being a mere republic to being a true representative democracy was the often-overlooked Seventeenth Amendment, which took effect in 1913.

“Since 1913, the U.S. Senate has been elected directly by the voters, rather than being appointed by the state legislatures. That makes the national government democratic in form, as well as being a republic.”

Now, if you have read this far, you may answer the question — is China a Republic?

Return to Is China a Republic – Part 3 or start with Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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China is Not Red White and Blue – Part 2/2

May 10, 2011

Ai Weiwei was warned by representatives of the lawful government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to stop his illegal activities (according to Chinese law).

In such cases, it is common to receive an invitation to tea, which may not be refused, where the person responsible for what is considered counter-revolutionary activities (or another crime against the state) is told to stop or face the full might of China’s law.  China is not like Hitler’s Germany where the Gestapo showed up without warning and carried citizens off to be roasted or gassed by the millions.

The facts speak for themselves. Ai Weiwei refused to cooperate, and he violated Chinese law. Now he is locked up.

CNN doesn’t mention Ai Weiwei may have been in violation of the 1982 Chinese Constitution, which says in Article 28, “The state maintains public order and suppresses treasonable and other counter-revolutionary activities; it penalizes actions that endanger public security and disrupt the socialist economy and other criminal activities, and punishes and reforms criminals.”


US Marines Marching

The PRC is not hiding anything except where Ai Weiwei is locked up and the details behind his crime. Even in the US, the authorities are often denied the right to talk about an accused criminal and the facts behind a legal case to the press.

I’ve read in the past where some Western critics say that Chinese law is difficult to interpret and has loopholes that the PRC may use to the Party’s advantage.

Since when was any law in any country easy to understand?  If you aren’t an American lawyer, how easy is if to understand the US legal system, and doesn’t the US have loopholes that the wealthy and corporations take advantage of not to pay taxes in America? President Ronald Reagon did not pay any tax one year, and he said loopholes in the law allowed it.

Compare the language of the 1982 Chinese Constitution to the US Constitution and anyone may see the differences.

In addition, Article 53 of the Chinese Constitution says, “Citizens of the People’s Republic of China must abide by the constitution and the law, keep state secrets, protect public property and observe labour discipline and public order and respect social ethics.”


PRC Troops and Flag Ceremony

An amendment to Article 13 was revised to say, “Citizens’ lawful private property is inviolable” and “The State, in accordance with law, protects the rights of citizens to private property and to its inheritance” and “The State may, in the public interest and in accordance with law, expropriate or requisition private property for its use and shall make compensation for the private property expropriated or requisitioned.”

In fact, nowhere in the CNN piece does it explain that no one owns land or houses in China as they do in the US. It’s more like a lease with the right to pass that property on to someone else in the family after death.

What happens in the US if the property tax isn’t paid? Does anyone really own the house and land they live on?

In part one I mentioned that China’s flag wasn’t red, white and blue. Instead, it is red and gold.

The red of the Chinese flag symbolizes the communist revolution, and it’s also the traditional color of the people. The large gold star represents communism, while the four smaller stars represent the social classes of the people. In addition, the five stars together reflect the importance placed on the number five in Chinese thought and history. Source: World Atlas

Maybe Ai Weiwei forgot which flag flies over his country or he is blind.

Return to China is Not Red White and Blue – Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is theaward-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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Dictatorship Defined

April 7, 2010

There is so much misleading information on the Internet and from the Western media regarding China that it boggles the mind. For example, China’s President is listed as a dictator but by definition, he cannot be a dictator.

Dictatorship: 1) government by a ruler who has complete power 2) a country that is ruled by one person who has complete power (source: Longman Advanced American Dictionary)

Chinese Constitution: Article 1

Article 1. The People’s Republic of China is a socialist state under the people’s democratic dictatorship led by the working class and based on the alliance of workers and peasants. The socialist system is the basic system of the People’s Republic of China. Sabotage of the socialist system by any organization or individual is prohibited. Source: Chinese Constitution

I asked my wife, “How can China use the term dictatorship in Article 1 if China isn’t ruled by a dictator?”

She replied, “In Chinese, ‘people’s democratic dictatorship‘ means the people have the power. It’s a translation error.”

I then Googled dictatorship and discovered Parade’s Annual list of…the World’s 10 Worst Dictators.

Parade’s definition of a dictator says, “A ‘dictator‘ is a head of state who exercises arbitrary authority over the lives of his citizens and who cannot be removed from power through legal means.” Hu Jintao, China’s president, was number six on Parade’s list, but the claims used to include Hu Jintao are wrong.

Presidents Hu Jintao and George Bush

For example, Parade claims that at least 400,000 residents of Beijing were forcibly evicted from their houses prior to the 2008 Olympics. That’s not true—the people sent from Beijing before the 2008 Olympics was transient labor and did not have residence cards and could not own property in Beijing. They were not legal residents and many transient laborers in China rent rooms shared with others in a communal environment crowded with bunk beds crammed in every possible space—like a military barracks. I know, because I’ve seen places like this in Shanghai. I also learned that the government paid for the transportation costs.

The reason Beijing sent those people away was because some were from Tibet and Xinjiang and may have been separatists, who might have staged protests to embarrass China—something the Chinese government avoids like the plague. The truth is, those people were sent home to their villages and were allowed to return to work after the Beijing Olympics. For them, it was like a vacation. Most also return to their villages during the Chinese New Year to be with their families because that’s where their homes are.

Since the Chinese Constitution rules China, Hu Jintao does not exercise arbitrary authority over the lives of his citizens. In fact, I doubt if he makes any legal decisions since the Chinese Constitution puts that power in the hands of China’s legal system. Discover more at China Law and Justice System

Parade is also wrong that China’s president cannot be removed from power through legal means.

Article 79 says, “The term of office of the President and Vice-President of the People’s Republic of China is the same as that of the National People’s Congress, and they shall serve no more than two consecutive terms.”

Article 59. The National People’s Congress is composed of deputies elected by the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government, and by the armed forces.

Article 63. The National People’s Congress has the power to recall or remove from office the following persons:

(1) The President and the Vice-President of the People’s Republic of China;

(2) The Premier, Vice-Premiers, State Councillors, Ministers in charge of Ministries or Commissions and the Auditor-General and the Secretary-General of the State Council;

(3) The Chairman of the Central Military Commission and others on the commission;

(4) The President of the Supreme People’s Court; and

(5) The Procurator-General of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate.

Discover Stereotypes and/or The Failure of Multiculturalism in the United States

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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