Author: Mr. 3Rights
Proofreading: Kyle W
Summary: While the Chinese Communist Party’s Constitution stipulates that the National People’s Congress is the highest authority in China, it also upholds the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party as absolute. Consequently, the constitution is hardly worth the paper it is written on, a smokescreen for the true puppetmasters behind the Chinese Communist Party. Within the National People’s Congress, the CCP controls the selection of deputies, the composition of its leadership, and passage of legislation. As such, the Party is above the law, and the National People’s Congress nothing more than a “rubber stamp.” The Chinese people are stuck in the Shang Yang era of more than 2,500 years ago, a period of centralized power, enslavement, and dereliction of human rights.
The Constitution of the People’s Republic of China is ostensibly the “fundamental law of the state”, giving the National People’s Congress (NPC) supreme legislative authority. At the same time, the document also codifies the absolute authority of the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), a cognitively dissonant and contradictory stipulation that unfortunately reflects the true state of affairs and insults the intelligence of the global community.
Given that CCP leadership has firm control over the composition of the NPC along with its legislative abilities, it comes as no surprise that many of the so-called constitutional rights outlined in the document are often violated without consequence, while the NPC’s legislative committee has never been able to rule any CCP-favored legislation as unconstitutional.
In 1954, the Chinese Communist Party convened the first National People’s Congress to formulate the first constitution. In his brief opening speech, Mao Zedong emphasized that “the core force leading our cause is the Communist Party of China”, which set the tone for the constitution. Later, Mao said at an internal meeting of the Communist Party of China: “A society without a constitution is the best society. There has never been a constitution in China for five thousand years, yet we have been better for it! The Han and Tang Dynasties were strong, and was there a constitution? The Manchus were prepared to play around with a constitution, and died out quickly. The lesson is profound! But many of our comrades are superstitious about the constitution, thinking that the constitution is a panacea for governing the country and trying to put the party under one’s constraints. I have never believed in the law, let alone the constitution. I just want to get rid of this constitutional superstition. The Kuomintang has a constitution, and it’s very important to them. Haven’t we driven them to Taiwan? Our party does not have a constitution and is lawless, yet didn’t this result in victory? Therefore, superstitious belief in the constitution is extremely wrong, and it can result in the destruction of our party. Our great and glorious party has never advocated for the creation of a constitution. However, after the founding of the country, considering that most foreign countries have created constitutions, the Chinese intellectuals have pushed for one’s creation to temper the influence of the party, encouraged by the people who still feel the after-effects of the Kuomintang’s tragic national conditions of the rule of law. In order to buy time, reform and educate the people, and consolidate the party’s leadership, it is necessary to create a constitution. To create a constitution is to essentially negate the leadership of the party and is extremely politically harmful to the party. When we have to do it, we must turn harm into profit, minimize the constraints of the constitution, and uphold the party’s leadership.”
While this passage from Chairman Mao is not recorded in the official history of the Communist Party of China, it has been shared widely by those close to him. According to Mao’s usual speech style and the subsequent practices of the Chinese Communist Party, it is evident that this passage should be credible.
Naturally, the constitution is not considered a serious document by the CCP. When Mao launched the Cultural Revolution, he once said that he was “a monk with an umbrella and lawlessness.” He wasted no time in abolishing the constitution and all legacy rules within the party. The normal operation of the Politburo and the Standing Committee, the State Council, and the National People’s Congress were all obstructed. In the end, only the “Central Cultural Revolution Group” under his orders was given the highest authority. As the head of state, Liu Shaoqi could not save his own life even with the constitution in hand.
After the Cultural Revolution, the CCP proposed to restore the rule of law. Yet this was not rule of law in its true sense, but merely a tactic for officials who suffered by the lawless, at times arbitrary rule under Mao to safeguard themselves and cement their positions of power. In 1979, Deng Xiaoping emphasized adherence to the “Four Cardinal Principles“, the most important of which was to adhere to the party’s leadership. The 1982 Constitution clearly stated that the leadership of the CCP was absolute, dispensing with the illusions of constitutional rights – effectively running naked. Even if the constitution were to have the appearance of being more just and fair, in the end the CCP will always ensure that it has the final say.
Earlier in the “Election” piece we explained that the election of deputies and leadership to the National People’s Congress are conducted under the control of the CCP. The main leaders of the National People’s Congress were arranged by the CCP. In history, when Zhu De, Wan Li, and Peng Zhen were chairmen, they were only members of the Politburo, not even members of the Standing Committee. After Qiao Shi, the chairman of the National People’s Congress was appointed as a member of the Standing Committee, but he was ranked second or third, and was subject to the decisions of the party leader and the Politburo Standing Committee. One Politburo member of the vice chairman of the National People’s Congress would serve as the executive vice chairman of the National People’s Congress. The other vice-chairmen appointed by the CCP were just part of an honorary arrangement for the retirement of senior CCP officials, and their status within the party was not significant.
The Vice-Chairman of the National People’s Congress Central Committee arranges eight or nine democratic parties to serve as leaders, but these democratic parties are actually controlled by the CCP. The local people’s congresses at all levels of the CCP basically have the top leaders of the CCP serving as their directors. The CCP has established party organizations in the people’s congresses at all levels, and any major issues are first made by the party group of the people’s congress in accordance with the will of the CCP, and then submitted to the people’s congress for a symbolic vote. Therefore, people jokingly call the National People’s Congress a “rubber stamp.”
The main functions of the National People’s Congress are ostensibly to legislate; deliberate and decide the government’s budget and final accounts; and elect, appoint and remove the main persons in charge of the state and government agencies. These three tasks are in reality decided in advance by the CCP and then passed to the National People’s Congress for approval. Major legislation and appointment of staff is decided by the Standing Committee of the Politburo, and departmental rules are first drafted by the government’s Legal Affairs Office and then submitted to the National People’s Congress for approval. Since the CCP controls the choice of deputies to the National People’s Congress, these positions are only a political honor in China, and some deputy posts to the National People’s Congress are obtained through bribery. Unlike Western parliamentarians, the CCP’s deputies to the People’s Congress are all little more than amateurs or actors. They do not have a dedicated office, nor do they have dedicated funds or personnel. They only hold a meeting once every year, reminiscent of a club or organization. Lacking legal and financial knowledge, they do not understand the laws and regulations nor the reports regarding the government’s budget and final accounts. Therefore, the main job of the National People’s Congress is to raise their hands and applaud.
The NPC deputies have their own proposals, but due to the figurehead-nature of their positions and unprofessional characteristics, they often make jokes and anti-intellectual black humor. Just to cite a few examples for readers:
“The personal income tax threshold is too high to deprive low income from the honor of being a taxpayer.”
“China’s urban pollution is not caused by cars, but by bicycles.”
“Education is like buying clothes, don’t buy if you can’t afford it, don’t get higher education if you don’t have money.”
“The media’s appeal to aid poor children is ignorant.”
“We cannot raise the wages of workers. Low wages are our advantage. Otherwise, foreign capital will go to other low-wage countries.”
Shen Jilan, who passed away not long ago, has been a representative of the National People’s Congress every year since the first National People’s Congress. She also has some memorable quotes: “I support the Communist Party very much. The (People’s Congress) representative’s job is to listen to the party, I have never voted no to anything”.
A reporter asked if she had any communication with voters. She replied: “No, this is a democratic election. It is not appropriate for you to communicate (with voters). If they don’t vote for you, please don’t bother others.”
Another reporter asked her about network management. She replied: “The Internet should be managed by someone… you can’t say whoever wants to access it will get to access it. It needs to be approved by the (party). You can’t just say whatever you want. We are a socialist country under the leadership of the Communist Party. It’s ridiculous!”
Not only are there jokes at the bottom, but also at the top. While Peng Zhen was the chairman of the committee, a reporter asked him who leads who, the party congress or the Faculty. Peng Zhen dodged the question with a ridiculous response: “The party and faculty are both the leader!”
When Wan Li was the chairman of the committee, the National People’s Congress rejected a regulation proposed by the State Council for the very first time. This incident caused a sensation in the press. A reporter asked him to talk about the NPC’s “rubber stamp”. “A stamp can’t be stamped by just anyone” Wanli answered angrily. This was the only relatively powerful, dissenting voice in the history of the CCP’s National People’s Congress, and unprecedented.
Isn’t it unfortunate? I feel very sad while writing. We taxpayers use own tax dollars to support such a group of shameless robbers who put themselves above the law. The so-called “rule by law” is far from rule of law in the true sense. “Law” is only a tool for the party to control the people. It is the underworld and playground of the CCP.
In March 2018, Xi Jinping passed the National People’s Congress of the Communist Party of China to amend the constitution to restore lifelong tenure. While the NPC deputies voted, Xi Jinping arranged for dozens of soldiers to enter the venue and openly threatened the representatives with guns to force votes in favor. This is the first time in the history of the Chinese Communist Party that a naked power grab with such temerity occurred, shocking the world. The rest of the world has entered the 21st century. The British had the Magna Carta eight hundred years ago, yet the Chinese people still living thousands of years in the past. This is the tragedy and sadness of the Chinese people.
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