Develop a Law-Based Country, Government and Society

Xi Jinping: The Governance of China I Updated: 2021-12-08

Develop a Law-Based Country, Government and Society*

February 23, 2013

Our efforts to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects presuppose a higher demand for the rule of law. We should comprehensively implement the guiding principles of the 18th CPC National Congress, and follow the guidance of Deng Xiaoping Theory, the important thought of the Three Represents and the Scientific Outlook on Development. We should take a well-designed approach to legislation, enforce the law strictly, administer justice impartially, and ensure that everyone abides by the law. We should exercise governance and administration in accordance with the law, develop a law-based country, government and society simultaneously, and thereby bring the rule of law to a new stage.

A system of socialist laws with Chinese characteristics, with the Constitution to the fore, has been formed in China, so overall we have laws to abide by in all aspects of state and social life. This is a great achievement. The laws, based on practice, should develop as the situation changes. We will improve legislation plans, concentrate on priorities, attach equal importance to making new laws and revising and repealing existing ones, make legislation more appropriate and democratic, and make laws more targeted, timely and systematic. We should improve the working mechanism and procedures of legislation, expand the scale of orderly public participation, and give full consideration to the opinions of all parties involved, so as to make the laws properly reflect the needs of economic and social development, better coordinate interests, and give full play to the leading and motivational role of legislation.

We should strengthen the enforcement of the Constitution and the law, and uphold the unity, dignity and authority of the socialist legal system, so that people neither want, nor are able, nor dare to break the law. We will make sure that laws are abided by and strictly enforced, and lawbreakers are prosecuted. Administrative bodies are important in implementing laws and regulations, so they should take the lead in enforcing laws and safeguarding public interests, the people's rights and public order. Law executors should be faithful to the law. Leading bodies and officials at all levels should become better able to think and act based on law, and work to reach consensus on reform, promote procedure-based development, resolve conflicts, and safeguard social harmony in accordance with the law. We will strengthen the oversight of law enforcement, make sure that there is no illegal interference in law enforcement, and prevent and overcome regional and departmental protectionism. We will fight corruption, and make sure that those who have power take responsibility, the exercise of power is subject to oversight and lawbreakers are prosecuted.

We will make every effort to ensure that the people feel that justice is served in every court case. Bearing this in mind, all judicial bodies should improve their work, focusing on resolving the deep-seated problems that affect judicial justice and constrain our judicial capacity. We should ensure justice for the people and improve our judicial working practices. We should provide good services to help people overcome barriers to justice, particularly by increasing legal aid for people in difficulties to safeguard their legitimate rights. Judicial workers need to maintain close ties with the people, carry out procedure-based judicial activities, increase judicial transparency, and respond to the people's concern and expectations for judicial justice and transparency. We will ensure that judicial and procuratorial bodies exercise their power independently and impartially in accordance with the law.

All organizations and individuals should act within the scope prescribed by the Constitution and the law. All citizens, social organizations and government agencies should act and exercise their rights and powers, and fulfill their obligations and duties in accordance with the Constitution and the law. We will make sure that the laws are well received by the people, foster socialist rule of law throughout society, encourage all the people to observe the law and solve their problems by the law, and form a favorable environment in which it is held to be honorable to observe the law. We will combine education in the legal system with law-based governance, and promote social administration under the rule of law. We should integrate the rule of law with rule by virtue and legal enforcement with ethical progress, encourage both regulation by laws and by self-discipline, and ensure that the rule of law and rule by virtue complement and reinforce each other.

The CPC is the ruling party in China. The Party's law-based governance is of great significance for ensuring the rule of law. We must ensure the unity of the Party's leadership, the position of the people as masters of the country and law-based governance, and follow the Party's leadership in the entire process of ruling the country by law. Party organizations at all levels should act within the scope prescribed by the Constitution and the law. Officials at all levels should perform their duties in accordance with the law and take the lead in abiding by the law. Organization departments of the Party at all levels should make the performance of officials in accordance with the law an important criterion for their assessment.

* Main points of the speech at the fourth group study session of the Political Bureau of the 18th CPC Central Committee which Xi presided over.

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