China wants better legal system under party rule

AP News
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Posted: Oct 28, 2014 7:25 AM

BEIJING (AP) — China's ruling Communist Party is planning to introduce measures to improve the country's legal system but says it will also strengthen the party's leadership position through the use of law, according to a party document released Tuesday.

The full guidelines on how to govern the country according to law were published after the party's 205-member Central Committee met last week. A summary was released Thursday.

The document said China must improve its legal system but do so under the party's leadership and that ensuring the party's leadership is the fundamental basis for ruling the country according to law.

"We should deftly use the legal procedure to turn the ideas championed by the party into the national will, and we should deftly use the legal procedure to turn personnel recommended by the party into leader of state agencies," the document said.

The decisions have disappointed some Chinese legal scholars who were hoping for measures to enshrine the authority of the constitution, although some scholars say they have never harbored any illusion that the party would restrict its own powers.

Still, the party said the country will have legal reviews of administrative decisions and will boost judicial independence to safeguard justice and increase public trust.

The document also said China plans to introduce laws to curb corruption.

Scholars have said China needs legal reforms to better manage its vast bureaucracy and advance its expansive economic reforms because corruption has undermined the party leadership and hurt the economy.