Chinese Chief Justice: Courts Must Reject “Erroneous ” Western Concepts Of Independence And Support The Party

zhouqiangFor those brave reformers who have struggled to introduce the semblance of a true judiciary and the rule of law in China, the recent interview of Chief Justice Zhou Qiang must have been devastating. Zhou told lawyers and judges that they needed to avoid the temptation of the West in wanting an independent judiciary that follows the rule of law. With that, Zhou placed himself in history as a voice for injustice — a lawyer who committed his life to fighting against the law.


Zhou called Western concepts of independent courts as a dangerous and “erroneous” concept. He added: “One needs to have a clear-cut stand and dare to show the sword against them, to struggle against any erroneous words and actions that deny the leadership of the Communist Party, or slander the rule of law and the judicial system of socialism with Chinese characteristics.” The perfect tool of authoritarian power.

Zhou’s comments come with the shocking appearance of human rights lawyer Li Chunfu who have been reportedly tortured for 500 days in a secret prison. Li, 44, was declared a schizophrenic and appeared in court as a broken man.

Zhou and Li are the two faces of Communist China — the oppressor and the oppressed.

For those us who practice law, Li represents the very best of us and the profile courage for anyone who loves liberty. What is incredible is that, despite the violence done against Li, two letters have been circulated with the names of 23 lawyers and 155 leading intellectuals who refuse to be intimidated. They have put themselves at risk of immediate arrest by criticizing Zhou’s comments.

41 thoughts on “Chinese Chief Justice: Courts Must Reject “Erroneous ” Western Concepts Of Independence And Support The Party

  1. This is nothing new. Its why we join the armed forces. And why when we grow old we join groups like the VFW or, to be service specific, the Fleet Reserve. We will always have enemies that reject our values.

  2. Chinese professionals living in the U.S. DO NOT approve of the heavy handed Communist rulers in China.
    Maybe wealthy people like Jack Ma & those made rich thru corruption in China are authoritarian – but that’s true of most rich people everywhere.

    • True – because they live in the US, Canada, etc. where they don’t have to deal with the disparity and teeming hordes of desperate people. If they lived in China they’d be just fine with it.

  3. Oh blah blah blah on “original intent” being a bad thing. If the “original intent” needs to be modified, then we have a way to do it through Amendments to the Constitution, that avenue also being included in the “original intent.”

    Slavery wasn’t kicked down the road, any more that “women’s suffrage was kicked down the road. Slavery was legal in some states, and recognized as such. Men voted, and most women didn’t, and that was also legal. As society evolved, those things didn’t work anymore, and were changed by Amendments. Because the Founders realized that things change.

    IMHO, Dred Scott was a fantastic decision, and exactly what a Court is supposed to do – – – rule by law, not by whim. Roe v. Wade, and the whole gay marriage stuff are what happens when elite clowns on the court think they are supposed to free wheel their way thru life.

    Some of you here need to understand stare decisis, and the underpinnings of common law, and then look at the countries that have those legal systems as opposed to judges just doing what they think is right at the time.

    Do you really think Mexicans and South Americans are retarded or something? And that Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, and the British are born superior in intellect? And that is why we have basically stable governments and higher standards of living and the Hispanics are just too stupid to pull it off? Or that we are just lucky and have all the resources, and they don’t? Think again. It is our system that is better. The system of common law and state decisis, and the judicial restraint that entails.

    Our current decline is in large part because we have begun to move away from that, into the whim world of judicial independence.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  4. We have in this country an appellate judiciary which reserves to itself a franchise to impose social policies on the country that the country does not want. They do so with the encouragement of the legal academy and the elite bar. They’re not non-partisan referees and you don’t object so long as you’re getting what you want. What’s your complaint? That the man is forthright about it?

  5. “They all claim to swear allegiance to an alleged “original intent” standard which is baloney and means they prefer never seeing any progress or adaptation of the Constitution and the law to modern times,”

    Yeah, what did those Republicans know about original intent when they pushed through the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments. What are amendments but evidence of “progress or adaptation of the Constitution and the law to modern times”. Oddly, you decry an “allegiance to an alleged “original intent” standard” and then invoke your own “clear meaning and intent of the 14th amendment”.

    That is some seriously twisted “logic”. Nicely done!

    • Olly – the Founders kicked the can of slavery down the road so they didn’t have to deal with it. They knew it would have to be dealt with sometime. The 14th Amendment fits with the original intent of that solution.

      • “The 14th Amendment fits with the original intent of that solution.”

        I agree Paul. However, I don’t see them as “kicking the can of slavery down the road”.So much of what we see today in political movements is an outright arrogance of the political elites that believe social change MUST occur on their watch. Had the founders had that lack of humility the constitution would never have been ratified. Today’s social engineers believe they are standing on firm principles when in fact they are standing on the shoulders of a wiser and far more enlightened generation of political activists.

  6. The Chinese Chief Justice would make a great right wing Republican! They all claim to swear allegiance to an alleged “original intent” standard which is baloney and means they prefer never seeing any progress or adaptation of the Constitution and the law to modern times, standards and norms. Except that is when it doesn’t suit them. When an inconvenient conflict emerges (as with the 2nd amendment which in no way allows unfettered private gun ownership) they simply pretend the clear intent of the framers and of the language in the Constitution means something else entirely so as to square it with their backward and authoritarian views, or in denying any right to privacy unless it suits their right wing purpose, or denying the clear meaning and intent of the 14th amendment unless they get to pick and choose to whom equal justice applies as in Bush v Gore.

  7. China is a Communist country. We used to call it Communist China. We dropped the first word when they started making all of our underwear, tools, etc. Mao may be dead but his ideology lives on. Boycott Chinese goods. Buy American. Hope that New Guy makes some dramatic changes.

  8. Law as only one mode of existence and the one that has done the best to resist the hegemony of Modernism

    The French polymath, Bruno Latour published a book a few years ago “An Inquiry Into Modes of Existence” (AIME) with 15 modes. Each mode has a condition of veracity – a way to speak and experience within that mode. There are 4 modes most directly tied to institutions: Science, politics, religion and Law. But issues cut across all the modes and the challenge is to disentangle the modes to hear what they have to say.

    Today in tweets from his AIME project he points out that Trumpism

    Trumpism novelty is to be explicit about rejection of a common world with the rest of people: an effect of climate denial: ‘we go offshore!’

    If you want to drag a whole country in an offshore paradise, what you need most indeed are ”alternative facts” – fodder for a Ponzi scheme.

    The epistemology of ‘alternative facts’ borrows 1 feature from tradition: the tone of absolute certainty, but detached from any instrument.

    Spin has always been part of politics, ‘alternative facts’ are something else: they state: ‘we will share no common world with you guys’.

    Bruno’s key idea in politics is creating a common world which is the challenge of The New Climate Regime

    Here he is in an article this year

    I begin with the simple idea that climate change and its denial have been organizing all of contemporary politics at least for the last three decades. Climate change plays the same role that social questions and the class struggle played over the two preceding centuries.

    We can understand nothing about the way inequalities have exploded for forty years, and the accompanying movement towards massive deregulation, if we don’t admit that a good part of the globalized elite had perfectly understood what was going on with the bad news about the state of the planet, which, thanks to the work of scientists, began to crystallize at the beginning of the nineties.

    Since the threat was real, the elites drew the conclusion that it would be necessary to adopt two opposing courses of action. First, give up the post-war liberal dream of a common world created by the modernization of the planet—so, let’s cut ourselves off as quickly as possible, through deregulation at any price, from the rest of the inhabitants to whom we sold this dream of universality; secondly, systematically organize long-term denial of this ecological change, which nevertheless brings in not just the environment but what is called the Earth-system. (One can see in the case of Exxon-Mobil

    Europe alone—only Europe

  9. He sounds a lot like DDT. DDT’s first altercation with the Supreme Court will be a real dogfight. I wonder how many books are being developed right now titled DDT’s alternative facts, etc. Yuge

    • WTF Issac!? When I saw this headline it reminded me of you. You have been the lone voice on this blog complaining that our Constitution and DoI are archaic. You have stated numerous times they have no relevance in our 21st century world. In your words, “we’ve evolved” past the need for those documents.

      What does your worldview of government NOT have in common with communist China? Whatever you can list, just give it time, because there is one thing you fail to understand…human nature has NEVER evolved. Strip away our Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence and replace it with what…really smart people that you can trust? You’d fit right in as a witness for the state…in China.

      • Well said Olly. The Constitution helps (helped???) protect us from ourselves–the always visible and total failure of human nature. Issac would have been at home with all those intellectuals of social engineering in Germany in the 20s-30s.

        • Thank you Slohrs. The thing about Issac is he is probably an intelligent man and that may have proved useful in whatever he has done in his professional life. However there is an arrogance to that intelligence that seems to defy all reason. When it comes to government, his worldview appears to be deeply entrenched in the modern progressive philosophy. He mistakes cultural transformation for an evolution in human nature. He mistakes intelligence for wisdom. There is no self-awareness; no humility. To believe our founding documents are irrelevant is to believe you are smarter on political philosophy than those that created them. Smarter than the 5000 years worth of evidence in human civilization. That sort of arrogance is what leads to people losing life, liberty and property.

  10. Often I get frustrated by the corporatist views of many of our judges and justices but I would never suggest that China and the US are just the same or even remotely similar. It matters that we have a Constitution and a Bill of Rights and that there is general agreement that they should be upheld. Are we perfect? No. But we have a solid base and with vigilance on the part of the people we can make it better.

  11. Chinese Mining Dictatorship in Ecuador. OBEY

    The Shank community of Nankints in Ecuador was evicted in August of 2016 to impose the mining camp of the Chinese company Explorcobres SA, whose concession covers 41,000 has. Aggression to the Shuar Life for the negotiation of the second largest mine in the world, without prior consultation, violating Ecuadorian laws. But it is much more, because 38% of the Shuar ancestral territory is concessioned to more miners, added to the strips of the rivers Zamora and Santiago, and on top they plan a gigantic hydroelectric. We make our Shuar cry. Where do they want us to go?

    The Shuar defended the essence of its history and life, its territory, initiated by the Chinese mining violence, and on December 14, there is a policeman dead and several injured. The response of the Chino-Correa mining business is the ferocious criminalization and militarization, and there are entire families and hundreds of children from the communities of Nankints, Tsuntsuim, Upunkius, Kutukus, Tiink, displaced to the jungle by the military mining persecution .

    Since the China mining ambition began in the Cordillera del Cóndor, the Shuar Nationality of Ecuador and the Amazon have suffered from the political, ecological, cultural, mediatic aggression of the State and the political party of President Rafael Correa, at the service of the transnational mining companies and especially Chinese. They go and 3 Shuar dead since 2009: José Tendetza, Bosco Wisuma, Fredy Taish. We strongly reject it, because they are our Amazonian brothers and because it is totally unjust and intolerable, that to defend only to live in peace, with clean water and air, we have to suffer repression and death.

  12. Sadly, China has no choice or the Judiciary will become an activist one like ours. Because if you think about it, our country is run in a significant part by 9 yahoos from Harvard and Yale, and often only 5 members of that crew.. Which, if you think about it, wasn’t China run by a Gang of Four for a while? Sooo, our group has one more member. Hooray!

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    • HI Squeeky!

      I usually enjoy your insights, but this time you let me down. Sure, in some instances we have an out of control and activist judiciary on our side of the Pacific, but, aren’t we at least confined somewhat by a Constitution that demands certain rights?

      Your answer that we are only quantitatively different than a regime that has no Bill of Rights AT ALL due to how many Nazgul reside on the judiciary is not just insulting to my intelligence, but judging from your past comments, your own.

      Now, pen a quick limerick as penance!

  13. When Xi came into power I was hoping for more liberalization of all of China’s policies. However, Xi has taken China many years back. We are returning to the Cultural Revolution.

    • Will this stop us from buying cheap products from China and propping up this anti western ideology as well as feed their heart stopppingly rapid growth in their war machine?

      • Michael, doubtfully!! I often go to Dollar Tree to buy books and it is always packed with folks buying crap Made in China.

        • Autumn.
          “I often go to Dollar Tree to buy books and it is always packed with folks buying crap Made in China.”

          You mean like iPhones?

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