Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue:A901-W582



Release Date: November 22, 2015



Topic: The Way Out for the Chinese Economy III -- Wei Jingsheng

标题:中国经济的出路之三 -- 魏京生


Original Language Version: Chinese (Chinese version at the end)



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The Way Out for the Chinese Economy III

-- Wei Jingsheng



The last time we talked about several basic common sense ideas for the Chinese economy to get out of crisis.  Of these ideas, one of the most important is the rule of law and democracy.  Just as the pioneer of modern jurisprudence, Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, noted, the reason that China was able to maintain a leading position in economic development after a number of wars in the past two thousand years was because China had a market economy under legal protections.


Mr. Montesquieu did not mention that the reason that this high-speed development was not continuous, but instead had its ups and downs, was because the legal system in China was not carried out continuously.  This process was called "cycles of stagnation" by the radical scholars from the May Fourth Movement.  When it was in its upswings, which were the early periods when a dynasty was just established or in resurgence, laws were carried out rigorously and the society was in order.  Thus its economic development was fast and stable.  During the periods when the legal system was corrupted, there would be economic stagnation or retrogression with disorder until the dynasty eventually collapsed.  Scholars called it the Periodic Law as the lessons learned from the Chinese history.


Why was it that the legal system that started well could not end well?  Chinese scholars and people think it was due to corruption and moral deficiency; or disintegrated traditional ethics.  Before the real reasons were found, these specious arguments had been popular for thousands of years.  But those arguments are just the prevarication the ruling class and their scholars used to fool people.


There were also some scholars who got closer to the real reasons.  So in order to effectively protect the law, there were a variety of supervision and restriction mechanisms designed in ancient China.  This shows that the ancient Chinese knew the ugly side of human nature that must be supervised and restricted, in order to avoid its ascendancy.  The main aspect of supervision and regulation is to protect the effective functioning of the legal system.


The ancients even knew that the destruction of the legal system came not from the common people, but mainly from the powerful bureaucratic wealthy class even at the highest authorities of the emperor.  Thus the literature coming from the hearts of the Chinese people set up the black faced Bao Gong and Hai Rui (two legendary judges in Chinese history), as the deified models of maintaining law to be the ideal in people's minds.


But why did these ideals always soon burst?  The law soon was unable to be the shield to protect the people, nor a fixed scale to maintain a fair market.  The reason is because those people who executed the law would violate the law.  The institutional members of the supervision and constraints were from the same official arena who knew each other and found it hard to defy human nature to enforce law.  Thus despite the needless repetition of the supervision and restriction mechanisms, they would still gradually lose their effectiveness, and ultimately become useless.


In order to achieve the effect of supervision and regulation, the ancient Chinese devised a system of avoidance, to send law enforcement officials away from their home, disallowing them to judge on the cases related to their relatives and friends.  However, the legal system was being destroyed from top to bottom, and bribery was not only limited to friends and family.  Even though the Chinese established a defamation mechanism for whistleblowers to facilitate the people to report violations, it still could not stop the corruption of the legal system.


Why?  The Westerners found the crux of the problem, which was the separation of judicial and executive rights, to prevent the interference of administrative authority against the judicial power and to ensure a relative judicial independence in order to fulfill its social function.  People worship Bao Gong and Hai Rui as their ideals, precisely because they were not intimidated by the executive powers and were able to execute their judicial power independently, thus protecting the rights and interests of the people.


But what if there was a dispute between Emperor and Bao Gong?  Who would be the judge?  If the emperor set up a draconian law, how could Bao Gong overthrow it?  There was only one way for ancient and modern people, that is to overthrow the emperor and dynasty, thus start all over again for another round of the cycle.  Such can only be regarded as the way of last resort, which does not really solve the problem for continuously carrying out a rule of law and economic development.


The Westerners thought of another way, which was to let the people legislate to protect their own rights and interests, as well as to monitor and restrict judicial and administrative bureaucrats.  This purpose is the true role of the electoral system and the parliamentary system.  The parliamentary system ensures people's power of legislation, supervision and restriction, while the electoral system ensures the representatives of the people comply with the will of the public instead of their own will.  That is the democratic system.


The democratic system ensures not only the interests of the people, but also fairness during the operation of the market.  It would be fair to treat every citizen equally, instead of only those people who got rich first.  Without the protection of democracy, without the participation of all citizens, the so-called protection offered by a bureaucratic capitalist dictatorship is just an extremely unreliable lie.


Now, only one-third of China's annual gross domestic product is for domestic consumption including the luxury consumption of the local tyrants and corrupt bureaucrats.  Besides a small portion kept as social accumulation, most of the remaining two-thirds of the GDP has fallen into the hands of the Chinese and foreign capitalists.  According to the estimate of the authoritative department, now more than one trillion dollars are transferred out of China every year, while more than one hundred million Chinese are living below a poverty line of $1.90 a day.


Chinese billionaires top the world, while Chinese poor also top the world now.  Why is it so polarized?  Without the guarantee of democracy under the rule of law, people cannot gain their deserved share.  This is the main cause of poverty, as well as the root cause of the Chinese economy entering its failure and being unable to have a sustainable development.


Conversely, only the lawlessness of one-party dictatorship would ensure the existence of a large number of poor and cheap labor, thus to ensure that Chinese and foreign capitalists become rich through the use of cheap labor.  The existence of these capitalists and the corrupt officials is the root cause of the abnormal development of the Chinese economy, which is entering into crisis.  This is the chain reaction of the Chinese economic development model.


Without the elimination of one-party dictatorship from the top, there will be no fair market and rule of law.  Without a fair legal system and fair market, it is impossible to improve people's discretionary consumption, thus expanding the domestic market in China.  A development model relying solely on exploitation of markets in the developed countries has been unable to continue, nor to rescue the economic crisis in China.


It was said that the one-party dictatorship couldn't be shaken.  If so, then it can only result in revolution.  For people's rights to survive, there would only be a revolution.  Revolution will not be chosen by the Chinese people, but by the choices of Xi Jinping.



To hear Mr. Wei Jingsheng's related commentary, please visit:



(Written on November 4 and recorded on November 5, 2015.  Broadcasted by Radio Free Asia.)



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Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue:A901-W582



Release Date: November 22, 2015



Topic: The Way Out for the Chinese Economy III -- Wei Jingsheng

标题:中国经济的出路之三 -- 魏京生


Original Language Version: Chinese (Chinese version at the end)









-- 魏京生














































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