Rule of law key issue at meeting of Communist Party leaders

Rule of law key issue at meeting of Communist Party leaders

Monday, 12 May, 2014, 3:50am

Central Committee plenum also likely to be held earlier than usual as Xi Jinping rallies party elite behind graft inquiry into ex-security chief

Discussions on the rule of law are set to dominate a top leadership meeting later this year as Beijing tries to build consensus for an announcement on the graft investigation into former security chief Zhou Yongkang.

The date of this year’s Communist Party Central Committee plenum is also likely to be brought forward as pressure grows for the leadership to make a final decision on Zhou.

The plenary session traditionally takes place in September. But several sources told the South China Morning Post that party leaders were considering bringing it forward, although the exact date had yet to be decided.

The leadership meeting usually maps out the party’s administrative and ideological development. Senior appointments are often announced, paving the way for more government reshuffles.

It is understood that President Xi Jinping may use the meeting to pledge to safeguard the constitution and fight graft, even at the top of government.

This will help to rally the party elite and convince them the investigation into Zhou was part of the campaign to bolster the rule of law, not a political power struggle as some have suggested, several sources with knowledge of the matter said.

Zhou, once a member of a nine-man Politburo Standing Committee of top leaders, has been in detention since December for alleged corruption.

The investigation into Zhou may be announced around the time of the annual meeting, two sources said, adding that it remained unclear if the authorities would hand the case over to prosecutors to press formal charges.

An earlier briefing for senior officials was told the investigation into Zhou would deal only with alleged financial wrongdoing and corruption and that the sums of money involved would be far less than reports have suggested, a person familiar with the meeting previously said.

Zhou was head of the Central Politics and Law Commission – which oversees the courts, prosecutors and police – before he retired in November 2012.

The government spent more money on domestic security than defence under Zhou to maintain social stability, with activists arguing it gave police too much power and harmed civil liberties.

“To promote the rule of law at this stage means a negation of the legal system over the past years, which was under the control of Zhou,” said one of the sources.

Wang Guixiu, a retired Central Party School researcher, said officials and the public had different perceptions of the rule of law. “The public say it is about putting officials in check, while officials say it is about how to govern the public.”

The party issued two documents in May last year to set out the internal rules for its 80 million members, which experts said was an attempt by Xi to exercise stricter controls over cadres’ conduct.

Xi has promised to uphold the rule of law and tackle abuse of police powers, but the public has questioned his sincerity after several cases of rights activists being jailed or detained since his administration took power in 2012.

 

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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