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One sentence, many debates on Chinese cyberspace

Posted on Nov 09, 12:36PM | IANS

President Hu Jintao's remark that no one was above the law kept Chinese social media buzzing with a flood of comments.

Hu had said in his report at the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC): "As the Constitution and laws are adopted by the Party and the people under its leadership, the Party must act within the scope prescribed by the Constitution and laws. No organization or individual has the privilege of overstepping the Constitution and laws, and no one in a position of power is allowed in any way to take one's own words as the law, place one's own authority above the law or abuse the law."

Lyuqiu Luwei, a journalist of Phoenix TV, posted it on her microblog, which was forwarded more than 2,100 times and drew over 1,400 comments within hours, reported Xinhua.

Lyuqiu has over 2.11 million followers on Weibo.com, China's most popular twitter-like service, and her preference is shared by many on Sina Weibo which has more than 300
million users.

While Hu was delivering the report, several major news organisations posted highlights of it on their official pages on Sina Weibo. Among the highlights, the line Lyuqiu favoured was commented and forwarded the most.

On the Sina Weibo page of the state-run People's Daily, the no-one-above-law highlight was re-posted nearly 2,000 times, while none of the other highlights were forwarded more than 1,000 times.

Many applauded that it showed the CPC's resolve to advance law-based governance in a society where resentment against corruption is widespread.

"Really good point," commented a Sina Weibo user who goes by the name of "Xinshanzhidian". Another user called "Monte Cristo" offered his interpretation, "One set of laws and standards, extending equal treatment to all."

The meaning of the line confused some, who wondered whether it is possible to have a party abide by the law that was made under its leadership.

Han Dayuan, a constitutional law professor and dean of the Law School of Renmin University, told Xinhua that there is no contradiction in the line.

"The Party does not enact or amend the Constitution directly itself. It proposes amendments to the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, which has the exclusive power to amend the Constitution. The Party has to follow due procedures in doing so," he said, adding the legislature is elected by the people.