China's newly appointed leader Xi Jinping vows to 'rule by law'
Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, pledged on Tuesday to promote the authority of the Constitution and the rule of law.
Xi said all citizens are equal before the law, human rights should be respected and safeguarded, and people's extensive rights and freedom should be guaranteed.
He made the comments at a congress marking the 30th anniversary of the implementation of China's 1982 Constitution at the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing.
"The foundation of the Constitution lies in people's heartfelt support, and its mighty force is resulted from people's sincere belief," Xi said.
People's dominant position should be adhered to in order to ensure that citizens enjoy rights and fulfil obligations, he said.
The Constitution is closely related to the country's future and the people's fate, said the newly elected general secretary.
Safeguarding the Constitution's authority, is to maintain the dignity of the will of the Party and the people, he said.
"To ensure the Constitution's implementation, is to ensure the realization of the fundamental rights of the people," said the general secretary.
However, Xi noted that supervising mechanisms and systems ensuring the Constitution's implementation have not been perfect, and there are still phenomena of lawlessness, lax enforcement and not punishing law-breakers in a timely fashion.
Judicial and law enforcement problems concerning people's immediate interests are still evident, he said.
He added some officials abused power, failed to fulfil duties, committing crimes while enforcing the law, and even bending the law for personal gain which seriously damaged the authority of the law.
The legal awareness of citizens, including certain officials, needs improving, he said.
To fully implement the Constitution, is the primary task and the basic work in building a socialist nation ruled by law, Xi said, adding the Constitution is the country's basic law and the general rule in managing state affairs.
The Constitution is "of supreme legal status, authority and efficacy," and it is fundamental, stable, lasting and concerns the overall situation, he said.
"No organization or individual has the special right to overstep the Constitution and law, and any violation of the Constitution and the law must be investigated," he said.
Xi said the authority of the Constitution and the rule of law should be promoted, which will enable the masses to "fully believe in the law and consciously use the law," so that they will understand that the Constitution is not only a code of conduct that must be followed by all citizens, but also a "legal weapon" that guarantees their rights.
"A country ruled by law should be first ruled by the Constitution, and the lawful governance should be based on the Constitution," Xi said.
Xi urged to establish mechanisms to restrain and supervise power, and ensure that "power be made responsible and be supervised, and violations of law be investigated."
He also urged to "ensure that the power bestowed by the people is constantly used for the interest of the people."