China / Government

Interview: China's 1st Constitution Day celebrations reflect 'rule of law' advancement

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-12-03 14:15

PHNOM PENH -- The celebrations of the China's first Constitution Day on Dec 4 has clearly showed China's efforts to promote awareness of the supreme law to her people so as to enhance the rule of law, said Ek Sam Ol, president of the Constitutional Council of Cambodia.

"The celebrations will raise the awareness among the public to understand and respect the Constitution so as to uphold the rights of people and advance the rule of law in China," he told Xinhua in an interview.

"We support the celebrations since the Constitution is the supreme and core law in preparing, governing and developing China, " he said.

China's top legislature decided on Nov 1 to designate Dec 4 as national Constitution Day amid efforts to enhance the implementation of the supreme law and advance the rule of law.

The Constitution of China was adopted on Dec 4, 1982, based on a previous version enacted in 1954.

The spirit of the Constitution highlights several core concepts including acknowledgment of Constitution' supreme status, people's democracy, equality before the law, judicial independence, human rights, rule of law and the leadership of the Communist Party of China.

"Under the roof of the Constitution and the wise leadership of Chinese leaders, I have observed that China has achieved great success in national development and in bringing peace, stability, happiness and prosperity to the Chinese people," Ek Sam Ol said.

He added he welcomed the success and progress of China because China had always assisted her friendly countries in socio-economic development.

Pou Sothirak, executive director of the Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace, said observing the national Constitution Day in China marks the firm commitment of the Chinese National People's Congress, the country's top legislature, in upholding the rule of law with the Constitution at the center of a progressive and thriving China.

"This should be viewed as a commitment by China to become a responsible nation for itself and for the international community, " he wrote in response to a Xinhua interview by e-mail.

"The day will be a new milestone in the Chinese history that will send a strong message to the outside world that the modern China is sincere and ready to embrace the principle of democracy and the rule of law," Sothirak said.

He stressed that Dec 4 should not be only a day for public celebration or an oath of allegiance to the highest law of the country, but should be the day when all Chinese people can be the real beneficiary from the government mechanism for protecting their constitutional rights, ensuring sufficient supervision over the conduct of government agencies and correcting their misconduct in the event of any abusive power beyond the limit of the Constitution.

Joseph Matthews, director of the International Cooperation Department at the Asia Euro University in Phnom Penh, shared the view, saying as a set of legal documents, the Constitution only works when it is enforced fairly and unequivocally.

"China's recent enactment against graft and corruption among civil servants and private companies shows that China wants to improve its image as a transparent and accountable country governed by the rule of law," Joseph said.

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