Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

Chinese Character of the Year

By Xiao Lixin ( Updated: 2015-01-04 17:25

Unlike previous years, 2014 marked the very first time in the nine-year history of this selection that the public could recommend characters in the pool and have the final say in the winner, while in the past it was in the hands of experts.

That “fa” was selected Character of Year 2014 is not only positive approval that the public has given to the anti-corruption campaigns throughout the year, but also the high expectation on relevant government departments to enhance legal construction in the future.

The character “fa” also mirrored the impression certain legal cases have left on the public. For example, after a review of a rape-murder case in 1996, Huugjilt from Inner Mongolia autonomous region, who was convicted of the crime and executed, was acquitted in mid-December 2014. The public’s concern over injustice and the law reveals their attitude that the law could bring a sense of security and justice and protect each person’s legitimate rights and interests.

The Chinese Character of the Year could be a clear window that offers a glimpse of the times and society we live in. Last year’s annual character, as it bears the expectation of the public, asks how to maintain the outcome of legal rulings and governance by further continuing legal construction in the future. In this sense, “accelerating the building of a socialist country with the rule of law”, which was put forward by President Xi Jinping at the meeting of the Fourth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, is the exact answer the country is trying to give as a feasible route.

From 2013’s Character of the Year, “house”, to last year’s, “law”, it seems what the general public is longing for has shifted from a concrete and specific material demand to a more intangible and higher appeal of an institutional guarantee. It’s a good signal reflecting an advancing society as well as civic awareness. Therefore, when talking about the country’s Chinese Character of the Year, the public is actually discussing and wondering how to build and realize a better life. Governments at all levels should listen to the yearning of the public and improve their governance accordingly to make the justified demands happen.

The author is a writer with China Daily

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