Opinion / Editorials

Best wishes to all for the Year of the Ram

(China Daily) Updated: 2015-02-17 08:20

Best wishes to all for the Year of the Ram

Stewards hold a party with orphans of the Yi ethnic group on train K165 to welcome New Year on Feb 23. [Photo/]

With national leaders crisscrossing communities and extending their pre-holiday greetings, and millions hitting the road and braving the crowds for family reunions at Lunar New Year's Eve dinner tables, China is officially in festive mode.

When deafening fireworks illuminate the skies and declare the dawning of the Year of the Ram, many will have reasons to dream bigger and aim higher. Not just because we are embracing the start of a new year, but because the outgoing Year of the Horse has convinced us of things previously unimaginable.

Before former Party Politburo Standing Committee member Zhou Yongkang's investigation, there had been the long-standing assumption that officials atop the pyramid of power are immune to criminal liabilities. But Zhou has been brought down, and his once intimidating empire is now in ruins.

And doubts about the durability of the anti-graft campaign have been dispelled by the continual reports on disgraced "tigers" and "flies", offering proof that the leadership's pledge was not an empty promise.

President Xi Jinping is yet to deliver the political climate where public servants dare not, do not want to, and could not engage in corruption. But, as he says, he is on the way.

That a number of wrong criminal verdicts, which led to the loss of innocent lives years back, are being reviewed and corrected, and that those liable are being prosecuted, give many in a similar situation confidence that injustice may not necessarily be forever, and that they may not always be hopeless and helpless.

The official exclusion of illicit evidence, including that acquired through torture, which had contributed to numerous wrong rulings, is a new precaution against bloody injustice.

The latest official announcement of law enforcement reforms, the decision to render non-local residents equal basic guarantees in particular, is a timely Lunar New Year gift to everyone working away from home and conducive to a broader sense of fairness.

But this Spring Festival does have a downside for some.

A dozen migrant workers, who have been unable to get their wages for the trip home, are reportedly going home on foot. There even are reports of migrant workers beaten up for asking for the pay they are owed.

And poverty is never far from us.

In the city of Beijing alone, 580,000 people in 645 impoverished villages continue to struggle to make ends meet. Not to mention in out-of-the-way places such as the remote parts of Guizhou province in Southeast China.

When the nation toasts and celebrates, we hope the authorities keep in mind their pledge of not letting anyone left behind in the race toward prosperity.

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