Not just in the name of justice
On July 29, local police in Guanxian county, Shandong province, ordered all 21 Internet cafes in the county to suspend their business for two months. Although county official Deng Li explained that the suspension aimed at restoring business order instead of permanent closure, there's no promise that they'll be reopened. The local officials seemed to be proud of what they had done.
But the county authorities have gone too far. From a legal perspective, it has infringed on people's constitutional rights.
First, the county government undermined people's freedom of communication by cutting them off from the Internet. Second, they harmed people's right to scientific research, and literary and artistic creation, because the Internet is a significant platform for the exchange of opinions. Third, Internet cafes, as long as operating legally, are businesses protected by law.
Why then are Guanxian officials so proud of their bold infringement upon people's basic rights? The reason is the absence of constitutional spirit. Power is given full play where constitutional rights are not respected. As a result, people's constitutional rights have become a castle in the air, and no one has to shoulder any responsibility for violating them. As long as unconstitutional acts are not punished, we can't expect the slightest compunction about trampling upon people's rights in the name of justice.
Right to know credit history
Negative records on an individual's credit history would last at most seven years, according to the draft of the latest regulation. For the first time in China, there is going to be a specific regulation on how long the negative records should be kept.
The new regulation means that the stains on one's credit rating may become invalid one day, and the ones who blundered would be able to rebuild personal credit. It is an important step forward in building a mature and complete credit system.
The length of keeping negative records should be not too short or too long. If the negative records are invalidated shortly after defaults, it is not enough to punish the abusers and deter the breaking of credit. Consequently, a good credit culture cannot be fostered. Hence, an intermediate length is beneficial for the credit sector.
Only when individuals are entitled the right to know their own credit history, the credit sector could grow healthily, because individuals are keen on changing the wrong and dated records.
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(China Daily 10/19/2009 page4)