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Court's ruling shows even govts are subject to the rule of law

China Daily | Updated: 2017-04-05 07:28

Court's ruling shows even govts are subject to the rule of law

A gavel in a court. [Photo/IC]

ON FRIDAY, the printed judgment of a local court in East China's Jiangxi province was widely circulated online. According to the court, the local government of Fengxin county failed to pay a local construction company 320 million yuan ($46.5 million); as a result it has been put on the official list of "dishonest debtors" and its leading officials are no longer able to take flights or high-speed railways. An editorial on comments:

Even a local government must respect the court's decision and execute its sentence.

That's why the case of Fengxin county has aroused such attention, and people nationwide were watching to see what the local government's reaction would be. In fact, the local government has reacted positively by promising to cooperate with the court.

In doing so, the local government of Fengxin has set a good example for other local governments. Data show that nationwide there are about 20 local governments at the county level listed as being dishonest debtors, and it is time they learned from Fengxin and worked with their local courts.

The top leadership has been promoting and improving the rule of law for years, and the rule of law covers not only every citizen, but also every government agency, however powerful it is. Certain local governments used to ignore the law, and some of them reportedly delay paying their debts for years. The Fengxin case is a good start that will prevent that from happening again.

Some worry that by putting a local government onto the list of dishonest debtors, the court might "hurt the image of the county". That worry is unnecessary. Even local governments must honor their debts.

More important, by putting a local government that fails to pay its debts on the list of dishonest debtors, the court grants investors nationwide more confidence in their determination to insist on the rule of law, and so investors will be more inclined to invest to help the local economy to prosper.

To sum up, the case in Fengxin is a good example of China's progress in establishing the rule of law.




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