chapter  3
21 Pages

A Government of Laws: Democracy, Rule of Law, and Administrative Law Reform in China

ByRandall Peerenboom

Pan Wei is to be congratulated on a bold attempt to chart a feasible path of political reform for China. Resisting the temptation to throw his hands up in the air and declare all is lost unless and until single-party socialism is consigned to the grave alongside Marx and Engels, he dares incur the wrath of both Party leaders and more liberal reformers by suggesting that political reform without democracy is possible even within a single-party system, albeit a system with a considerably different role for the Party. The six pillars of his new political order, which he refers to as consultative rule of law, are a neutral civil service; an autonomous judiciary; extensive social consultative institutions; an anti-corruption body similar to Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC); an independent auditing system; and more extensive, but still limited, freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and association.