Chen Guangcheng is not a fan of Xi Jinping, says China needs “transformation,” not “reform”

Everyone’s favorite blind lawyer activist was interviewed recently by Global Viewpoint Network editor Nathan Gardels, carried by SCMP. Chen Guangcheng talks about freedom and says a lot of reasonable — if a bit idealistic — things:

The law is a tool, and people should be treated equally under the law. This of course necessitates a supervisory system, which should have the power to counterbalance the party mechanisms that control the judiciary, and should have the power to demand improvements. This is a requirement for a pluralistic, multiparty system. Otherwise, no matter how strong your laws, it won’t matter in practice.

But in addition to opining that soon-to-be Chinese president Xi Jinping won’t “change as a result of the Bo Xilai affair,” there’s this (Gardels’s longwinded question in bold):

The party now dictates who becomes the president and chief prosecutor of courts. To start down the path of an independent judiciary, Peking University legal scholar He Weifang recommends making this into a nomination process that requires approval of the National People’s Congress. What are your thoughts on this proposal?

Why would it be only the president and chief prosecutor? A democratic system depends on a lot more than a prosecutor. Direct elections should decide all level of administrative officials. And in any case I feel that this is what many people refer to as “reform”. This is useless. What China needs now is a transformation.

Pardon me for saying so, but in that last bit, one can almost hear Chen parroting the platitudes of China’s proselyte dissidents. Even as he stops just short of explicitly equating “transformation” with revolution, he’s headed toward that dead end where nothing short of a CCP implosion can be viewed with anything but cynicism and disgust. This is useless. Chen is too smart to let himself become a pawn in this game, and it’s sad to see him drift, with each interview, a bit further out of the China conversation.

Chen Guangcheng Q&A: ‘China has good laws, but they should apply to party’ (SCMP)

    5 Responses to “Chen Guangcheng is not a fan of Xi Jinping, says China needs “transformation,” not “reform””

    1. PD

      Where do we go after concluding that the CCP will never reform itself and so China is doomed to lose its soul and become an international pariah?

      Chen’s position, that nothing can be done as long as the thugs are in power, is perfectly coherent and lucid — more so than your own,witty on social commentary but afraid to address the substantial issues.

      • RhZ

        Not sure if I can endorse your whole comment, but yeah that’s the problem.

        The party’s position on real reform is everything is great, we are great, we have been doing a fantastic job, and if you got a problem here are the secret police to take you away, because you are now an enemy of the state.

        Finding a middle way would be nice, but its hard to see how that happens when the party’s position is so extreme.

    2. PD

      Okay, I’ll rephrase it more tactfully as: “reluctant to address the weightier issues (for fear of a knock on the door?)”.

    3. lol

      chen is a loser trying gain some attention. Noone in china care about this loser anymore. He should hang out with that has-been richard small penis gere.


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