China’s Anti-Corruption Bill Exposes the Achilles’ Heel of Xi’s Legal Reforms

The rule of law is a fundamental prerequisite of globalization that contributes to a stable environment for trade and investment, argues Ge Chen, an expert on China’s judicial system and legal policies at the Mercator Institute for China Studies in Berlin. Chen writes about the fervent anti-corruption campaign orchestrated by China’s President Xi Jinping. A National Supervision Law is set to be approved this spring, and a commission overseen by the Communist Party is expected to “check the power” of all bureaucracies. But Chen points out that the anti-corruption campaign has been associated with political struggles among party leaders. While legal scholars question the law’s compatibility with China’s constitution, top leaders are likely to resist such checks on their power. Chen concludes, “As a result, limiting the power of ordinary cadres takes place only because the regime aims to create leadership with limitless power, which runs counter to the party’s promise to ‘establish the rule of law’ that ‘ensures a rule-based economy’ in an era of globalization.” Use of the law as political weapon adds uncertainty for both domestic and foreign businesses in China. – YaleGlobal