This is the start of my third year publishing a biweekly column in the South China Morning Post and in Taiwan’s Chinese language China Times. Most of these “op-eds” have concerned contemporary issues of law and justice in China, Taiwan or both as well as political- legal questions arising from the cross-strait reconciliation that began in 2008 with Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou’s inauguration.
China’s new leaders are striving to consolidate their country’s return to prominence on the world stage. They confront Promethean challenges: restructuring a dynamic economy; responding to the demands of an increasingly prosperous and sophisticated society; controlling horrendous environmental pollution; liberating the cultural, civic, academic and intellectual potential of their talented people; reducing the endemic corruption that is undermining their success; adapting the Communist political system to promote these prodigious changes while balancing the needs of public order and human rights; and improving cooperation with other countries by enhancing foreign respect for China’s accomplishments.
Xu Zhiyong, a lawyer for the underprivileged, knew he risked his freedom by challenging the Chinese Communist Party to fulfill its vows to fight corruption and promote the rule of law. His fight made him one of China’s best known human-rights advocates, and it has now landed him in prison.