Will China’s new civil code improve individual rights?


Top politics and current affairs news for March 8, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina news roundup "News roundup: China and ASEAN: A code of conduct for the South China Sea."

  • China’s new civil code light on individual rights reforms / Reuters
    Delegates at the National People’s Congress meeting in Beijing are expected to approve a preamble to a new civil code (民法 mínfǎ) next week. State media are hailing the law as a sign of fundamental progress in the protection of citizens’ rights and codifying their responsibilities: China.com.cn says the code is a “mother law” that will solve many problems that are “peculiar to China,” while Guangming says that “in the eyes of the civil code, every citizen is the whole country” (both links are to Chinese-language articles). But Reuters reports that many legal experts say the wording released so far “falls short of enshrining sweeping private rights and makes little progress in key areas including property and civil liberties.” Reuters has also published a summary of some of the specific provisions of the new law.
  • Can China’s powerful new navy behemoth outclass America’s warships? / SCMP The People’s Liberation Army Navy has a new warship called the Type 055 destroyer, which could enjoy its maiden voyage as early as next year. The South China Morning Post article linked above includes a series of infographics about the vessel, and says that “the 055 will probably be the world’s second-biggest and most powerful warship in commission, after the USS Zumwait.”