Can China really be called a people’s republic?

The following re-post by prominent Chinese legal scholar He Weifang (贺卫方) was deleted from Sina Weibo sometime before 5:32pm Hong Kong time yesterday, March 14, 2012. He Weifang currently has more than 421,000 followers, according to numbers from Sina Weibo. [More on deleted posts at the WeiboScope Search, by the Journalism and Media Studies Centre].

He Weifang’s post was accompanied with the following image, a large white character for “difficulty”, or nan (难), on a black background.

He Weifang’s post with the image reads:

For more than 20 years we’ve shouted for a system for declaring the assets of officials (官员的财产申报制度), but the conditions [we are told] are still not right, the environment not right. But [changes to the criminal code] allowing for such things as residential surveillance, the extended detention of designated suspects without notification of their families, and the expansion of the search powers of the government, all these can thunder right up to the top of the agenda, and pass without the least obstacle. With the contrast of these two we have reason to ask: can this country of ours really be called a people’s republic?

The changes to the criminal code to which He Weifang were passed yesterday by the National People’s Congress.

The original Chinese-language post from Zheng Wei follows:

官员的财产申报制度呼喊了二十多年,还是条件不成熟,环境不具备。指定地点监视居住、特定犯罪嫌疑人拘留长时间不通知家人、公权力侦查手段的扩张等却可以迅雷不及掩耳之势上会,很可能畅通无阻地通过。两相比较,我们有理由质问:我们这个国还算得上是人民共和国么?

NOTE: All posts to The Anti-Social List are listed as “permission denied” in the Sina Weibo API, which means they were deleted by Weibo managers, not by users themselves.

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