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In the wake of two scandals that rocked China, a U.S. human rights researcher wonders just how much the law matters in the communist nation. Not a lot, he concludes, if you're looking at its government but not necessarily its people, who have become more intolerant of their officials' antics.
The way the Chinese government dealt with the escape of Chen Guangcheng from house arrest and the public downfall of Chinese Communist Party golden boy Bo Xilai suggests that it has "an overt and blatant disregard for legality," notes senior Human Rights Watch researcher Nicholas Bequelin in a recent New York Times op-ed.
In both cases, parties involved in the two dramas -- Chen Guangcheng and Bo's police chief who blew his cover -- were forced to flee to the U.S. consulate for protection from the wrath of the Chinese government, which actively flouted any concept of law in dealing with both situations.
It would be misguided, however, to conclude that the Chinese people as a whole do not value the court of law. With the rise of the Internet, more and more of China's citizens are using the medium as an avenue to voice their objections, making it easier to parlay their dissent into actual physical demonstrations, which on any given day number 500 in the communist nation, Bequelin noted.
There is a "rising assertiveness of a citizenry that is increasingly ready to defend its legal rights against official arbitrariness, corruption and injustice," he wrote in The New York Times.
Read the full op-ed: http://nyti.ms/KIiKMF.