There is a missing dialog of US’s “Human Rights” for Chen Guangcheng (CGC). That is, you don’t hear the US talk about “Rule of Law” much in this CGC story.
That’s because every one in the Western Media, the Western NGO’s, the Activists, and the US government, knows, CGC’s case has nothing to do with “Rule of Law”, It’s all out no holds bar, “vigilante Human Rights justice”.
Because, by “Rule of Law”, there is a long held US-China diplomatic agreement, that says plainly, those who live in US, live by US laws and legal systems, and those who live in China, live by Chinese laws and legal systems.
That means, if you are a US citizen, and you commit a crime under Chinese law while you are in China, you can be arrested by the Chinese police, and be prosecuted under Chinese law, and serve prison time in Chinese jail. (Ignorance of the law is no excuse, just like in US). Similarly, a Chinese citizen would be subject to US laws and US prisons if committed a crime in US.
Certain things are not crimes in China, but are crimes in some US states (for example, illegal abortion, importing Cuban cigars). Some things are crimes in China, but not in US.
That also means, the US State Department and the US Embassies have publicly warned US citizens that they will be subject to Chinese laws while in China, and if you don’t like Chinese laws, don’t go to China, but if you go to China, US government cannot “rescue” you just because you don’t like the crime in China you are being prosecuted under.
That’s one of the oldest diplomatic AGREEMENTS nations have agreed to.
What we see in CGC is clearly a violation of that “rule of law”. And I am surprised that the strongest advocates of this “rescue” came from some US lawyers and Congressman, such as Jerome Cohen, a self-proclaimed China law expert, who are effectively saying, “We don’t like the results of Chinese legal system on this Chinese citizen CGC, so let’s spring him from China.” (BTW, Jerome Cohen regularly writes about “rule of law” in China, but it appears, not so much when he’s busy bypassing those same rule of laws when he doesn’t like their results).
Umm, Excuse you, you are a bunch of law respecting people, supposedly. If you are really interested in “rule of law” and “human rights” for CGC, you should be insisting on a legal Appeal for CGC, NOT a literal “flight from jurisdiction”.
By the type of cloak and dagger operation you have conducted, you have further nothing but street justice, “vigilante human rights”, a hollow victory for your own personal cause of 1 man.
You know why you are not insisting on a legal Appeal for CGC in China? Because CGC has exhausted his appeal in the Chinese legal system. He had his appeal in a higher Chinese court and lost. And that means, in China’s “rules of law”, CGC was treated fairly in the justice system.
Not fair, you say, well, no legal system is perfect. Some say, he didn’t have access to his lawyers in the appeal. Well, nothing in Chinese law says guarantee to lawyers in the appeal, and incidentally, he claimed to be a competent lawyer himself, (a rather flimsy lie), then he had himself as his lawyer.
And in the Chinese Civil Law system, the appeals court’s function is not to rehear the previous arguments from the actual case, but to examine correctness of lower court’s process. Thus, lawyers are rarely used in the appeals process.
And if you are willing to sacrifice the “RULE of LAW” (and the long held diplomatic agreement) for your sense of Perfect justice, then that is “RULE Of MAN” and “vigilante justice” that you respect.
If CGC himself is claiming that he wants “rule of law” in China, then he should insist on staying in China, appeal if possible, and if he loses, live out the consequences. Appealing for “rescue” from foreigners is hardly an act of “Rule of Law”.
But before you become content with that, let me give you the simple consequences:
(1) since US is breaking the diplomatic agreement on jurisdiction of laws, that means, China (and other nations) can “rescue” which ever criminal they feel are being wrongfully prosecuted in US, and give them “asylum”.
(2) since US is breaking the diplomatic agreement on jurisdiction of laws, that means, even if China does reach an “agreement” with US on CGC, that “agreement” may be later declared void, because China determines that it is being “unfairly” targeted by US justice system, and wants a little of its own “vigilante justice” payback. “Rule of Law”, go suck it, US broke it 1st.
Hey, why should US be the ONLY one getting to have “vigilante justice”??
And if Western Media wants to romanticize this CGC affair, let’s just keep clear the imagery: CGC will remain, by the Chinese legal system, an Ex-Convict, even if “free” by agreement with US. US is thus, falling in love with an Ex-Con after much distant exchange of letters of love and affections for each other.
Appropriately, there are many women in US who fall in love with Ex-Con’s and get married to them to “rescue” them.
It may be romantic by some definition and even fashionable in US and the West. Hey, that’s what it really is.
And it’s not just the CGC affair. Recently, US and the West in general has been on a slew of “vigilantism” running amok in the world, even in itself.
Take for example, the Hacktivist groups who went after the US government and big corporations. The Message from them is simple, if things are not fair, we will take matters into our own hands in our own ways to seek “justice”, forget the process, because the process is not fair. Heck, the process might be defined by some Communist leader in China, enforced by Chinese loans through US banks and corporations.
Well, with US government doing the same, how do you tell the Anarchists on the net and on the street that they should obey the “rules”?
US government can even order death by drone on one of its own citizens, without trial, without even warrants, by Executive order alone! Hey, nothing speedier than flying death justice!
Well great, Command in chief of instant justice, you have inspired many to follow their own justice. I can’t wait to see what the 99% might do next in US and Europe.
***I further pose a question, if so many of the self-proclaimed “human rights leaders” of China leave China, who will become the “Martin Luther King Jr.” of China? (for the sake of indulging in their own fantasies).
For the sake of indulging in fantasies, did MLK Jr. “escape” to another country, in view of his prison terms, the death threats to his family, the violent confrontations potential for every protest, the FBI surveillance on him, etc.??