POSTS BY Ruiping Ye

Kill the Chickens to Scare the Monkeys

As the Chinese saying goes, killing the chickens to scare the monkeys, China’s courts were quick to set examples of people who committed offences in relation to the country’s response to Covid-19 in order to deter potential offenders. However, the punishments of ordinary offenders and responsible officials highlight China’s constitutional setting – the dominance of the Communist Party in state affairs, and the political role of courts in times of national emergency. This is consistent with China’s self-proclamation – the centrality of the Communist Party’s leadership and the division of functions among state organs without separation of powers. Under such a setting, ordinary people and officials are subject to different rules and have different fates.

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