A recent speech from the new helmsman of the Communist Party of China (CPC) notably urged Party members not to cross the lines set by the Constitution and laws.
Xi Jinping, newly-elected general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, said the CPC should not only lead the people in adopting the Constitution and laws but also set an example by abiding by them.
The speech was made on the occasion marking the 30th anniversary of the implementation of the country's current version of the Constitution, a time of great historical significance.
The current Constitution was adopted in 1982, a few years after the end of the Cultural Revolution. The country turned to the rule of law, drawing painful lessons from the chaotic and lawless governance exercised in that decade.
Xi in his speech cited late leader Deng Xiaoping as saying, "To ensure people's democracy, we must strengthen our legal system. Democracy has to be institutionalized and written into law, so as to ensure that institutions and laws do not change whenever the leadership changes or whenever the leaders change their views or shift the focus of their attention."
The 1982 Constitution has laid the foundation for the country's basic political, economic and social systems and paved the way for legislation in the following years.
Over the past three decades, the Constitution and laws under it have established their authority in China and played a key role in the country's political, economic and social spheres.
However, rule by man, which was practiced in China for thousands of years and runs contrary to the rule of law, still troubles the country to some degree. Some officials have failed to exercise their duty in line with laws, common citizens' legal rights have occasionally been harmed by public power and powerful party officials and civil servants have been caught abusing their power and breaking the law from time to time.
As many legal experts suggest, only when the ruling party and government are subject to the Constitution and laws, can the country realize the rule of law.
As the country has risen as the world's second-largest economy and huge social transitions have happened on a large scale and in a very short period of time, the CPC has faced great challenges in managing complex interest groups and balancing the needs of different groups of people.
The CPC and government are hearing increasing calls from the people for social justice and equality -- and this is where the legal system should come into play.
Xi admitted that the system to supervise the implementation of the Constitution has not been well established.
Proposals have been made by some scholars, including suggestions to set up a special commission under the National People's Congress, the country's parliamentary body, to handle the review of constitutionality.
Following the declarations made by top leaders, people are expecting more concrete moves to implement the Constitution and laws. Endi