The Chinese authorities abuse their power much by infringing people’s rights for access to information. Depriving people of the means for recording the conversation or making a video in public seems to have become a norm in China. Consequently, the Chinese police feel completely invincible in breaking the law; such a tendency leads to people being injured by the police and scared to the point where they feel terrorized. However, because of the Chinese Party-State’s Principal-Agent law, neither the petitions, which numerous Chinese send to their government nor the footage of people’s rights being infringed, can reach the destination. Unless the Chinese system of media transfer to the state officials is changed together with the principles of the legal system, drastic consequences will ensue.
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Introduction: China’s Petitioning System and Its Flaws
According to the key principles of the Chinese petitioning system, the so-called petitioning bureaus are in charge for collecting the letters that the Chinese people send to their state authorities in an attempt to change the current state of the country’s economic, financial, political or legal state of affairs (RFAVideo, 2011a). The State Bureaus for Letters and Calls are also responsible for dealing with the petitions sent by the residents of the area. Afterward, the petitions are sent to the corresponding departments, which consider the requests and provide feedback to the Chinese population. The flaws of the system are obvious – without a direct connection between the departments and the population, the petitions are most likely to be overlooked.
Chinese Party-State’s Principal-Agent Problem
The problem mentioned above is related closely to the Chinese party-state’s principal-agent issue. After the media reform made in China in 1987, the media must be used solely as the tool for the state entrepreneurship to operate by the Party’s orders. Therefore, the petitions that the Chinese people create to send to the government to restrain the local authorities and put a stop to their power abuse simply fail to reach the destination.
True, the situations when the pressure from the petitioners becomes too high, officials may decide to meet their demands so that the petitioners could not reach the higher officials; “that happens sometimes” (RFAVideo, 2011). However, for the most part, the major problem of the petitioners is that, due to the policy imposed on the state officials by the Chinese Party-State’s Principal-Agent law, the petitions simply fail to reach their destination (RFAVideo, 2011b). In other words, the law prevents people from voicing their opinion and blocks the way for the petitions to reach the people that could make a difference.
Addressing the Issue: The Avenues to Be Taken
It should be born in mind that the issue can still be dealt with. For example, an incident with a journalist, who managed to capture the footage despite the attempts of the police to take it away, is known (RFAVideo, 2011). Therefore, it can be suggested that more active steps should be taken by the local population to voice their concerns and demand that their rights should be complied with.
Conclusion: When the Time to Make Changes Comes
The petitioning system of China is doubtlessly flawed. Because of the Chinese Party-State’s Principal-Agent Act, people are unable to provide proof of police abusing their power. However, by inviting journalists and including media into the conflict, Chinese people will be able to handle the situation.
RFAVideo. (2011). China’s petitioners: A struggle for justice, part 1. YouTube. Web.
RFAVideo. (2011a). China’s petitioners: A struggle for justice, part 2. YouTube. Web.
RFAVideo. (2011b). China’s petitioners: A struggle for justice, part 3. YouTube. Web.