Deng Xiaoping

Neither Democracy Nor the Legal System Should Be Weakened


Published: June 28, 1979
Translated by: Unknown
Source: Deng Xiaoping Works
Transcription for MIA: Joonas Laine


We must strengthen both democracy and the legal system because they have been ineffective. In order to strengthen our democracy, we have to improve our legal system. Nothing can be accomplished without an extensive democracy and a sound legal system. We have suffered a great deal from disorder and turmoil. Not long ago some leading administrative organs in Shanghai were violated, and this type of offence cannot be allowed to happen again. In fact, it reflected an ideological system which urges beating, smashing, looting and violence, as was advocated by the Gang of Four.

We really have had no laws and no legal system to follow for many years now. At this session of the National People’s Congress, we formulated seven laws. Some of these laws contained articles which revised the Constitution. For example, we restored our former administrative structure by disbanding the revolutionary committees. This was a necessary precondition for creating a political situation of stability, unity and liveliness. If we do not establish such a political situation, the four modernizations cannot be realized. Following this session, we shall formulate a series of laws. We lack many necessary civil laws. We also need to enact many laws governing economic development, such as those pertaining to factories. The laws that we have made are too few. We need about one hundred of laws which we do not presently have. Therefore, we have much work to do and this is just the beginning. We must promote our democracy and our legal system. They are like a person’s two hands; if either one is weak, the person will not be able to accomplish anything.

(Excerpt from a talk with the eighth delegation for visiting China of the Komei Party of Japan headed by Yoshikatsu Takeiri, the Chairman of the Party’s Central Executive Committee.)