Over at the Supreme People’s Court Monitor blog, Susan Finder has an excellent post on a recent speech by Liu Guixiang of the Adjudication Committee of the Supreme People’s Court. There are a number of interesting things in the speech, but this is just a short note about one thing that struck me: his call to uphold the “absolute leadership of the Party” (要坚持党的绝对领导).
Now, calls to uphold the leadership of the Party are a dime a dozen. But “absolute leadership”? That seemed a new one to me, so I did some checking around. I looked in Google and in the CNKI database for both journals and newspapers (full text) for instances in any year, ever, of (A) “courts must uphold the leadership of the Party” (法院要坚持党的领导) and (B) “courts must uphold the absolute leadership of the Party” (法院要坚持党的绝对领导). Here are the results in terms of number of hits.
Obviously, the search term I used was highly specific; I wanted to be sure not to come up with any false positives, and was confident that the corpus of Chinese texts out there was sufficiently large that I’d still get some meaningful results. That seems to have happened. Pretty clearly the phrase “absolute leadership” is quite unusual as applied to courts. If anyone has thoughts about what’s going on here, please comment.
I’m attaching my results here.