Top court to en­hance pro­tec­tion of en­trepreneurs

China Daily - - FRONT PAGE - By CAO YIN caoyin@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Ju­di­cial pro­tec­tion of pri­vate en­ter­prises and en­trepreneurs will be en­hanced in ac­cor­dance with the law to of­fer them more sense of se­cu­rity and prevent civil eco­nomic dis­putes from be­ing solved by crim­i­nal penal­ties, a se­nior judge has said.

In­fringe­ments of the le­git­i­mate rights of pri­vate en­ter­prises and en­trepreneurs will be res­o­lutely pun­ished, while their le­git­i­mate op­er­a­tions will be res­o­lutely pro­tected ac­cord­ing to the law, Jiang Bixin, vi­cepres­i­dent of the Supreme Peo­ple’s Court, said in a re­cent in­ter­view.

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping, also gen­eral sec­re­tary of the Com­mu­nist Party of China Cen­tral Com­mit­tee and chair­man of the Cen­tral Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sion, said ear­lier this month that the coun­try will unswerv­ingly en­cour­age, sup­port and guide the de­vel­op­ment of the non­pub­lic sec­tor and sup­port pri­vate en­ter­prises.

He de­manded the im­ple­men­ta­tion of poli­cies and mea­sures in six as­pects to cre­ate a bet­ter en­vi­ron­ment for the de­vel­op­ment of pri­vate en­ter­prises, in­clud­ing bet­ter en­sur­ing en­trepreneurs’ per­sonal and prop­erty safety.

“For some ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in the his­tory of some pri­vate en­ter­prises, (we) should see the prob­lem in the light of the de­vel­op­ment and fol­low the prin­ci­ple of ‘crimes and pun­ish­ment stip­u­lated by law’ and the prin­ci­ple of ‘in­no­cent un­til proved guilty’, so that en­trepreneurs can un­load their men­tal bur­den and move on,” Xi said.

“I’ve stressed sev­eral times that a num­ber of wrong­ful cases in which the le­git­i­mate prop­erty rights of en­ter­prises were in­fringed upon should be re­viewed and rec­ti­fied. Re­cently, the courts have re­tried sev­eral typ­i­cal cases and re­ceived warm re­sponse from the pub­lic,” Xi said.

Jiang said pri­vate en­ter­prises, State-owned en­ter­prises, small en­ter­prises and large en­ter­prises will all be given the same treat­ment and pro­tected equally.

Ex­cuses such as loss of Sta­te­owned as­sets and main­te­nance of pub­lic in­ter­est must not be used to dis­re­gard the le­git­i­mate de­mands of pri­vate en­ter­prises and en­trepreneurs and to in­fringe upon their le­git­i­mate rights, he added.

Jiang said a small num­ber of peo­ple in­tend to use mi­nor of­fenses to de­liver vi­tal blows to pri­vate en­ter­prises or black­mail them, and this should be pre­vented.

“It should be cau­tioned that a small num­ber of peo­ple in­tend to en­trap pri­vate en­ter­prises and en­trepreneurs via fake and ma­li­cious lit­i­ga­tion,” he added.

Jiang also em­pha­sized that ju­di­cial de­part­ments must strictly and ac­cu­rately dis­tin­guish eco­nomic dis­putes from eco­nomic crimes, and should not crim­i­nally pe­nal­ize pri­vate

en­trepreneurs if their in­no­va­tions in fundrais­ing, op­er­a­tions or pro­duc­tion do not breach crim­i­nal laws.

He said a new ju­di­cial in­ter­pre­ta­tion to prevent courts from han­dling civil eco­nomic dis­putes through crim­i­nal pun­ish­ments is be­ing drafted, and a new group of such typ­i­cal cases will be re­leased soon to of­fer lo­cal courts spe­cific guid­ance.

Pro­tect­ing prop­erty rights and pri­vate econ­omy has been a ma­jor task for the top court in re­cent years. In 2016, the top court set up a spe­cial team to re­view sus­pected wrong­ful prop­erty-re­lated cases, and a year later, it de­cided to retry three high-pro­file cases con­cern­ing prop­erty.

Zhang Wen­zhong, for­mer chair­man of re­tail com­pany Wumei Hold­ings, was ac­quit­ted of fraud, bribery and em­bez­zle­ment charges dur­ing one of the re­tri­als. The re­tri­als of two other cases, one in­volv­ing Gu Chu­jun, for­mer chair­man of re­frig­er­a­tor maker Guang­dong Kelon Elec­tri­cal Hold­ings, and the other in­volv­ing Jiangsu Muyang Co Ltd, are un­der­way.

The re­tri­als of these three cases “are con­ducive to strength­en­ing a sense of per­sonal safety and prop­erty se­cu­rity for en­trepreneurs and their con­fi­dence in en­trepreneur­ship”, Jiang said.

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