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Civil Code Highlights Chinese Traditional Values

    HEFEI, June 17 (Xinhua) — Zhang Yiyi has been annoyed by the leak of her personal information as she often receives harassing phone calls after booking plane tickets online or buying a house from a real estate agency.

    Zhang, a resident in Hefei, capital of east China’s Anhui Province, hopes the problem could be solved with the country’s newly adopted Civil Code, which clearly defines people’s privacy.

    As the first law to carry the title “code” since New China was founded in 1949, the Civil Code passed at the third session of the 13th National People’s Congress, China’s top legislative body, will take effect on Jan. 1, 2021.

A major innovation of China’s Civil Code, jurists say, is embodied in the section on personality rights.

    Yao Weiyao, partner of the Anhui Huishang Law Firm, said incorporating personality rights provisions into an independent section emphasizes the protection of people’s dignity, which is in line with the people-rooted thoughts of traditional Chinese culture and reflects China’s confidence in its culture.

    The section on personality rights includes provisions on a civil subject’s rights to life, body, health, name, portrait, reputation, and privacy, among others.

    In Yao’s view, the code not only shows China’s innovation in legislation but also contributes to mankind’s achievements in building a law-based civilization.

    The adoption of the Civil Code also excited Deng Jiakai, a judge of the Intermediate People’s Court of Wuhu, Anhui Province.

    ”The code is a milestone in the country’s advancement of the rule of law, and adapts to the judicial practices at the grassroots level,” he said. “From the protection of individuals and families to the maintenance of social order, it embodies our excellent traditional values and national spirit.”

    The judge, who has 26 years of trial experience, has heard a succession case before, in which the nephew of a man surnamed Fang, as his only relative, asked for insurance compensation after Fang died in a car accident.

    At that time, Deng could only protect the nephew’s legitimate rights and interests in accordance with a series of legal provisions, such as the tort liability law and General Principles of the Civil Law, and relevant judicial interpretations.

    ”The inheritance provisions in the Civil Code amended the Law of Succession, which highlights traditional values including caring for the elderly and gives judges at grassroots levels more clarity in their decisions,” Deng said.

    In addition to general and supplementary provisions, the Civil Code includes six parts on real rights, contracts, personality rights, marriage and family, inheritance, and tort liabilities, protecting Chinese citizens’ rights from the cradle to the grave. According to the code, even unborn children have the right to an inheritance and gifts.

    Zhou Shihong, vice president of the Anhui Lawyers Association, said the code mentions carrying forward the core socialist values in Article One of its general provisions and also fully reflects the integration of the rule of law and the rule of virtue in the specific articles.

    ”Embodying our fine traditional culture and moral values in laws can in turn promote the further civilization of society, resulting in two-way benefits,” Zhou said. 


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