China: Small Strides

In theory, guaranteed rights

The outcome was never in doubt. The 3,000 delegates of the National People's Congress, the Chinese parliament that convenes for about two weeks every year, unanimously approved a new constitution late last week. The lack of suspense belied the significance of the vote: the latest charter, the fourth since the Communist takeover in 1949, sweeps away many of the last vestiges of the late Mao Tse-tung and institutionalizes the reforms of Chinese Leader Deng Xiaoping.

The constitution restores many of the fundamental rights that were guaranteed in the 1954 charter but were scuttled by Mao in 1974....

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