Traditional Chinese Culture: Dai Zhou Steadfast in the Face of Power to Sustain the Law
(Clearwisdom.net) Dai Zhou, also known as Dai Xuanyin, was a man from Anyang, Xiangzhou Prefecture in the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907 A.D.). Because Dai Zhou was a clean, honest and capable official free of corruption, Emperor Taizong (626 - 649 A.D.) gave him important assignments. In fact, Emperor Taizong appointed Dai Zhou Minister of the Justice Department. Dai Zhou acted strictly according to the laws and even Emperor Taizong could not force him to make any exception.
Once Zhangsun Wuji, the Empress' brother, was summoned to see Emperor Taizong, but he forgot to remove his weapons before entering the royal court. Because the royal guard in charge of removing visitors' weapons failed to spot Zhangsun Wuji's weapon, a court official suggested that the royal guard should be executed, but Zhangsun Wuji's offense should be overlooked this time. In his letter to Emperor Taizong, Dai Zhou argued that the royal guard and Zhangsun Wuji committed the same offense and that it would be most unjust if they were given different sentences. Emperor Taizong replied, "The law applies to everyone in the country. How can I allow my brother-in-law to get away with anything?" The emperor ordered both cases be retried. After a few rounds of debate with Dai Zhou, finally Zhangsun Wuji and the royal guard were free of the death sentence.
There was a time when the capital city Chang'an was swarming with candidates for the civil service examinations. Some people cheated on the exams in order to be selected. Emperor Taizong made a public notice to absolve those cheaters who confessed and to execute other cheaters who refused to confess. After a while, some candidates were caught cheating on the examination. At the trial, Dai Zhou decided that these cheaters should be banished, which was in accordance with the law. Emperor Taizong refuted, "In my public notice, I said to execute those cheaters who do not confess. You are sentencing these cheaters to banishment. It is like telling the entire country that I am not a man of my word. Have you taken bribes from these cheaters to reduce their sentences?" Dai Zhou explained, "If Your Majesty had already executed them, it would be useless to say anything. But Your Majesty is asking me to have them tried, how can I violate the law?" Emperor Taizong said, "You only care about following the law, but you don't care about my credibility. What should I do?" Dai Zhou said, "The law is the ultimate credibility of the government. But it was an emotional decision driven by rage when Your Majesty threatened to execute the cheaters. Your Majesty knew very well that these cheaters do not deserve to die by the law and that's why you handed the case to me. You have governed your rage and will preserve the credibility of your administration if you allow me to sentence these cheaters justly, according to the law. But you would have ruined the credibility of Your Majesty's administration if you insisted on executing them to vent your anger. I will feel sorry for Your Majesty if you decide to execute them." Emperor Taizong was deeply touched by Dai Zhou's words and decided to follow his advice.
Although Dai Zhou repeatedly offended Emperor Taizong because he insisted on following the law and standing his ground, Emperor Taizong gave him even more assignments. Later the emperor promoted him to even more prominent, powerful positions in the royal government. Dai Zhou was widely praised for his commitment to his work. People said that there were few government officials like Dai Zhou since the establishment of the Tang Dynasty. Soon Dai Zhou was made the emperor's political advisor, the same position as the famous Wei Zheng. Wei Zheng and Dai Zhou took turns serving Emperor Taizong daily as his political advisors. The Great Tang Dynasty reached its zenith in terms of politics and economics during Emperor Taizong's reign. It had a lot to do with the fact that Emperor Taizong humbly took advice from his subjects and highly valued honest and just officials, such as Dai Zhou, who refused to compromise his ethics and integrity in the face of power and threat.
Jiang Zemin, the former Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, abused his power and violated the Chinese constitution, which warrants each Chinese citizens the freedom of personal religious and spiritual belief. He ordered a ban on, and suppression of, Falun Gong, a Buddha school cultivation practice based on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance. Many officials of the central and local governments knew Jiang's order violated the Chinese constitution, but they gave in to power and self-interest and assisted Jiang Zemin in his crimes against humanity. They have completely trampled Chinese laws in their persecution of Falun Gong. The Chinese Communist Party has become a gang that has lost all of its credibility and morality and has committed long litanies of crimes. Heaven shall annihilate the Chinese Communist Party eventually. How can these hopelessly corrupt government officials escape justice?