(Washington — November 15, 2010) The Christian “Democratic Election and Rule of Law” delegation from China successfully completed their visit to Washington D.C. on November 11.
This trip was co-sponsored by two Christian non-governmental organizations — the US-based ChinaAid Association and the Christian Human Rights Lawyers of China.
On November 9 at 3:30 p.m., the delegation convened at the office of Justice Antonin Scalia to discuss matters of justice in China. They were accompanied by Pastor Bob Fu, president of ChinaAid, and Scott Flipse, an official from the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.
Justice Scalia warmly welcomed the delegation, asking about the background and the work of Mr. Li Baiguang, the Christian attorney committed to human rights defense, and Mr. Ran Liang, the educator devoted to Christian private schooling.
He said, as a friend of Chinese people, that after so many years of exchanges with China and his visit to China that given its robust economic development, the nation will play an increasingly important role in the international arena. He said he hopes that China will also make corresponding progress in democracy and rule of law.
During the conversation, Scalia unequivocally noted that many people hold fast to the idea that the US Constitution and amendments are the most important parts of America’s legal system. Yet he thinks the most meaningful part is the separation of the state powers and the checks and balances between these powers.
For example, there are many countries in the world where human rights condition is deplorable, even though the number of provisions on the protection of human rights in their constitutions is no less than that of the US Constitution, and they can be even more beautifully worded.
Justice Scalia also carefully listened to the delegates’ feelings and opinions concerning America’s democracy and legal system, and their constructive opinions on the development of rule of law and religious freedom in China.
He made a special inquiry about the case of missing Christian human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng and expressed his concern for Dr. Fan Yafeng, who has suffered much oppression recently. He said he would keep communication with Li Baiguang and Ran Liang, and the next time the delegation comes to the US, he would like to meet them again.
Scalia took group photos with the members of the delegation to mark the occasion. The delegation gave Scalia small tapestry handmade by a Chinese house church with the text about love from I Corinthians 13 inscribed on it.
“We deeply thank Justice Scalia for this historic meeting with Chinese rights defenders at the nation’s highest court,” said Bob Fu. “Justice Scalia’s rich independent judicial experience and enormous knowledge on constitutionalism will certainly help advance rule of law and freedom in China.”
Dr. Fan Yafeng, founder and president of Christian Human Rights Lawyers of China, said, “Justice Scalia’s meeting with the delegation is doubtlessly an encouraging and important event in advancing the rule of law and religious freedom in China.”
Justice Scalia Speaks With Delegation About Rule of Law