Media support the Communist Party’s decision to discuss judicial reforms and the rule of law at its annual meeting.

The country’s top leaders will attend the four-day plenary from Monday in Beijing.

According to reports, judicial reforms and anti-corruption efforts are expected to be on top of the meeting’s agenda.

State-run Xinhua news agency notes that there is a need to improve the rule of law as “power abuse is still a common phenomenon in China” and some officials “take the lead in violating laws”.

The Global Times explains that this is the first time the party has set the rule of law as the central theme of its plenary session.

“We have established the authority of the law and it is a time of historic significance to promote the rule of law to the next level,” the paper quotes Yang Weidong, a law professor from the China Academy of Governance, as saying.

“There may be a bold but practical breakthrough in judicial power reforms that will put judicial departments under the supervision and management of a central agency instead of regional ones,” Sun Xiaoxia, a law expert at Fudan University says.

An article in the People’s Daily points out that the country is at the “crucial period of deepening reforms” as the number of social conflicts has been increasing.

“We can effectively solve the conflicts and problems in governance only through the rule of law… Regrettably, some local governments have been going back to their old ways of functioning, discarding the rule of law,” the article notes.

‘Weird buildings’

Elsewhere, papers criticise local government officials over deadly clashes in a village in Yunnan province in south-western China.

According to reports, four construction workers were burned to death by villagers in a clash in Fuyou village.

The workers were building a trade and logistics centre that residents were reportedly unhappy about. The incident at a building site has left six workers and two villagers dead.

Papers have given prominent coverage to the “shocking” incident.

Several papers, including the Beijing News and the Beijing Times, have asked the local government to explain why it failed to prevent the tragedy.

In a strongly worded editorial, the China Daily says the conflict can be seen as “the obvious failure of the local government”.

“We have seen many bloody confrontations between developers and helpless villagers. We have heard a lot about the government’s pledges to make evacuations and land seizures less intimidating”, recalls the daily.

It adds that the authorities have failed in fulfilling their promises.

“Officials’ impatience, ineptitude and rude approach in dealing with public discontent are evidence that they are no longer fit to lead”, says the paper, urging agencies to scrutinise the relationship between developers and local officials.

And finally, “weird buildings” are back in the media spotlight after Chinese President Xi Jinping called for an end to such architecture.

During a symposium on Wednesday, Mr Xi told artists, authors and actors that their work should present socialist values and not carry the “stench of money”.

He also instructed that “weird architecture” needs to be shunned, reports add.

The China Central Television building in Beijing and the iconic Gate to the East building in Suzhou, eastern China, are some of China’s modern buildings that have been ridiculed for their “dramatic designs”.

Agreeing with Mr Xi’s views, an article in the Haiwai Net says that a lack of long-term urban planning has led to the “wild growth” of “different style” of buildings.

“Some people may think that one has to engage foreign designers to come up with strange designs to show internationalisation of cities. This is a huge misconception and it shows lack of self-confidence,” it adds.

By BBC MONITORING October 17, 2014 in BBC