秉公执法的“包青天” Bao the Upright Judge
Many stories have been handed down among the Chinese people about a judge known for his fearless espousal of justice. He is known as "Clear Sky Bao", meaning that no wrongdoing could be hidden from his impartial eye, and was a historical personage during the Song Dynasty.
Bao Zheng (999-1062 AD) was from Hefei, in today's Anhui Province. As a county magistrate, he showed no partiality for friends or relatives, even sentencing one of his uncles to death for a crime.
When Lord Bao, as he came to be known, became a court official, he refused to practice favoritism as regards his fellow officials. One year, there occurred a flood in the capital, Kaifeng, which threatened to engulf the poorer quarters of the city. Bao Zheng found that the flood had been caused by the intrusion of waterside gardens and pavilions built for the pleasure of senior officials. Without any hesitation, he ordered that these constructions be removed.
Bao Zheng had great sympathy for those who were unjustly convicted. He would determinedly carry out detailed investigations and bring justice to the victims. People admired his character so much that they praised him as the "Clear Sky Bao".
Although Bao was a high-ranking official, he lived a simple and frugal life just like commoners. His will declared that if his descendants were to be corrupted officials, they would be forbidden to return home and they would be denied the right to be buried in the family graveyard.
Bao was well respected by people because of his righteousness, and his legend was spread among the regions. Since people were used to call him Lord Bao, his real name was rarely mentioned.