Modern Chinese Legal Reform: New Perspectives

University Press of Kentucky
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China's rapid socioeconomic transformation of the past twenty years has led to dramatic changes in its judicial system and legal practices. As China becomes more powerful on the world stage, the global community has dedicated more resources and attention to understanding the country's evolving democratization, and policymakers have identified the development of civil liberties and long-term legal reforms as crucial for the nation's acceptance as a global partner.

Modern Chinese Legal Reform is designed as a legal and political research tool to help English-speaking scholars interpret the many recent changes to China's legal system. Investigating subjects such as constitutional history, the intersection of politics and law, democratization, civil legal practices, and judicial mechanisms, the essays in this volume situate current constitutional debates in the context of both the country's ideology and traditions and the wider global community.

Editors Xiaobing Li and Qiang Fang bring together scholars from multiple disciplines to provide a comprehensive and balanced look at a difficult subject. Featuring newly available official sources and interviews with Chinese administrators, judges, law-enforcement officers, and legal experts, this essential resource enables readers to view key events through the eyes of individuals who are intimately acquainted with the challenges and successes of the past twenty years.

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About the author

Xiaobing Li is professor of history and director of the Western Pacific Institute at the University of Central Oklahoma and author or coauthor of several books, including Voices from the Vietnam War: Stories from American, Asian, and Russian Veterans.

Qiang Fang is assistant professor of East Asian history at the University of Minnesota--Duluth.

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Additional Information

Publisher
University Press of Kentucky
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Published on
Jan 16, 2013
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Pages
316
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ISBN
9780813141213
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Asia / China
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Available on Android devices
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The Art of War is a classic of military strategy. It is ascribed to Sun Tzu, also called Sunzi or Sun Wu, a quasi-legendary figure. The work has been dated from between the 6th to the 3rd century BCE. It is known worldwide and is considered required reading for students of political and military science.

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The Art of War is itself a brief work. However, it is generally packaged with extensive commentary and additional essays, so that it appears to be a book of around 200 pages or more. (This new modern edition is only 40 pages in length.)

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This new edition meant to address the needs of the modern reader. By honing the language down to clear formulations, The Art of War can be more readily understood, more enjoyable to read, and more relevant to today.

The English is based on the original translation by Lionel Giles. The 1910 English prose of Giles is awkward to our modern ears, and slows down our reading and appreciation of this classic.

The new modern edition of The Art of War is meant to communicate the authentic essence and meaning of this work in modern, accessible English prose. This version is an abridgement, a shortened form of a work which nevertheless retains the same meaning and upholds the unity of the original.

Abridgement is foremost a cutting away of the inessential parts, which ends up in condensing the work. The key to abridging is to ensure the prose is extremely clear and transparent in meaning, requiring little additional guidance or interpretation to reach understanding.
Complaint systems have existed in China for many years, and in 2004, a debate took place in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) over the Letters and Visits System (xinfang zhidu), which was designed to allow people to register complaints with the upper levels of the government. However, both parties generally overlooked several different complaint systems that had preceded the Letters and Visits System during China’s history. Indeed, despite the rich heritage of numerous complaint systems throughout China’s past, most studies of complaint systems in China have paid little attention to the origins, development, practices, impact, and nature of similar institutions in the longue durée of Chinese history.

Presenting a comprehensive study of complaint systems in Chinese history from early times to the present, this important book fills the gap in existing literature on complaint systems in China. Drawing on primary sources, Qiang Fang analyses the significance of continuities and changes in historical complaint systems for contemporary China, where the state continues to be nominally strong, but actually fragile. Unlike other major theories of popular resistance to the state in China, such as ‘everyday resistance’, ‘rightful resistance’ and resistance ‘as legal rights’, this book develops the theory that behind Chinese complaint systems, there was a mentality of ‘natural resistance’ that has been deeply embedded in Chinese culture, political philosophy, and folk religion for millennia. Given this history, Fang concludes that it is likely that some form of complaint system will continue to exist, and by helping to mitigate the increasing demands of the Chinese state on the Chinese, will serve to strengthen the state.

An essential contribution understanding the strengths, weaknesses, and various roles of the Letters and Visits System in contemporary China, as well as the systems that have preceded it throughout China’s long history, this book will be of huge interest to students and scholars of Chinese history, politics and law.

Complaint systems have existed in China for many years, and in 2004, a debate took place in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) over the Letters and Visits System (xinfang zhidu), which was designed to allow people to register complaints with the upper levels of the government. However, both parties generally overlooked several different complaint systems that had preceded the Letters and Visits System during China’s history. Indeed, despite the rich heritage of numerous complaint systems throughout China’s past, most studies of complaint systems in China have paid little attention to the origins, development, practices, impact, and nature of similar institutions in the longue durée of Chinese history.

Presenting a comprehensive study of complaint systems in Chinese history from early times to the present, this important book fills the gap in existing literature on complaint systems in China. Drawing on primary sources, Qiang Fang analyses the significance of continuities and changes in historical complaint systems for contemporary China, where the state continues to be nominally strong, but actually fragile. Unlike other major theories of popular resistance to the state in China, such as ‘everyday resistance’, ‘rightful resistance’ and resistance ‘as legal rights’, this book develops the theory that behind Chinese complaint systems, there was a mentality of ‘natural resistance’ that has been deeply embedded in Chinese culture, political philosophy, and folk religion for millennia. Given this history, Fang concludes that it is likely that some form of complaint system will continue to exist, and by helping to mitigate the increasing demands of the Chinese state on the Chinese, will serve to strengthen the state.

An essential contribution understanding the strengths, weaknesses, and various roles of the Letters and Visits System in contemporary China, as well as the systems that have preceded it throughout China’s long history, this book will be of huge interest to students and scholars of Chinese history, politics and law.

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