The 1792-94 Macartney Embassy – The first clash between China and the West

During the 16th century and most of the 17th century, China enjoyed a generally positive image in Europe. The works of the Jesuits - Catholic missionaries who lived and proselytized in the Far East - depicted the Central Kingdom as a well-governed and ethical society. (Jones, 2001, p. 18) Chinese art became popular with European … Continue reading The 1792-94 Macartney Embassy – The first clash between China and the West

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Freedom or despotism? – Autocratic governance and laissez-faire in Imperial China

China is ... a despotic state, whose principle is fear. Perhaps in the earliest dynasties, when the empire had not so large an extent, the government might have deviated a little from this spirit; but the case is otherwise at present. (Charles De Secondat Montesquieu, The Spirit of Laws) During the Manchu dynasty ... [t]he … Continue reading Freedom or despotism? – Autocratic governance and laissez-faire in Imperial China

The Traditional Roots of Parental Pressure and Academic Success in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan

Chinese state media once called China a "world superpower in stress". According to a 2012 survey, 75% of Chinese workers are stressed, compared with 47% in the United States, 42% in the United Kingdom, and 58% in Germany. Over 70% percent of Chinese white-collar workers suffer from overwork, which poses a serious risk to their health. … Continue reading The Traditional Roots of Parental Pressure and Academic Success in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan

Voluntary Surrender and Confession in China’s Legal System – From the Empire to the People’s Republic

China's Televised Confessions On January 17 Gui Minhai, a Chinese-born Swedish citizen, made a high-profile confession on China Central Television (CCTV), saying that he had turned himself to the authorities voluntarily. He confessed to having caused the death of a 20-year-old woman while drunk-driving back in 2003. According to China's state media, Gui had subsequently fled … Continue reading Voluntary Surrender and Confession in China’s Legal System – From the Empire to the People’s Republic

Legalism And Leninism In China’s Constitutional History

When the Qing Dynasty was overthrown in 1911 and the Republic of China (ROC) was proclaimed, the revolutionaries led by Sun Yat-sen embarked on an ambitious experiment to modernise the country according to liberal Western ideals of democracy, human rights and division of powers. The new Republican government issued a Provisional Constitution which guaranteed progressive … Continue reading Legalism And Leninism In China’s Constitutional History

Legalist Tradition And Criminal Law – Republic Of China vs People’s Republic Of China

In a previous post we have demonstrated that the Constitution of the People's Republic of China (PRC) contains fundamental elements which are consistent with, if not directly derived from, Legalist principles. In this chapter we shall analyse and compare the Legalist elements contained in the criminal codes of the Republic of China (ROC) and of … Continue reading Legalist Tradition And Criminal Law – Republic Of China vs People’s Republic Of China

Sun Yat-sen: Memoirs of a Chinese Revolutionary

Sun Yat-sen (source: Wikipedia) Sun Yat-sen (1866 – 1925) was a Chinese revolutionary and politician. During the Late Qing era he fought to overthrow the Manchu Dynasty and establish a new, modern Chinese state. His political doctrines, most notably the Three Principles of the People, had a deep impact on the development of China in … Continue reading Sun Yat-sen: Memoirs of a Chinese Revolutionary

Law In Post-Mao China: Confucianism, Legalism, Imperial Traditions

In the previous post we have described the similarities and differences between Maoism and Legalism, and in particular we have shown the parallels between Maoist and Legalist doctrines regarding the establishment of an autocratic, centralised state. Moreover, we have demonstrated that Mao Zedong rejected Confucian values, which he viewed as "reactionary". In this post we … Continue reading Law In Post-Mao China: Confucianism, Legalism, Imperial Traditions

China’s Legal System And The “Ten Abominations”

Before the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty in 1911, China's legal system differed from that of liberal Western states in three major aspects: First, the apex of the entire legal system was the absolute monarch; it was the emperor who issued and abolished laws, and the most serious crimes of the legal code were those … Continue reading China’s Legal System And The “Ten Abominations”

Law In Imperial China – Confucianism And Legalism

The legal system of imperial China developed from two schools of thought: Confucianism and Legalism. Although both of them exerted a deep influence on China's state-building as well as on its moral and legal traditions, at the beginning these two philosophies were bitterly opposed to each other, as they were based on entirely different principles … Continue reading Law In Imperial China – Confucianism And Legalism