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Law and Society in China

Vai I. Lo

Law and Society in China examines the interplay between law and society from imperial to present-day China. This synoptic book traces the developments of law in Chinese societies, investigates the role of law in social governance, and discusses China’s ongoing reforms towards the rule of law with Chinese characteristics. In fostering a comprehensive, rather than piecemeal and disconnected, understanding of the interaction between law and society in China, this book will reduce misconceptions about and enhance appreciation for Chinese law.
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Vai I. Lo

Over the years, one query has sporadically come up: ‘Does law matter in China?’. This query, though seemingly simple, can reflect various states of mind of the inquirer – curious, philomathic, misinformed, confused, critical, disapproving, sarcastic or disputatious – and may generate diverse responses, depending on how the responder takes the question and what ideological background he or she has. This query has made me appreciate the importance of a synoptic and easy-to-read monograph that will enable the reader to obtain a basic understanding of the role of law in China in the light of its history, society, polity, economy and culture. This book, therefore, is an attempt to materialize this scholarly pursuit. It is hoped that this monograph will, in large or small measure, enhance international understanding, promote receptivity to diversity, and facilitate international cooperation.

V. I. Lo

Gold Coast, Australia

May 2019