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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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Chapter 3: Law in transitional China

Vai I. Lo


Chapter 3 outlines China’s legal developments during its transition from a monarchy to a republic. To provide the necessary background, the chapter first outlines the historical developments of the last dynasty and the early republic. The chapter then discusses the legal initiatives of the late Qing officials and intellectuals, including the call for a constitutional monarchy and the efforts to eliminate extraterritoriality. The chapter also highlights the efforts of the provisional government, warlords, the KMT government and the Chinese Socialist Republic to build new legal orders from 1912 to 1948. The chapter ends with a discussion on law and society in transitional China.

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