China's Long March toward Rule of Law

By Randall Peerenboom | Go to book overview
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For overviews of legal reform in the last twenty years, see Alford (1999); Lubman (1999); Cai Dingjian (1999); Legal System Building Reviewed (1998).
In March 1999 the Constitution was amended to provide that China would be in the primary stage of socialism for a long time.
Shen Zongling (1998).
Liu Hainian (1996: 27–28). See also Chapter 10.
Fan Mingxing (1980), for instance, argued that law is always a tool and proposed that the terms renzhi, fazhi, yifa zhiguo (note the different first character than in the current formulation of yifazhiguo)begivenup in favor of people's democracy and socialist democracy.
Li Buyun (1998b: 133, 134); Liao Jingye (1980: 63–64). For a useful summary in English of the early rule-of-law debates, see Keith (1994: 8–18).
Li Buyun (1998a).
See, for example, Yang Mansong (1980).
See Wang and Cheng (1989).
Cited in Chen Jianfu (1999a: 72).
Both regulations have since been amended and upgraded to laws. PRC Administrative Supervision Law, adopted May 9, 1997 by the NPCSC [hereinafter, ASL]; PRC Administrative Reconsideration Law, adopted April 29, 1999 by the NPCSC [hereinafter, ARL].
For a discussion of socialist views of law in the ′80s and early ′90s, see Chih-yu Shih (1999: 10). As Shih notes, the class nature of law has been diluted even among those scholars who still discuss law in such terms.
According to the State Statistical Bureau, contracted FDI jumped from US $12 billion in 1991 to $58.1 billion in 1992. In 1993, contracted FDI rose to $111 billion, almost doubling the amount from 1992. See Economist Intelligence Unit (1997). Statistics from the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation (MOFTEC) indicate contracted FDI was $69 billion in 1992; $123 billion in 1993; $93 billion in 1994; $103 billion in 1995; $81 billion in 1996; $61 billion in 1997; and $63 billion in 1998. Between 1978 and 1991, only 42,027 projects were approved. Then, in 1992 alone, approvals reached 40,050. The number of projects approved since then has been 83,505 (1993); 47,646 (1994); 37,104 (1995); 24,646 (1996); 21,183 (1997); 19,897 (1998). See offoreigncapital.html; 1996 China Statistical Yearbook (1997: 597).
Peerenboom (1998b: 35).
In practice, many arbitration commissions remain dependent financially and otherwise on local governments. Cohen and Kearney (2000).
For instance, a Securities Law was not passed until 1998. There is still no generally applicable bankruptcy law, though the Civil Procedure Law contains some generally applicable principles. Nor is there a general antitrust law or property law. In the administrative law area, legislators are now working on an Administrative Procedure Law, Administrative Licensing Law, and Compulsory Administrative Enforcement Law.


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