Chinese Communist Law: Its Background and Development

It is perhaps axiomatic to state that law is more than an instrument for the settlement of disputes and punishment of wrongdoers; it is, more importantly, a reflection of the way of life and the philosophy of the people that live under it. Self-evident though the above may be, it bears repeating here, for there is a much greater need for understanding Chinese law now than ever before. China’s growing ideological, political, economic, and military impact on the rest of the world would alone serve as a powerful motivation for the study of its law. Certainly, we could not even begin to understand China’s foreign policies, its future role in international organizations, its treatment of foreign rights and interests in China, and, above all, the acceptability of the Communist regime to the Chinese people, without some knowledge of its legal system and its concepts of justice and law, both domestic and international.