Transformations of China’s Legal System

The “rule of the Constitution” was again proposed on December 4, 2012. President Xi Jinping, the first president in Chinese history with a PhD in law, said on the 30th anniversary of China’s 1982 Constitution that running the nation by lawful means, first and foremost, ruling the nation according to the Constitution, and governing by law is at the core of governance in accordance with the Constitution.

Mo Jihong, deputy director of the CASS Institute of Law, pointed out that such a shift in the nation’s understanding of law is a fundamental transition and, therefore, marks great progress. It indicates a new direction for the CPC Central Committee to comprehensively implement the rule of law, and to improve the party’s leadership pattern and governing style based on the Constitution.

In September 2014, President Xi Jinping stressed several times at a ceremony marking the 65th founding anniversary of the CPPCC and 60th founding anniversary of the NPC that China should be committed to the integration of the CPC’s leadership and people’s position as masters of the country and the rule of law.

Mo Jihong participated in drafting a decision on major issues concerning comprehensively advancing the rule of law, which was adopted by the Fourth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee held from October 20 to 23, 2014. Mo believed that it was of historic significance, for it was the first time in 65 years of the PRC that “the country should be ruled in line with the Constitution” was explicitly put forward in a binding CPC document.

After 65 years of growth China has established a socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics with the Constitution at its core.

Li Lin believes that the rule of law has become a core socialist value, and is thus embedded in the collective values, ideals and lifestyle of the Chinese people.


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