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1 Constitutional Changes and Political Ideology

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Chapter Summary

This chapter attempts to discover the links between Deng Xiaoping's legacy, particularly relating to his political and legal thoughts, and the constitutional changes, culminating in the 1999 constitutional amendment, and to assess the significance of such links and the general trend of the Chinese society towards rule of law. Another important aspect concerning the rule of law is the reality that China has its own legal tradition which lasted for more than 5,000 years and is regarded as one of the major legal systems in the world (zhonghua faxi). It is perceived that there should be no possibility for the legal tradition itself to be a foundation of the rule of law, but it is certain that some of the elements in such tradition will be borrowed and reconstructed into the modern Chinese legal system, just like the necessary elements from the Western legal systems and international law.

Keywords: Chinese legal system; Deng Xiaoping's legacy; rule of law

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