chapter  13
17 Pages

Toward a Rule of Law Regime: Political Reform under China’s Fourth Generation of Leadership

BySuisheng Zhao

Although scholars have continued to debate the feasibility of Pan Wei’s consultative rule of law regime, political reform in post-Mao China has moved steadily toward governing the country by law (yifa zhiguo) or governing the government according to law (yifa zhizheng). This trend can be observed in the following three important aspects of political reform after the transition of the CCP leadership from the third generation led by Jiang Zemin to the fourth generation under Hu Jintao:1 institutionalization of the leadership system with an emphasis on the normative rules and procedures; the effort to make government more accountable to an increasingly plural society; and the improvement of citizens’ constitutional rights. These aspects of political reform reveal what the rule of law regime is.