The Government of China

The government of China has changed a great deal over the past 100 years.  After years of scattered power across the region, several tries were made to bring all the people of China under one rule.  In a stage of revolts, the country fought itself even as it fought foreign invaders, famine, and floods.  With time, one power gained momentum and, in 1949, managed to take over all of Mainland China.  This force was known as the Communist Party of China, and it now has full control over the government of China.  Yet despite the state’s historic grip on all that went on in the nation, the way this state operates today is far different than in the past.

After the capture of power and end of civil war, the Communist Party began making changes to reform and push China forward.  With the guidance of Chairman Mao, China made strides to continue in its revolution even after the Communists had taken hold.  These included automation and social changes that completely altered the way the state operated and worked with others.  After the death of Mao, other leaders began making changes of their own, and the government of China made some of its most startling decisions ever.

Changes in Government

The face of Communism was changed forever when China moved from complete control over finance and economic matters to planned economy.  In this model, the state holds onto ultimate decision-making power while individuals are allowed to gain wealth and make independent business choices.  This is a distinct departure from Marxist thought as it leads to the creation of a wealthy proletariat class that has more resources than the masses of common people.  Such a move would be unheard of in Soviet styles of Communism and seem only possible through thoughts in line with the unique government of China.

China truly is a country like no other in the world.  It has found a way to put old thoughts of state rule and high power in tandem with free trade and open fiscal policy.  This would be unheard of in most Communist states but is somehow fine in modern day China.  The power is still young and will change as time goes on, but it leads one to wonder – what can the future hold for China?  Will it stay true to its path, toeing the line on either side, or will it fall left or right?

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Communism in China

Those in the U.S. and other Western countries are often wary of Communism in China and its effect of global politics.  They do not fully grasp what this actually means for the state and often allow their minds to run wild.  After years of a large, strong, and brutal Russian Soviet Union, looking at China in a similar way is natural.  If all nations are defined by the way their laws govern their people, then it might make sense that the old Soviet Union and modern China should be looked at in a similar way. To do so, however, is to look past the vast differences between the two powers’ styles of rule – Communism in China is much different than we might think.

Many in the U.S. can recall old grainy video sent from Communist states, which portrayed a very different kind of world from what they were used to.  They saw workers in factories that had been on duty for long period and women standing in lines for simple goods like bread and milk.  Americans were taught that the world of Communism wanted complete control and that if those in such states were not stopped that the entire world could turn as bad as those worst areas of Russia. Modern Communism in China is simply nothing like those videos people used to show.  In fact, the country’s economy is scarcely even ruled by the state anymore.

Images of Communism

Today, private enterprise is very common across China, with many people owning property and accumulating wealth.  There are still limits to this freedom – the state takes careful steps to plan the economy and keep it in a condition, which positively benefits the government and people alike.  However, to make the mistake of thinking Communism in China to be akin to that of the Soviet Union is incorrect.

China is a state unlike any in the past.  It rules itself in old Marxist ways while mixing in a bit of modern money sense.  China seems to have chosen a wholly new style of rule, one that brings freedom and limits together in order to create a lasting and, in time, fulfilling way to benefit the people and those in power at the same time.  This may seem strange to those in the West, but it is simply the way things are.  The old lines of right and wrong have vanished – today, the world is seen in shades of gray.

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Legal Systems in China


The term law or “fa” in Chinese means “fair,” “just,” and “straight.” Surprisingly, the term that preceded “fa” was “xing,” which meant decapitation. When the hierarchy decided on implementing a new set of laws after social progression, decapitation was not the only sentence given. A new system of degrees for crime and punishment were employed. China had much more realistic views on law during this time. While most civilizations held law to some sort of religious or moral standard, China viewed these enactments as purely secular. These regulatory ideas, instead of religious notions, were believed to give emperors more control over the population.

After realizing the legal plan was not fully operable, laws were mixed with religious beliefs in order to please those who rejected the secular enforcements.

Religion vs. Law

During the warring state of China, two ideals fully emerged. Confucianism and Legalism were two states of human law and control. Confucianism focused on all humans being somewhat moral and just. A set of standards and norms were to be upheld by all citizens, where all people were potentially good. Humanity was seen to thrive on good character and standing, not imposed laws and regulations. According to the ideology, humans were meant to look at themselves compared to others and follow their inner potential to create a fair, compatible society. Confucius believed in people finding their accepted social norms or “laws” themselves, not having a ruler instate a moral code. The belief that the human race could work together for the advancement of a just society would be much more of a harmonious process.

However, the opposite end of the spectrum gave birth to Legalism. The main ideals of Legalism focused on ending any rebellion to a social norm. Unified code or law with punishment was believed to have much more effect on the masses. Legalism focused on the self-interest of all humans and therefore stated people must be generalized to a point.


Upon the creation of The People’s Republic of China, a new set of socialist laws were enacted. The new laws were loosely based upon the Soviet Union’s legal system. After seeing a rise in political abuse and power, the constitution was rewritten in 1982 to its current state. The current law gave much more freedom and human rights to citizens, but still focused on the social duties and responsibilities of the working class.

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