China’s Five Year Plan For The Construction of a Rule Of Law (2020-2025)

Scott Reid
ORCID: 0000-0001-7626-1192

Global Politics Review
Vol. 7, no. 1-2 (2022): 30-46.
GPR ID: 2464-9929_v07_i1-2_p030
Received: December 10, 2021. Accepted: January 22, 2022. Published: March 01, 2022.

ABSTRACT: On 10th January 2021, the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) enacted its first 5-year plan for the construction of a rule of law. Amongst its embellished statements of principle, the plan’s objective is to shape a ‘Chinese socialist rule of law’ by 2025, and achieve a fully formed version of by 2035. The official document carrying these policy goals is equally ambitious, and is the first of its kind in two respects. It is the first publically available document stating the principles, contents and procedures of a constitutional review by the all-powerful Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. It is also the first public document calling for the enactment of a unified Chinese Administrative Law. The plan also reveals a deep commitment to “accelerate the construction of a legal system applicable outside the jurisdiction of our country.” This is both a significant development in contemporary Chinese globalism, and largely under-reported and under-explored by the West. Thus, the document is of paramount importance to understanding the Communist Party of China’s (CCP) future plans for both the domestic Chinese legal system, and future legal engagement with the rules-based international order. This article will offer a critical appraisal of the CCP’s plan, analysing its domestic and international implications. With a focus on Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’, this analysis concludes that the CCP’s plan for the rule of law signals a new consolidation of both legal justification for political ambition, and unbridled Chinese exceptionalism.

Keywords:  China, Rule of law, International Relations, Security, CCP.

Copyright by the Author. This is an Open Access article licensed by Global Politics Review under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons BY-NC 4.0.


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