The Constitutional Identity of Contemporary China

The Unitary System and Its Internal Logic


In The Constitutional Identity of Contemporary China: The Unitary System and Its Internal Logic, Han Zhai offers a profound understanding of China’s constitutional history with her account of constitutional identity of multi-layered states in other parts of the world. This book successfully bridges China’s constitutional complex and the emerging common theory of constitutional law with methodological innovations. In constitutional comparison, this work’s treatment of the Kingdoms of Spain and the Netherlands provides effective structural and historical analysis. This book does not only awaken China’s constitutional identity in contemporary scholarship but also presents rich possibilities in the constitutional study and the way we understand a country’s fundamental arrangements in its national context

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Han Zhai, Ph.D. (2017), Tilburg University, is lecturer of constitutional law and associate research fellow at Wuhan University, China. She holds an LL.M. of the Chinese University of Political Science and Law and an LL.B. of Inner Mongolia University. She is also research fellow at the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in the 2019–2020 Research Group 'Constitutional Transplantation.
List of Figures and Tables

1 Introduction
 1.1 Why China and Its 1982 Constitution?
 1.2 The Rise of Constitutional Identity: Definition with Interpretation
 1.3 Presuppositions, Research Questions and Methodological Approaches
 1.4 The Plan of This Book

2 Modern Constitutionalism in China and the Fundamental Structure
 2.1 Modern China’s Efforts towards Constitutionalism
 2.2 Constitutions of the PRC
 2.3 New Characteristics in the 1982 Constitution
 2.4 Concluding Remarks

3 Regional Autonomies under the Unitary System
 3.1 Regional Autonomy in the Unitary System
 3.2 The Hong Kong SAR’s Autonomy under China’s Unitary System
 3.3 Mainland China’s National Reunification with Taiwan
 3.4 Formal and Informal Constitutional Changes in Taiwan since the 1990s
 3.5 Concluding Remarks

4 Reformative Decentralisation and Unsettled Constitutional Centralisation
 4.1 Introduction
 4.2 Establishing the SEZs
 4.3 Dynamic Fiscal Decentralisation before 1994
 4.4 The 1994 Tax Reform and Its Evolution
 4.5 Centralising the Decentralisation
 4.6 Concluding Remarks

5 Constitutional Arrangements and Disharmonies in Comparison
 5.1 Introduction
 5.2 Temporary Fundamental Designs in the Changing Tides
 5.3 Regional Autonomous Arrangements within the 1978 Constitution
 5.4 Concluding Remarks

6 Parties and Constitutionalism
 6.1 Introduction
 6.2 Theoretical Analysis of Political Representation
 6.3 ‘Reforming Originalism’ in the Wider Context
 6.4 Constitutional Constraints on Political Parties
 6.5 Concluding Remarks

7 Two Learned Principles
 7.1 Introduction
 7.2 Democratic Centralism
 7.3 The United Front
 7.4 Concluding Remarks

8 Conclusions
 8.1 Constitutional Identity of Contemporary China: A System to Unify
 8.2 The Unitary System and Its Invisible Parts: Understanding the Logic
 8.3 The ‘Reforming’ Constitutions, Disharmonies and Vulnerable Identities
 8.4 Evaluating the Unitary System
 8.5 Thoughts on the Way Forward

Postscript Notes: On the Ongoing and Unprecedented Recentralisation

Appendix 1
Appendix 2

Selected Bibliography
All interested in comparative constitutional law, and whoever is interested in the constitutional backbone of China with a rapidly growing influential role in international relations
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