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Chinese contract law and the economic reform - Essay Example

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This paper seeks to look at the relationship between contract law and economic reform in China. To achieve this, the paper first looks at how Confucian values influenced the ancient China and even today's China. …
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Chinese contract law and the economic reform
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Download file to see previous pages The paper delves into how China’s previous contract laws had many contradictions and failed to meet the needs of China’s developing market economy. It then looks at why China needs a good legal system for economic reform, why a legal system is important for economic reform and what the relationship between them is. Lastly, the paper looks at why Chinese people still do not have confidence for china's law system and how the government has attempted to address the problem.
Influence of Confucianism in Ancient and Present China
Confucianism which means ‘The School of the Scholars,’ is the cornerstone of traditional Chinese based on the traditional culture of the Xia, Shang and Zhou Dynasties. It is attributed to K’ung Fu Tzu (Confucius in English) was born in 551 BCE in the state of Lu (modern day Shantung Province). He became the most influential and respected philosopher in Chinese history and his discourses were written by his disciples in the Analects.
Confucianism combines a political theory and a theory of human nature, resulting in a prescriptive doctrine or way (dao). The political theory is based on the idea that the legitimate ruler derives authority from heaven's command, or the mandate of heaven, and is responsible for the peoples' well-being and for peace and order in the empire. In terms of human nature, humans are essentially social animals whose ways of interaction are shaped by convention or ritual (li), which prescribe proper behavior for a given situation. Good government is one that values hierarchy, group orientation, and respect for age and tradition. He also argued that societal order and harmony can be achieved if everyone understood their rank in society and were taught the proper behaviors of their rank.2 His teachings spread and was accepted across China and by around 100BC, the Han Dynasty declared Confucianism to be China’s official state philosophy. During the Tang Dynasty, however, it lost its official sanction but over the last two millennia, Confucianism has remained the dominant orthodoxy in Chinese society. It thus affected everything in China; education, government, public and private attitudes and, etiquette.3 His writings deal primarily with individual morality and ethics, and the proper exercise of political power by the rulers. Confucian ethical teachings include such values as: Li (includes ritual, propriety, etiquette); Hsiao (love within the family: love of parents for their children and of children for their parents); Yi (righteousness); Xin (honesty and trustworthiness); Jen (benevolence, humaneness towards others; the highest Confucian virtue); and Chung (loyalty to the state). His vision centered on respect children show to their parents; the high regard given elders and lawful authority figures; and an appreciation for learning, protocol and ceremony.4 Confucianism has influenced the Chinese attitude toward life, set the patterns of living and standards of social value, and provided the background for Chinese political theories and institutions. Confucianism promotes collective interests and community welfare through emphasis of the educational or remolding process in serving the common good of the society. This concept is still upheld in China to date as seen in the government’s attempts to serve the people and reduce the big gap between first tier cities and lower tier cities.5 Confucianism also projects the concept of harmony which states that oneself must live in harmony with everything around him and stay free of guilt or sin. In order to create harmony people should use what create order and harmony amongst all things by using all the knowledge the world could ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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