China and Neo-Liberal Constitutionalism

49 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2004

See all articles by M. Ulric Killion

M. Ulric Killion

Shanghai International Studies University


This article discusses the probability of growth of neo-liberalism in modern China and its implications for Chinese constitutionalism. A Chinese polity under the vision of a neo-liberal regime engenders problems of prescribing a legal system and identifying a constitutional ethos. The genesis of this article is a February 21, 2003 symposium of Chinese neo-liberals, who proffer Chinese neo-liberalism in answer to issues of reforms and Chinese constitutionalism. A Chinese neo-liberal constitutional coterie desires immediate democracy and a governmental model that mirrors the constitutional government of the United States, replete with separation of powers and independent judicial review. Such urgings are arguably a denial of both the historicity of Western liberalism and China's ontological base in tradition, being Confucianism. The historic excesses and abuses of liberalism should serve to frustrate a transplant of neo-liberal constitutionalism in China.

Keywords: China, constitution, constitutionalism, liberalism, neo-liberalism, confucianism, legal system, jurisprudence, natural law, legal positivism

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Killion, M. Ulric, China and Neo-Liberal Constitutionalism. Available at SSRN:

M. Ulric Killion (Contact Author)

Shanghai International Studies University ( email )

620 Gubei Road

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