Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Feature Article

The Spirit of the Rule of Law in China

By Qiang Fang In The Spirit of Laws, Charles Montesquieu argued that China was a despotic state whose principle was fear.1 A century later, by developing the theory of “Asiatic mode of production,” Karl Marx suggested that China operated under the principle of “oriental despotism” in which the emperors were regarded as fathers of the state.While historian Karl Wittfogel disagreed with Marx on the term of Asiatic mode of production, he generally accepted the notion of oriental despotis...