China’s ‘Socialist Rule of Law’ and the Five Heroes of Mount Langya

Yingjie Guo, John Garrick

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Despite official explanations and academic research on the subject, it remains unclear what China’s ‘socialist rule of law’ really means or how it works, especially how the relationship between the CCP supremacy and the rule of law plays out in legal proceedings. This article addresses critical questions about the relationship through legal narrative analysis and deconstruction of six lawsuits involving derision of the legendary ‘Five Heroes of Mount Langya’, who have been portrayed in CCP propaganda for over seven decades as national exemplars and given a prominent place in the Party’s meta-narrative, or ‘Revolution lore’. The CCP’s handling of the cases indicates that the Party under Xi Jinping has shifted to a new approach to social-political control by increasingly resorting to the suppression of political dissent by legal means. The cases also reveal that, in terms of organic unity, organic integration of politics and law or Party–state integration, the police and courts are ensuring that the Party’s will prevails no matter what.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4
Pages (from-to)338-348
Number of pages16
JournalAustralian Journal of Asian Law
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


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