Civil Liberties in China

by Xiaobing Li


The Chinese government has traditionally held positions on civil liberties that many nations of the world now view as repressive, although the origins of the nation's civil liberty policies are logically rooted in traditional Chinese ideology. Despite modern China's rapid growth and evolution in various areas, it may take another generation of leadership for substantial change in civil liberties to reach its society.

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Cover image for Civil Liberties in China

October 2010


Pages 165
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Geography and World Cultures/Geopolitics

This book examines civil liberties in China today, covering the topics of constitutional rights of citizens, rights of the criminally accused, the court and legal systems, and judicial conflicts between government regulation and personal freedoms.

The Constitution of the People's Republic of China was amended in 2004 to expressly include the protection of human rights, and the last revision of the Constitution in 1982 ostensibly guaranteed civil liberties such as freedom of speech, of the press, and of assembly. In actuality, China still resorts to suppressive actions such as strictly controlling accessible content on the Internet and censorship of the media, as well as silencing criticism of government or calls for political reform.

Civil Liberties in China explores both theory and practice by identifying key issues in Chinese ideology, government, and human rights. The book assesses historical evidence and empirical data, putting major legal cases in the context of Chinese traditions and culture. Abortion, the one-child policy, and privacy issues are given special attention.


  • 20 photos
  • A list of further print and electronic resources
  • A chronology.


  • Provides an invaluable, current evaluation of the condition of civil liberties in China
  • Appropriate not only for general audiences and high school students, but also for undergraduates, Asian studies associations, international law firms, and human rights organizations
  • Written by an author intimately familiar with Chinese history and culture
Author Info

Xiaobing Li is professor and chair of the Department of History and Geography and director of the Western Pacific Institute at the University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, OK. His published works include Voices from the Vietnam War: Stories from American, Asian, and Russian Veterans; A History of the Modern Chinese Army; Taiwan in the 21st Century; Voices from the Korean War: Personal Stories of American, Chinese, and Korean Soldiers; and Mao's Generals Remember Korea. Li is the editor of American Review of China Studies and Western Pacific Journal.



"This thrilling and stimulating volume by Li. . . . seeks to address many unanswered questions in China's legal system through new interpretations, different perspectives, and the assessment of historical evidence and empirical data in the context of Chinese traditions, culture, and legal experience. . . . Highly recommended."Choice

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