A district court in the Putuo District (NP-W) Shanghai. PHOTO BY JOAN LEBOLD COHEN.
Since the third century, China has always consisted of a strong central government. The emperor’s decrees were law, changing only with dynasties, until 1912’s revolution. Throughout the modern era, one concept has remained: the government as a centralized bureaucratic autocracy.
Westerners think about law as a formal system, with such features as contracts, a bench,