Law as the Contractual Predicate of Ownership Rights

  • Ronald C. Keith


Much of the Western discussion of ‘civil society’ turns on the importance of autonomous economic organisation and transactions in society. The related notion of the rule of law as a ‘predicate’ was introduced in the first chapter’s discussion of Richard Thornburgh’s Moscow remarks which featured the rule of law as due process facilitating the mediation of interests in the spirit of equal justice for all. Edwin Meese, in his advice to Premier Zhao Ziyang, added that due process has to uphold the centrality of ownership and the use and responsible conveyance of property as fundamental to modern legal culture.


Private Enterprise Legal Person State Enterprise Public Ownership Legal Reform 
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Notes and References

  1. 4.
    James V. Feinerman, ‘Economic and Legal Reform in China, 1978–91’, Problems of Communism, vol. xl, Sept./Oct., 1991, p. 66.Google Scholar
  2. 5.
    Robert Kleinburg, China’s ‘Opening’ to the Outside World (Boulder, San Francisco, & Oxford: Westview Press, 1990) passim. In my own discussion of the relation between ‘self-reliance’ and the ‘open door’ I have tended to favour the same emphasis; however, the 14th National Party Congress decision supporting the extension of coastal legislative privileges concerning foreign investment to all provinces under ‘open door in all dimensions’ suggests that the current emphasis on ‘self-reliance’ is becoming even less meaningful.Google Scholar
  3. See Ronald C. Keith, ‘The Origins and Strategic Implications of China’s “Independent Foreign Policy”, International Journal, vol. xli, no. 1, Winter 1986–5, pp. 126–7;Google Scholar
  4. and Ronald C. Keith, ‘The Asia-Pacific Area and the “New International Political Order”: The View from Beijing’, China Report, vol. 25, no. 4, 1989, p. 347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 6.
    Stanley Lubman’s review of Margaret M. Pearson, Joint Ventures in the People’s Republic of China: The Control of Foreign Direct Investment under Socialism (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991) in CQ, no. 130, June 1992, p. 433.Google Scholar
  6. 22.
    According to an interview with leading economist, Liu Guoguang, in Dong Ruisheng, ‘Why Should a Socialist Society Practice a Market Economy’, Liaowang (Overseas) no. 39, 28 September 1992, pp. 7–9 in FBIS-CHI-92–200,15 October 1992, p. 29.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Ronald C. Keith 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald C. Keith
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CalgaryAlbertaCanada

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