Project Details
Funding Scheme : General Research Fund
Project Number : 17611318
Project Title(English) : Constitutional governance in ‘Greater China’ and the Unfinished Project of Chinese Constitutionalism 
Project Title(Chinese) : 大中華”地區之憲政管治與中國憲政之未竟事業 
Principal Investigator(English) : Prof Chen, Albert Hung Yee 
Principal Investigator(Chinese) : 陳弘毅 
Department : Department of Law
Institution : The University of Hong Kong
Co - Investigator(s) :
Panel : Humanities, Social Sciences
Subject Area : Social and Behavioural Sciences
Exercise Year : 2018 / 19
Fund Approved : 491,980
Project Status : On-going
Completion Date : 31-12-2021
Abstract as per original application
Since the constitutional movement of the late Qing dynasty, the quest for constitutionalism had been an important theme in modern Chinese political and legal developments. There were three eras of constitution-making: the last decade of the Qing (1901-11), the republican era (1911-1949), and the communist era (1949-). Dr Sun Yat-sen, founding father of the Republic of China (RoC), developed a three-stage theory of the Chinese republic’s political development: military rule, 'political tutelage' and 'constitutionalism' (xianzheng, alternatively translated as 'constitutional governance'). Although China in theory entered the third stage when a new RoC Constitution was enacted in 1946, this Constitution became largely suspended as the RoC regime moved to Taiwan and introduced martial law upon its defeat in the Chinese Civil War. The establishment of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949 inaugurated a new era of constitution-making under the Soviet Union’s influence. The ‘Western’ or ‘bourgeois’ idea of constitutionalism was however rejected, despite the making of several Constitutions of the PRC since 1954. Under the Xi Jingping regime, the very discourse of ‘constitutionalism’ (xianzheng) has been suppressed, even though the concept of ‘ruling the country according to law’ (which was constitutionalized in 1999) has been re-affirmed. Despite setbacks in the project of constitutionalism in mainland China, Taiwan has since the 1990s realized the constitutionalism that was promised by the 1946 Constitution. At the same time, constitutional governance has also been practiced in the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau under the ‘One Country Two Systems’ framework in accordance with their Basic Laws. The experience of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau in constitutional governance and the practice of constitutionalism in a Chinese society may serve as a valuable resource for mainland China to draw on should it pursue political and constitutional reforms at some point in the future. This project seeks to describe, analyze, explain and compare the institutions and dynamics of constitutional governance and the practice of constitutionalism in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau, and explore their implications for the possible development of constitutionalism in mainland China. It also reviews the constitutional history of China since the late Qing attempt at constitutional reform, and examines the current practice and discourse of the Rule of Law and public law in mainland China, for the purpose of exploring the possibilities of constitutional reform in the future.
晚清的立憲運動以來,追求憲政是中國現代政治和法律史的一個主題。現代中國的憲法發展包括三個時期,即(1)晚清(1901至1911年)、民國時期(1911至1949年),以及中華人民共和國時期(1949年至今)。孫中山先生提出了中華民國的政治發展的三個階段的理論,即“軍政”、“訓政”和“憲政”。1946年《中華民國憲法》的制定,理論上把中國帶進憲政的階段,但由於國共內戰,這部憲法未能在中國大陸實施。1949年中華人民共和國成立以後,憲法的制定受到蘇聯的憲法思想的影響,尤其是在1954年《中華人民共和國憲法》的制定的時候。另一方面,西方“資產階級”憲法思想則被堅決否定。2014年以來,“憲政”成為討論的“禁區”,但“依法治國”的構想卻已經在1999年修憲時寫進了憲法,並在習近平執政的新時代得到重視和提倡。 雖然“憲政”的事業在中國大陸的前途未卜,但在台灣, 1990年代以來已經在台灣地區範圍內實現了1946年憲法的憲政構想。同時,在“一國兩制”的憲制框架下,香港和澳門特別行政區已經實行以《基本法》為依據的憲政管治。台灣地區和香港及澳門特別行政區的憲政實踐,對中國大陸來說應算是寶貴的資源;如果中國大陸在未來進行政治和憲政改革,台、港、澳的經驗將具有參考價值。 本研究項目的目的,在於敘述、分析,解釋和比較台灣地區和港澳特別行政區的憲政實踐,並探討此實踐對於中國大陸未來憲政發展的意義。本研究項目並將回顧晚清以來中國的憲政史,並審視當前中國大陸關於法治和公法的理論和實踐,從而探索其未來的憲政改革的可能性。
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