The Chinese communist party (CCP) has felt the need for the rule of law in governing an increasingly pluralist society and
a market economy. Xi Jinping made this clear from the outset of his administration. However, the backlash to the push for
constitutionalism by reformers in 2013 has exposed the political limits to the judicial reform in China. This paper delineates
these limits by ... [Show full abstract] highlighting the ideological and organizational foundation of the state, the fundamental distribution of power
in it, and the CCP’s traditional mode of existence and exercising power. It concludes that the Chinese political system provides
a weak and unreliable basis for the rule of law. Nevertheless, there is substantial room for the law in issue areas that are
non-threatening to the CCP rule.