Document Type



This paper contests a long-standing conventional wisdom that China will eventually democratize, along with its rule of law reforms and increasing integration into the world economy. Sharing an identical rule-of-law-without-democracy model during its transition, Taiwan has been one of the major resources to compose this viewpoint; however, surprisingly little research about the rise and fall of this model in Taiwan has been conducted to support this assertion… Through a comparison of China and Taiwan’s rule of law transitions, this paper does find strikingly similar patterns and progression during the development of this model on both sides…The author also identifies four critical structural conditions, as a result of Taiwan’s international context and history legacy, that eventually brought about the spillover effects of legal reforms on democratization. These conditions, however, do not exist in China…In addition, this paper further points out the limits and resilience of this model, with empirical evidences supported by the statistics of Taiwan’s law enforcement. The core feature of rule of law &#; putting the state under the law &#; was not achieved until after democratization.

Date of Authorship for this Version

September 2007