Published online by Cambridge University Press: 24 February 2022
The scandals in Chongqing of the arrest of the lawyer Li Zhuang, the murder of Neil Heywood, and the vice mayor (the so-called anti-mafia hero) defecting to the US consulate have revealed in a dramatic manner, albeit with a bit of comedic black humor, how powerful, ill-disciplined interested groups can create difficulties for economic reform and engender the disintegration of the power structure and distrust in government. For this very reason, since 2012, there has been an increasingly heightened social expectation of political reform. It is against this background that the Report of the Eighteenth Communist Party of China (CPC) National Congress (hereinafter referred to as the “Report”) emphasized the rule-of-law thinking (法治思维) and rule-of-law style (法治方式) in handling the interactions between reform, development, and stability. A close examination of these two rule-of-law emphases can help us to discover a new way of thinking behind political reform.