China's struggle for the rule of law is at a criticaljuncture. As a key element of governance in the PRC today,China's legal system affects not only domestic affairs butalso China's engagement with the world. But can a crediblelegal system emerge which protects the rights of citizens andinternational partners without undermining the power of the PartyState? And is the Chinese Communist Party willing to embark onjudicial reforms that may jeopardize its very survival? Understanding the PRC legal system is increasingly important asChina rises to prominence in the world. In this compellinganalysis, noted legal scholar Pitman Potter examines the ideals andpractices of China's legal regime, in light of internationalstandards and local conditions. Against a rich historical backdrop,Potter explains how China's legal system supports three keypolicy objectives; namely, political stability, economicprosperity, and social development. In exploring these competingpolicy goals and the tensions between them, he also raisesfundamental questions about government expectations of the role oflaw in regulating local and international socio-economic andpolitical relationships. This wide-ranging and readable introduction will be an invaluableguide for students and non-specialists interested in China'songoing process of legal modernization.