Contemporary Chinese Thought 45 (1):3-8 (2013)
AbstractJiang Qing's proposal of the kingly way is probably the most detailed Chinese alternative to both the current PRC regime and liberal democracy. The nucleus of the kingly way is the idea of threefold legitimacy : a government must have sacred, popular, and historical-cultural legitimacy. For Jiang, this is a universal and invariant political principle, though how it is realized in concrete political institutions varies according to culture. Jiang is critical of democracy for emphasizing only popular legitimacy and neglecting the other two sources, and believes the kingly way is the solution to the problems of democracy, particularly neglect of the environment and the interests of noncitizens. Jiang's proposals have aroused significant controversy. A number of contemporary Ruists have expressed skepticism or outright rejection of Jiang's ideas. Others are more sympathetic to his attempts to revive Ruism in Chinese politics and society.
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