Dr. Aglaia De Angeli - Postdoctoral Associate, Council on East Asian Studies
After the Opium wars, the Western powers forced China to submit to the legal structures of the Unequal treaties. In 1898 the modernization of the Chinese jurisprudence began with the Xinzheng reforms. The aim of the late Qing dynasty and Republican governments was to put China on the same juridical level with foreign powers by abolishing the extraterritorial system. In this paper, Dr. De Angeli delineates the most significant changes in Chinese jurisprudence from the end of the nineteenth century until 1937, chief among which was the Westernization of the Chinese criminal code.