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Abstract

An appreciation of the well-known common law ‘definition’ of charity leads to the conclusion that, although not referred to as the law of charity within China itself, the Law of Donation to Public Welfare Projects of the People’s Republic of China can be understood as having a similar operation to the common law of charity. This paper will examine that Law. First, however, it examines the centrally charitable spirit articulated in China’s oldest and most dominant philosophy, Confucianism. It also sets out briefly the history of the attempted realisation of a charitable spirit by the Chinese Communist party, in its combination of a modern socialist system with the influential traditional ideas of China society. The paper then analyses the establishment and content of China’s public welfare project law, and uses a particular project, the Hope Project, as an important illustration of the practical operation of Chinese charity law.

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