This is the definitive book on the legal and fiscal framework for civil society organizations (CSOs) in China from earliest times to the present day. Civil Society in China traces the ways in which laws and regulations have shaped civil society over the 5,000 years of Chinas history and looks at ways in which social and economic history have affected the legal changes that have occurred over the millennia. This book provides an historical and current analysis of the legal framework for civil society and citizen participation in China, focusing not merely on legal analysis, but also on the ways in which the legal framework influenced and was influenced in turn by social and economic developments. The principal emphasis is on ways in which the Chinese people - as opposed to high-ranking officials or cadres -- have been able to play a part in the social and economic development of China through the associations in which they participate. Civil Society in China sums up this rather complex journey through Chinese legal, social, and political history by assessing the ways in which social, economic, and legal system reforms in todays China are bound to have an impact on civil society. The changes that have occurred in Chinas civil society since the late 1980s and, most especially, since the late 1990s, are nothing short of remarkable. This volume is an essential guide for lawyers and scholars seeking an in depth understanding of social life in China written by one of its leading experts.