Published online: 19 May 2023
Abstract: The legal concept of nationality was a Western import into China in the 19th century. The modern notion of nationality was a product of modern public international law and the domestic constitutional laws of Western states. In 1909, China under the Qing Dynasty enacted its first nationality law. After the Republic of China was founded, it enacted in 1912 a nationality law which was largely the same as the 1909 law. This law was slightly amended in 1914. After the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) came into power, a new nationality law was enacted in 1929. This law is still largely in force in Taiwan today. The People's Republic of China only adopted its first nationality law in 1980. This law is still in force today. This article will trace the evolution of modern Chinese nationality law by examining the laws mentioned above. It will seek to understand the evolving Chinese nationality law in the light of its changing political and social contexts and the international environment in which China found itself.