The Mandate of Heaven is the divine (God ('s) given) right to rule the Middle Kingdom given to the Emperor, it is given based on four principles:
- The right to rule is granted by Heaven (realm of the Jade Emperor).
- There is only one Heaven therefore there can be only one ruler.
- The right to rule is based on the high virtue (Confucian principles of quality of his leadership) of the ruler.
- The right to rule can be passed down to family members of the dynasty but is not limited to one dynasty. (poor quality rulers/dynasties can lose the Mandate of Heaven and be replaced. The mere fact that a leader has been overthrown is itself proof that he has lost the Mandate of Heaven.)