Elgar Asian Commercial Law and Practice series
Chinese choice of law in the transfer of property was undeveloped until very recently. This was largely caused by the under-development of Chinese property law which was once regarded as the weakest area in the Chinese civil law system. The concept of individual property rights was held to be contrary to the public or collective ownership of the socialist legal system until the 1980s. In the early stages of the economic transition, the drawback of the lack of property law was dealt with by strong administrative measures. However, as a consequence of the development of the ‘market economy’, the legal barrier turned to be a prominent obstacle. Chinese authorities had to confront the legal barrier and various measures were adopted to produce a piecemeal, inconsistent and contradictory framework, including incomprehensive and unsystematic legislation, administrative regulations, and judicial interpretations. The framework was incompatible with the policy of economic transition. After 2003, Chinese legislators commenced the legislative process on the PRC Property Law, which was adopted in 2007. The reform of choice of law in property closely accompanied the development of property law. Before the Conflicts Act was promulgated in 2011, Chinese choice of law in property was incomprehensive and spread through in a variety of statutes.
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