Elgar Asian Commercial Law and Practice series
Chapter 13: INTERREGIONAL CONFLICTS AND COOPERATION BETWEEN MAINLAND, HONG KONG, MACAU AND TAIWAN
Interregional conflict of laws in China can be regarded as the most complicated topic of conflict of laws in contemporary Chinese law. Interregional conflict occurs as a direct result of the reunification of Hong Kong and Macau with Mainland under the ‘one country, two systems’ policy and the de facto mutual recognition between Mainland and Taiwan of sovereignty over private matters within each other’s territory. The specific unification makes Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan the special regions of China, each with their own high autonomy, special administrative powers, independent judicial systems and separate domestic law. The special circumstances inevitably generate difficult questions on jurisdiction, choice of law, recognition and enforcement of judgments and awards, and other judicial assistance matters. Interregional conflicts are a great challenge to Chinese conflict of laws. Before unification, some international treaties on judicial cooperation and assistance applied between Mainland and Hong Kong/Macau. Following unification these treaties were no longer applicable because any conflict is no longer international. Although all the regions have domestic conflicts rules, applying these rules to interregional conflicts may be inappropriate. First, they are conflicts rules in ‘foreign’-related proceedings. Applying these rules to interregional conflicts may contradict the ‘one country’ principle. Secondly, foreignrelated conflicts rules may impose a higher threshold for judicial cooperation, the complicated procedural requirements and public policy defence may hamper the cooperation that should otherwise exist between different legal regions in China. Thirdly, all four regions have different domestic conflicts rules.
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