Conflict of Laws in the People’s Republic of China

Conflict of Laws in the People’s Republic of China

Elgar Asian Commercial Law and Practice series

Zheng Sophia Tang, Yongping Xiao and Zhengxin Huo

The area of conflict of laws in China has undergone fundamental development in the past three decades and the most recent changes in the 2010s, regarding both jurisdiction and choice of law rules, mark the establishment of modern Chinese conflicts system. Jointly written by three professors from both China and the UK, this book provides the most up-to-date and comprehensive analysis of Chinese conflict of laws in civil and commercial matters. It takes into account the latest developments in legislation and judicial interpretation, case law and judicial practice, and historical, political and economic background, especially recognizing the scholarly contribution made by Chinese scholars to this field.


Zheng Sophia Tang, Yongping Xiao and Zhengxin Huo

Subjects: asian studies, asian law, law - academic, asian law, private international law


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 Following unification these treaties were no longer applicable because any conflict is no longer international.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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