Conflict of Laws in the People’s Republic of China
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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.
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Chapter 14: CHINESE CONFLICT OF LAWS: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE

Zheng Sophia Tang, Yongping Xiao and Zhengxin Huo

Extract

Chinese conflict of laws has been gradually developed and updated over the past three decades, as a direct consequence of the economic and political reform. The development of Chinese conflicts rules has gone through three stages: foundation, progression/transition, and modernization. The formation stage started from the 1978 economic reform until the mid-1990s, with the adoption of conflicts rules in foreign-related matters in a number of legislative works, including the GPCL (1986), CPL (1991), Maritime Law (1992), Arbitration Law (1994), Civil Aviation Act (1995) and Bill of Exchange Act (1995). The early system covered many areas and provided common conflicts issues, responding to the urgent needs to improve international civil and commercial relations following the ‘open door’ policy. The early system was piecemeal, oversimplified and impractical. The implementation of the system encountered many uncertainties and, in practice, proved difficult. Fortunately, the SPC published a series of important judicial interpretations and provided numerous directions to the lower courts, filling in the gaps in the legislation. The SPC interpretations and directions played an invaluable role in the implementation and improvement of the Chinese conflicts system; continuously enriching and improving it by various judicial interpretations and reform and enactment activities.Two major events further contributed to the need for improvement. One was the reunification of Hong Kong and Macau and the improved civil and commercial relationship with Taiwan, which resulted in the establishment of interregional conflicts system.

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