September 27, 2008
Man who faked "South China Tiger" photo sentenced to 2 years and 6 months
Here's the story from Caijing; here's the AFP report. He got two years for fraud and 18 months for unlawful possession of ammunition; the two sentences were combined to a single term of two and a half years.
One issue was where exactly the fraud occurred. The defendant, Zhou Zhenglong, apparently received a reward of 20,000 yuan from the Shaanxi provincial forestry department, but this seems to have been an ex gratia payment, not a payment on a pre-existing reward promise. It seems likely to me that Zhou is just a dumb schmuck who one day woke up and acted on a bad and poorly thought-through idea, and then got caught up in something way beyond his imagination and control. Now he has lost two years from his life for embarrassing provincial officials.
New report from China Labour Bulletin
Here's a new report [English|French|Chinese] from China Labour Bulletin, Han Dongfang's Hong-Kong based labor rights organization. It's called "No Way Out: Worker Activism in China's State-Owned Enterprise Reforms". A blurb describing the report is here; it states that the report
is based on five years of research, and draws extensively on CLB’s litigation in defence of worker’s rights. The report uses five illustrative cases to explore the many ways in which enterprise restructuring and privatization violated the human rights of laid-off workers; including their systematic exclusion from official channels of redress, the criminalization of labour protests, and the denial of workers’ rights to social security, to an adequate standard of living, to freedom of association and to freedom from arbitrary detention.
China Colloquium, Fordham Law School, Oct. 3, 2008
I have received the following announcement:
On Friday October 3, 2008, the Louis Stein Center for Law and Ethics and the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice at Fordham Law School will present a full-day colloquium on the Rule of Law and Human Rights in China. This is an invitational program to be attended by academics, lawyers, members of the diplomatic community, and other experts on human rights, civil society, and the rule of law in China. It will consider these issues in light of the impact of the Olympics, as well as prospects for moving forward in a post-Olympics China. Principal speakers will open each panel with their remarks, followed by a moderated discussion for all attendees.
RSVP to the colloquium is required. Please contact Elisabeth Wickeri at email@example.com if you are interested in attending.
Leitner Center for International Law and Justice
Fordham Law School | 33 West 60th Street | 2nd Floor | New York, NY 10023
September 24, 2008
China officially requests consultations with the US over antidumping and countervailing duties
The request for consultations, dated Sept. 22, 2008, was made under Art. 4.4 of the Dispute Settlement Understanding and is the first step toward a proceeding before the WTO's Dispute Settlement Body. Here's the text in English: HTML | Word.
China may request the establishment of a dispute settlement panel 60 days after the request for consultations if a settlement hasn't been reached (earlier if both parties agree).
September 22, 2008
Chinalaw discussion on first private lawsuit under the Antimonopoly Law
There was a very good discussion on the Chinalaw list earlier this month of the many issues involved in China's first private lawsuit under the Antimonopoly Law. I have edited some of the contributions and put them in an easy-to-follow format for anyone who's interested. The document is here.
Job opening in Chinese environmental law, Vermont Law School
Tseming Yang of Vermont Law School sends the following announcement:
We have a job opening for a deputy director of Vermont Law School's Partnership for Environmental Law in China. The position description is below.
We are considering applications as we receive them, and the position will remain open until filled.
Please submit applications directly to:
Director of Human Resources
Vermont Law School
PO Box 96
South Royalton, VT 05068
DEPUTY PROJECT DIRECTOR FOR THE PARTNERSHIP FOR ENVIRONMENTAL LAW IN CHINA
Vermont Law School seeks an extraordinary attorney with substantial experience in China, knowledge of environmental law, interested in the administration and development of our extraordinary Partnership in Environmental Law in China. Under the current Director, Professor Tseming Yang, the program trains Chinese attorneys in environmental law in China and Vermont, sends Vermont students to China, and produces collaborations and scholarship among its participants.
In the immediate future, the Deputy Director will have direct responsibility for the implementation of a new in-depth training project for Chinese law scholars at Vermont Law Scholars, involvement in the implementation of other parts of the ongoing program, and associated administrative responsibilities.
In the long term, the Deputy Project Director will acquire primary responsibility for the implementation and operation of the program, and share responsibility for development and the formation of strategic partnerships.
(1) Implement the strategic objectives of the Partnership under the supervision of the Director, Professor Tseming Yang.
(2) Provide assistance to members of the Chinese legal community in their efforts to become more effective environmental and energy problem solvers through:
- Implementing environmental and energy law conferences, workshops, seminars, and roundtables in China and in Vermont.
- Assisting in the design, funding, and taking the lead in implementing an LLM program for Chinese attorneys in Vermont.
- Researching and consulting on regulatory policy, legislative drafting and general environmental and policy matter to Chinese government agencies.
- Expanding and diversifying partnership activities by collaborating with law school faculty in China.
- Implementing an Environmental and Energy Law Professors Network.
- Strengthening collaboration on joint clinical and research projects at VLS and in China.
- Administering and coordinating academic residencies at VLS for Chinese faculty and visiting Chinese graduate students.
(3) Seek and secure funding for all continuation and, as appropriate, expansion of the China project consistent with the goals set forth in section 2 above, including through foundation and government grants.
(4) Develop strategic partnerships with educational, environmental, and governmental entities both in China, the United States and elsewhere
(5) Oversee compliance with USAID and other funding sources' requirements.
(6) Possible opportunity for teaching and faculty rank.
- Knowledge of broad environmental and energy law issues in China.
- Some proficiency in Mandarin Chinese and/or Cantonese highly preferred.
- Demonstrated fundraising capacity.
- Demonstrated experience with grant administration.
- Demonstrated teamwork and project management skills.Ability to work flexibly on a range of assignments, and adjust to and prioritize a variety of complex and evolving tasks.
- Excellent interpersonal, verbal communication and writing skills, as well as the ability to develop effective multi-agency/institutional relationships.
- Interest and willingness to regularly travel to China.
Candidate must have an outstanding academic record with a J.D. and
- at least 3 years of relevant work experience
- Understanding of environmental and energy law.
- Experience working with environmental and energy law networks in the US and China.
- Experience and understanding of USAID regulations and processes, helpful.
- Demonstrated achievement in positions that require strong analytical and writing skills.
- Work experience with national and international policymakers, helpful.
- Has presented to audiences in a variety of cultural and institutional settings.
- Work or living experience in China highly preferred.
For more information about Vermont Law School and the Partnership for Environmental Law in China, please see http://www.vermontlaw.edu/x1463.xml.
To apply, please send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and references to Diane Hayes, Director of Human Resources, Vermont Law School, PO Box 96, South Royalton, VT 05068. Electronic applications are preferred and can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications will be considered as they are submitted. The position will remain open until filled.
September 21, 2008
Research associateship available in competition/antitrust law and policy, HK Polytechnic
I've been asked to circulate this advertisement concerning a new research post in competition/antitrust law and policy to be based at the School of Accounting and Finance, Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
The relevant web link is http://www.polyu.edu.hk/hro/job_external.htm#rese.
Lessons for foreign investors from the Sanlu scandal
The Sanlu milk power scandal raises interesting issues relating to foreign investment in China, as Sanlu is 43% owned by Fonterra, a New Zealand-based dairy conglomerate. What did Fonterra know and when did it know it; what did it do and what should it have done? These questions are addressed in this article from the New Zealand Herald. But there are other angles to the story as well. The purpose of this post is to offer perspectives from two experienced China hands - Jerome Cohen and Sidney Rittenberg - on the problems of management faced by foreign investors in China. The comments below are reproduced with their permission (and my thanks).
All foreign investors had better review the adequacy of their representation in the management of PRC joint ventures in light of the milk tragedy. What kind of person to post to a China venture's day-to-day management has been a problem from the day Schindler Elevator and Jardine's started the very first industrial JV in 1980. Finding the right people to take on this delicate and responsible task has never been easy. If the designee is not fluent in Chinese and a clever observer and diplomat, as well as someone who has previously worked for the foreign investor or otherwise enjoys its confidence, he or she will not be effective. I have been involved in ventures where even skilled PRC nationals who have been posted to a JV by the foreign investor have been shut out of the inner workings of the enterprise because they were not part of the local partner's "system". In some other cases, even when the foreign company's rep knows that something improper is going on, he or she, especially if a PRC Chinese or ethnically Chinese, is subjected to heavy local pressures and incentives to "go along" and not report it to headquarters back home. This has often posed severe moral and even legal dilemmas for the foreign company's rep and eventually the company itself.
One problem in appointing competent joint venture personnel is that PRC Chinese usually are in the best position, other things being equal - especially if they have been trained in the USA and are clued in to the corporate culture. "Clued in" here means that they do not have an "us and them" attitude towards foreigners. We have had cases where a Chinese staffer who protects the legitimate interests of the American corporation will be called a "traitor" by the same corporation's Chinese representatives.
At the end of the day, everything depends on having the right people. We say, "the Three Cs" - Character, Competence, Connections. Strange though it may seem, some of our excellent corporations overlook the primary issue of character when picking either foreign or Chinese personnel for China. What is their track record? Are they loyal to their commitments? Can you depend on their word? Are they good to work with? This is an important (and challenging) part of due diligence, and due diligence is the name of the game. Sometimes, even the country general manager is picked because he has workable English, shoots an impressive line of self-recommendation, lays on a great banquet (or even a massage parlor), and enthusiastically agrees with everything you say. The hardest kind of case that we get, as consultants, is when the American corporation is already plagued with the wrong hire and has to get rid of him without seriously damaging the company in China.