Chinese Law Prof Blog

Editor: Donald C. Clarke
George Washington University Law School

Saturday, December 6, 2014

China sets forth its position in the South China Sea dispute with the Philippines

China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a very legalistic position paper, thankfully short of the usual bluster, setting forth its position on the UNCLOS arbitration brought by the Philippines. Here it is, along with some accompanying documents:

  • Position Paper of the Government of the People's Republic of China on the Matter of Jurisdiction in the South China Sea Arbitration Initiated by the Republic of the Philippines (English | Chinese)
  • Summary of the Position Paper of the Government of the People's Republic of China on the Matter of Jurisdiction in the South China Sea Arbitration Initiated by the Republic of the)Philippines (English | Chinese)
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China Is Authorized to Release the Position Paper of the Government of the People's Republic of China on the Matter of Jurisdiction in the South China Sea Arbitration Initiated by the Republic of the Philippines (English only)
  • Remarks by Mr. Xu Hong, Director-General of the Department of Treaty and Law of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on the Position Paper of the Government of the People's Republic of China on the Matter of Jurisdiction in the South China Sea Arbitration Initiated by the Republic of the Philippines (English | Chinese)

And in case anyone was wondering, here's the US government's recently released position, dated Dec. 5, 2014.

The language of the English version of the Chinese position paper is quite sophisticated; this does not read like a document that was composed in Chinese and then translated into English. It seems to represent China's way of responding to the arbitration proceeding in substance without formally doing so.

December 6, 2014 in News - Chinese Law, News - Miscellaneous, Publications | Permalink | Comments (1)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Chinese Legal Documents Series

The International Society for Chinese Law & History has a feature on its (terrific) website called the Chinese Legal Documents Series. Here's what it's all about:

This special series invites researchers to introduce a document from their own collections, provide a translation, and discuss what these texts might be used to study.  Our goal is to showcase the research of members, offer a small corpus of legal texts for the training of students, and give readers a wide view of what the study of Chinese legal history looks like.

An introduction to the series, as well as the first post in it, are here.

October 26, 2014 in Commentary, News - Chinese Law, News - Miscellaneous, People and Institutions | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Employees of Hong Kong's Big 4 weigh in on Big 4 statement about Occupy Central


In a Newtonian reaction to the action of the Big 4 I blogged about yesterday, an ad purporting to be from empl9yees of the Big 4 has appeared in Hong Kong. It says, "Boss, your statement does not represent our position."

July 1, 2014 in Commentary, News - Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (2)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Pershing Square, Herbalife, and Chinese law


You have to be impressed with Pershing Square's PR operation. Those who don't read the business section might still have heard of William Ackman and his hedge fund Pershing Square's campaign against Herbalife, as it was the top story on the front page of today's New York Times. Ackman has a huge short position in Herbalife and is trying to talk down its stock by saying it's a pyramid operation. (I report this simply as a fact and express no opinion on whether Ackman's allegations are true.)

Today I received an email from someone at the Global Strategy Group, a PR firm, alerting me to a webcast Pershing Square is putting on tomorrow. The webcast will charge that Herbalife's operations in China violate Chinese law, presumably because of their alleged pyramidal nature. (My recollection is that China passed a law prohibiting pyramid sales structures after some early bad experiences in the 1980s or 90s, but I don't have the details at my fingertips.) I don't plan on watching the webcast and (since I don't have an opinion on the merits) it's not really my job to provide publicity for one side in this dispute, so I'm not going to provide the link here. But at a time when China is cracking down disproportionately on foreign firms, it will be interesting to see if Pershing Square manages to stir up some official action in China against Herbalife.

March 10, 2014 in News - Chinese Law, News - Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Teng Biao to speak at George Washington University Law School Feb. 5th

I am pleased to announce that Teng Biao will be giving a talk on the New Citizen Movement at George Washington University Law School on Feb. 5th, 2014. I'm attaching the announcement here.

February 2, 2014 in News - Miscellaneous, People and Institutions | Permalink | Comments (3)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

China's GDP: services are largest sector for the first time in the modern era

This doesn't have much to do with Chinese law, but I think it's a pretty interesting development. From my friend Dan Rosen at the Rhodium Group (copied here with permission):

Full year 2013 China GDP was released on January 29. The total was just over $9 trillion USD for the first time, at CNY 56.9 trillion (2013 average CNY/USD rate: 6.313). That’s up 7.67% over 2012 (and is the level the United States was at in 1992, in 2009 dollars; versus just about $16 trillion today). Here is a significant fact: as of the end of 2013, China’s services sector is officially the largest segment of its economy for the first time in the modern era, at 46%, versus 44% for industry and manufacturing and 10% for primary activity such as farming. That updraft in the share of services started in about 2006, and should keep going for, oh, I’d say about another 20 years before flattening out. That’s a pretty important change in the structure of growth, and one that Xi Jinping’s Plenum reforms both recognize and react to, on the one hand, and aim to bolster and sustain on the other. Remember: investment in services sector capital stock doesn’t just mean ice rinks, movie theaters, hospitals and schools, but also the injection of value-adding services activity into manufacturing giants like China Aluminum, which to date have been all about smelting and little about sales and marketing, R&D, environmental engineering, new applications development and other white collar multipliers of profit.

January 30, 2014 in Commentary, News - Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Pirates of the Caribbean 2: The envelope, please!

A few days ago I blogged about a report by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists on offshore holdings by China's elite. In that report, they promised to release the names of about 37,000 people on Jan. 23rd. Here's the fulfillment of that promise.

January 23, 2014 in News - Chinese Law, News - Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0)

Official English translation of Third Plenum report

At long last: an official English translation of the Report of the Third Plenum of the 18th Central Committee issued last November. I haven't checked it against the Chinese, but in my experience these official translation are usually of quite high quality. The on-line version is, as is annoyingly usual with Chinese government on-line publications, needlessly divided up into separate web pages, so I'm attaching a PDF version as well.

January 23, 2014 in News - Chinese Law, News - Miscellaneous, Research Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

SEC vs The Big Four in China: administrative decision issued

I've previously blogged about SEC proceedings in federal district court against Deloitte China; they have also been engaged in administrative proceedings against the Chinese affiliates of the Big Four, and a decision in that matter was issued on Jan. 21 (WSJ report here (paywalled)). That decision imposes a six-month bar on auditing US-listed companies. It can still be appealed to the full Commission and from there to the federal courts, so we probably haven't seen the end of it. As I've been involved as an expert witness, I won't comment further on the substance here. But it's quite important. For some high-quality commentary, see Paul Gillis's China Accounting Blog; he's been following these cases closely. Here's his take on the decision. His conclusion: "Ultimately, the only way this gets settled is if China agrees that companies that list in the U.S. are subject to all U.S. securities laws. For those companies that are too sensitive for that, like some large SOEs, China should pull their U.S. listings."

January 23, 2014 in Commentary, News - Chinese Law, News - Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Pirates of the Caribbean: The use of offshore havens by China's elite


The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has completed its investigation of offshore holdings by China's elite and has published a story in English and Chinese. It will be naming and shaming on Jan. 23rd.

Needless to say, the Chinese government has publicly thanked the ICIJ blocked the ICIJ's web site for its contribution to Xi Jinping's anti-corruption drive, and has demonstrated its determination to go forward by releasing Xu Zhiyong putting Xu Zhiyong on trial today.

January 21, 2014 in Commentary, News - Chinese Law, News - Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Use of Wikipedia in expert opinions

Defense attorneys in a criminal trial for economic espionage have moved to disqualify the prosecution’s expert witness, Prof. James Feinerman of Georgetown Law Center, because (they allege) large portions of his expert witness report (a document that summarizes his proposed testimony) contain verbatim extracts from Wikipedia entries on China’s technology, high-technology development plan, and Communist Party. (Here’s the news report.) I have not seen either Prof. Feinerman’s report or the motion to disqualify him, so what follows is based solely on the news report. I should also add that Prof. Feinerman is a personal friend and colleague, so weigh that as you will.

In thinking about the appropriateness of using Wikipedia, it’s important to keep a couple of things in mind: first, the difference between an expert witness report and an academic article, and second, what the language in Wikipedia is actually being used for.

In an academic article, nothing should rest on the authority or existing reputation of the author. The article should speak for itself and should present evidence and arguments in favor of its conclusion. An academic article should never say or imply, “Take my word for it because I’m an eminent professor in the field.” It would not count as a serious criticism of a paper by a junior scholar to point out that a position taken in her paper was contrary to the position taken in a paper by a senior scholar.

This is not wholly true in an expert witness report. Here we are generally not asking the witness to engage in original research; we are asking him to tell us what experts in the field think of a particular question. Instead of concluding from the content of the writing that the writer (whom we may never have heard of before) deserves to be called an expert – this is what we might do in the academic context – we start from the premise that the writer is an expert and then see what he has to say about the subject. That’s why it would be improper for an academic journal to publish articles only from senior professors at big-name universities, but is wholly proper for a court to inquire into the qualifications of those presented to it as experts. Of course, the expert can bolster his testimony and make it more powerful by alluding to specific evidence supporting his opinion and citing to other prominent experts in the field who agree with him, but that’s not required by the logic of expert witnessing. What is required by the logic of expert witnessing is for the expert to say something like, “I am an expert in this field, and here is my view of the issues based on my expertise.”

Now let’s go back to Wikipedia. Any given entry is written by anonymous people about whom we know nothing. Consequently, to cite Wikipedia as authority for some proposition is a bad idea, whether in an academic article or in an expert witness report. (Wikipedia can still be useful academically if the article’s claims are well documented in footnotes; you can just chase down the footnote references.) Note, however, that Prof. Feinerman is not accused of citing Wikipedia as authority for what he wrote; he did not say, “The Communist Party operates in the following way, and I know this is true because it says so in Wikipedia.”

What I think he has done – I cannot read his mind and have not discussed this matter with him – seems to me not in essence different from declaring in his report, “I have reviewed the Wikipedia entry on X, and in my expert opinion I believe it accurately states the relevant facts.” In other words, while Wikipedia is not reliable as an authority, that doesn’t mean it is always wrong. The entry might well be accurate, at least in the opinion of the person reading it. I don’t think any objection could be made to a declaration of this kind.

The next question is, if an expert believes that certain language in a Wikipedia entry accurately reflects his personal views on some matter, is there any reason he should not use it? The reason for using it is quite simple: the expert is probably getting paid by the hour, and like anyone getting paid by the hour, he has an ethical duty not to needlessly inflate the time required to perform a job. If a Wikipedia entry accurately sums up everything the expert might want to say, why should he take the time to engage in an artificial re-writing exercise that will just add to the bill? I don’t think it makes sense to disqualify an expert because he tried to do the job at lower cost.

Finally, there is the question of whether the verbatim quotations from Wikipedia should be properly footnoted. An expert witness report is not an academic paper for which the author seeks academic credit, so personally I don’t see an academic integrity issue in this case. The author is not asking you to admire his words or his thoughts. He is testifying about the content of the ideas expressed by the words, and he is doing so on the basis of his own pre-existing authority and reputation. In this sense, direct quotation is not different from indirect quotation or re-writing. At the same time, quoting a source directly without a footnote is bound to lead (and in this case has led) to the suspicion that something is being concealed. That's not good. Thus, my gut feeling (subject to change upon further reflection) is that despite the differences between academic articles and expert witness reports, it makes sense to follow the same citation rules in each instead of spending a lot of time trying to figure out when the different context justifies different rules.

In this particular case, I don’t think failure to cite should count as a reason for disqualification. As I understand it, experts may be disqualified on grounds such as (a) lack of expertise, or (b) evidence that they are saying something they don’t really believe (e.g., previous writings in which they take a completely different position on the same issue). Neither of those problems is (as I understand the story) alleged to exist here.

November 23, 2013 in Commentary, News - Miscellaneous, People and Institutions | Permalink | Comments (2)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

International Environmental Moot Court Competition - East Asia Regional Round

I've been asked to post the following announcement:

The Int'l Environmental Moot Court Competition has long welcomed teams from China and East Asia, but in previous years, teams from East Asia had no local regional rounds to practice their skills prior to flying to Florida. In a partnership between Stetson University's and Soongsil University's Colleges of Law, there will be an East Asia Regional Round (EARR) held in Seoul, South Korea this year. 

The EARR will be an all-English language moot contest held on November 19 - 23, 2013. The most successful teams at the EARR will be promoted to the International Finals at Stetson University to be held in April 2014. The EARR is designed to support teams from China, including Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, as well as teams from Japan, South Korea, Mongolia, and other countries nearby who would like to participate in English-language moot competition. 

The full set of competition materials are posted on Stetson's IEMCC website:

Any teams wishing to compete may should contact Roy Andrew Partain with their registration questions: [email protected]

July 7, 2013 in Conferences, News - Miscellaneous, Other | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

More documents in the case of SEC vs. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu CPA Ltd.

Last January I posted some expert witness reports, including one by me, in the continuing proceedings of SEC vs. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu CPA Ltd. (District of Columbia District Court). In these proceedings, the SEC is seeking to compel a Chinese accounting firm to produce documents. Here are two declarations (publicly available, of course) filed in May that may be of interest to those following the case.

As before, I am providing these with no comment.




June 20, 2013 in News - Chinese Law, News - Miscellaneous, People and Institutions | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

More materials on the Chen Guangcheng/NYU affair

Here's a report from the Wall Street Journal's China RealTime Report about a statement from Chen Guangcheng's former adviser, Mattie Bekink. Ms. Bekink's full statement is below. One has to wonder who has Chen's ear and what advice they are giving him. Is he even aware of the shitstorm his statement has kicked up? As many have noted, it's a sad situation all around. And let's not forget who's really to blame here: not Chen, not NYU, not his current or former advisors, but the Linyi authorities who made it necessary for him to leave China in the first place by their inhumanly cruel persecution of him for perfectly lawful activities, and the central government that enabled them and consistently looked the other way.

NYU has been Generous to Chen Guangcheng

Cheng Guangcheng is not being forced out of NYU. Neither the Chinese government nor the university is pushing him out. His time at the university is simply coming to its conclusion, a conclusion that was determined long ago and that Mr. Chen has been aware of since shortly after his arrival in the United States. NYU's campus in Shanghai had nothing to do with it then, and has nothing to do with now. And to suggest China's Communist Party is somehow involved or is putting pressure on NYU is absurd.

I should know, since I am the one who told him about the length of his tenure at NYU.

I currently have no affiliation with NYU. But I was a consultant to the university in 2011 and 2012, first working in Shanghai for a year on establishing the campus there, and then coming to New York shortly after Mr. Chen's arrival at NYU to serve as his special advisor.

As a lawyer who had done rule of law work in China, I was glad to come to New York to assist the courageous Mr. Chen and his family. I believe he is a remarkable individual who has faced tremendous injustice, suffered greatly, and nonetheless continues to shine with a sense of purpose and optimism that is inspiring. His legal advocacy work was impressive and important for China. It was a great privilege to work with him and I look back at our time together fondly. I am very saddened to see him now distorting the facts about his time at NYU. It is for this reason that I wish to set the record straight.

NYU has consistently been generous to and supportive of Mr. Chen and his family. The university, with no advance warning, no budget, and no chance to prepare, embraced Mr. Chen and provided him with an unprecedented level of support. Professor Jerry Cohen's comment that "no political refugee, not even Albert Einstein, has received better treatment," couldn't be more apt. Professor Cohen's personal generosity similarly cannot be overstated.

NYU’s support for the Chens was extensive and comprehensive. It was thoughtful and deeply personal, specifically designed to meet their needs and adapted as those needs changed. When Mr. Chen arrived in New York, he was recovering from injuries sustained from his dramatic escape. NYU provided physical therapists to work with him along with an interpreter. When the children faced an unplanned summer, NYU found them a bilingual Mandarin summer camp and provided daily transportation. My clear instructions from the university were to do whatever was necessary to support this family. Never once did NYU deny a request I made on behalf of the Chens, regardless of expense. The university always put the Chens’ needs first.

Professor Cohen and others at the university tried to help the Chens make the difficult transition from rural China to the heart of Manhattan. He and other colleagues invited them to their homes, organized dinners with people they thought the Chens might like to meet, and arranged outings and activities for the children. We wanted to see them thrive. We cared. NYU cared. And, as far as I can tell, still cares. This is why I was so mystified to see his claims.

Mr. Chen's advocacy was also in no way curtailed or limited by NYU. In fact, the university enabled him to continue his advocacy by providing him with interpreters, helping him to write and get op-ed pieces placed, facilitating meetings with relevant stakeholders in the human rights and disability rights communities, government, academia, and media, and supporting his work. Professor Cohen, himself an outspoken critic of China, worked tirelessly to ensure that Mr. Chen's voice was heard and especially to draw attention to the ongoing suffering of his family members still in China.

NYU's unflinching support for Mr. Chen clearly demonstrates that it was not influenced by the Chinese government. As the university has pointed out, approval for the NYU Shanghai campus came only after Mr. Chen was already comfortably settled in his Greenwich Village apartment. If the university had put its own interests in China ahead of its commitment to academic integrity and principles of academic freedom, it never would have extended the invitation to Mr. Chen in the first place. NYU also did not accept Mr. Chen under duress. It was public knowledge as Mr. Chen's departure from China was being negotiated that he had offers from other institutions, such as the University of Washington. NYU could easily have side-stepped this matter, so its welcoming of him and its continuous support make plain the university's values have not been compromised.

NYU provided Mr. Chen with a soft landing as a fellow in the Law School and helped him adjust to life in the United States. The plan was to support him and his family for a year and then assist them in making more permanent arrangements. That was always the understanding, and Mr. Chen was informed of this and was very grateful. NYU never committed to supporting the family indefinitely. The only thing that has changed is the passage of time.

It is a great shame that as his time at NYU comes to a close Mr. Chen chooses to malign his friends and supporters at the university with false statements. But his comments suggest that he is having a hard time accepting the reality of his new life. It is not the Chinese communist authorities who "want to make [him] so busy trying to earn a living that [he doesn't] have time for human rights advocacy". Rather it is life in capitalist America that requires individuals to support themselves. NYU's extreme generosity has perhaps protected him from confronting this reality until now, but that level of largesse was never intended to continue indefinitely.

I wish Mr. Chen and his lovely family nothing but the very best during their continued stay in the United States. My time helping him continue his advocacy work and helping his wonderful wife and children adjust to their new home was deeply meaningful and rewarding. I respect the many real challenges Mr. Chen has overcome. But any alleged challenges coming from NYU's being under pressure from China are entirely fictional.

Mattie J. Bekink was formerly affiliated with NYU's US-Asia Law Institute as Special Advisor to Chen Guangcheng. She is a lawyer and independent consultant currently based in Milan, Italy.




June 19, 2013 in News - Chinese Law, News - Miscellaneous, People and Institutions | Permalink | Comments (2)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

USCC Hearing on Corporate Accountability, Access to Credit, and Access to Markets in China’s Financial System

The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) is holding a hearing this Thursday in Washington, DC on the above subject. Among those testifying will be Prof. Paul Gillis, the author of the excellent China Accounting Blog. His testimony is a good summary and review of the current problems faced by the SEC and the PCAOB in their efforts to get information about audit procedures from Big Four-affiliated Chinese accounting firms. (I say "affiliated" because the Chinese firms are separately owned and I don't know what kind of contractual arrangements actually bind them to the foreign firms whose name they share.)

Because I have provided expert testimony on this issue, it's probably important to add that I don't necessarily agree with everything Prof. Gillis says in his testimony. In particular, I have expressed here my own views on the issues of how far China's laws on state secrets and archives actually constrain the auditing firms.

March 5, 2013 in Commentary, Conferences, News - Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Still more on China-Philippines UNCLOS arbitration: the significance of China's 2006 declaration against UNCLOS dispute settlement

Some commentators on my first post on this issue have raised the following objection:

First commenter: "Sorry but China made a reservation when ratifying UNCLOS and expressly does not accept the compulsory dispute settlement regime under s 287."

Second commenter: (a) "The researcher commenting in the Global Times is actually right. When China ratified UNCLOS, it made a reservation which excludes all forms of dispute settlement in section 2 of part XV of UNCLOS (see These kinds of reservations, although unfortunate for those in favour of increased international adjudication, are perfectly legal and it therefore does seem that the arbitral panel is without jurisdiction."

Second commenter (b): "A correction to my earlier post: China made the Declaration in which it does not accept the dispute settlement provisions of UNCLOS (which would normally be a reservation) ten years after ratification, which raises issues under treaty law; most likely the Declaration is invalid, but the question is who decides."

I appreciate the comments, but don't agree with them. First, it is not crystal-clear that China's declaration in fact covers the current dispute. The Philippines was of course aware of China's declaration and strove to phrase its case in a way that avoided its effect. For an excellent analysis (with hyperlinks) of the effect of China's declaration and its applicability to this case (concluding that China has a good case but not an airtight one), see this blog post.

Second, and most important, is the issue raised in the last part of Second commenter (b)'s statement: "the question is who decides." Exactly. My point is that this is not in fact a question. The arbitral panel decides. The parties do not get to be judge in their own case even on issues of subject-matter jurisdiction. Once challenged, they have to make their arguments in front of an arbitral panel.

February 23, 2013 in Commentary, News - Chinese Law, News - Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

More on China-Philippines UNCLOS arbitration

I blogged a few days ago about China's purported rejection of arbitration under UNCLOS of the Philippines' complaint over the Nansha islands. After speaking with colleagues who are international law specialists, I can add a bit more to the following paragraph:

As I read the Xinhua report of China's rejection, China also seems to be arguing that the Philippines is precluded from bringing this type of action because of obligations it has undertaken in other international agreements, specifically, the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. For this argument to work, it would have to be true that (a) the Philippines has indeed undertaken contradictory obligations, and (b) those obligations, under international law as recognized by the UNCLOS arbitral tribunal, will trump its rights under UNCLOS. I have no informed (or even uninformed) opinion about whether either part of this argument is sound. But I suspect that these questions must themselves be resolved in the arbitration proceedings.

It is theoretically possible that Country A could have rights against Country B under Treaty X, but has waived those rights under Treaty Y. This is what China is in effect arguing - that even if UNCLOS gives the Philippines a right to arbitration with China (and perhaps even the right to win the arbitration, although of course China would never admit even that hypothetical), it has waived that right by signing on to the Declaration of Conduct (the "DOC").

Here's the problem with that argument. First, it doesn't work in substance. Even if seeking arbitration under UNCLOS did violate a commitment made in the DOC - a very questionable proposition - the Declaration of Conduct does not amount to a formal treaty commitment of the kind that could override a contrary right to arbitration under UNCLOS. But hey - maybe you think that's not crystal-clear. What is crystal-clear is the second point, though: that the argument doesn't work procedurally. Parties don't get to judge the merits of their own arguments. China's argument about the effect of the DOC, like its argument about subject-matter jurisdiction (should it choose to make it) is one that must be made before the UCLOS arbitral tribunal, which has the power to decide its own jurisdiction.

In short, no matter how strong China's case is, it's one that has to be argued before an UNCLOS arbitral tribunal if another UNCLOS member starts proceedings. By joining UNCLOS, you agree to this procedure even in cases you think are frivolous. Is there anyone explaining this to the Standing Committee of the Politburo? They seem to understand it well enough when it comes to the WTO.

February 23, 2013 in Commentary, News - Chinese Law, News - Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Chinese law schools: a ranking (sort of)


I just came across a ranking of Chinese law schools, posted on the web in April 2012. The source is a book entitled "Picking a University and Selecting a Major: A Guide to Applying to the 2012 College Entrance Examination" (挑大学 选专业-2012高考志愿填报指南). I'm reprinting the list below, translated by Google Translate with a few modifications by me.

A few caveats and observations:

  1. These rankings appear to have been compiled as an individual effort of the author of the book. I have no idea what methodology he used.
  2. This doesn't exactly rank "law schools." What it ranks is "the study of law." And the study of law here is defined to include law (narrowly defined), Marxist-Leninist theory, sociology, political science, and police studies. Thus, even if you think that Peking University ought to outrank Renmin University as a law school, maybe Renmin University really does outrank Peking University in Marxist-Leninist theory by more than enough to make up the difference.
  3. Law studies at the Institute for International Relations, well known as China's spy school, don't do very well at 95th. Maybe they're putting their resources into computer science these days.
  4. In another table on the same web page you can see what people are studying these days. Not surprisingly, engineering is pretty popular (801379 graduating undergrads in 2011). What did surprise me was the comparable figures for some of the other majors: apparently the romantic types who take literature (288014) and arts (181158) still outnumber (separately; you don't even need to add them together) those who take all of the courses subsumed under "law" combined (113342).



School Name


A + +

Renmin University of China


A + +

Beijing University


A + +

Wuhan University


A + +

Tsinghua University


A + +

China University of Political Science and Law


A + +

Jilin University


A + +

Fudan University


A + +

Southwest University of Political Science and Law


A + +

Nanjing University


A + +

Sun Yat-sen University


A + +

East China University of Political Science and Law


A +

Central China Normal University


A +

Beijing Normal University


A +

Xiamen University


A +

Zhongnan University


A +

Shandong University


A +

Zhejiang University


A +

Nankai University


A +

Nanjing Normal University


A +

Northeast Normal University


A +

Huazhong University of Science and Technology


A +

Chongqing University


A +

Shanghai Jiaotong University


A +

Suzhou University


A +

Sichuan University


A +

Northwest University of Political Science and Law



East China Normal University



Xiangtan University



Zhengzhou University



Shanghai University



Heilongjiang University



Yunnan University



Hunan University



Shanxi University



Hunan Normal University



Hebei University



South China Normal University



Foreign Affairs College



Central South University



Shenzhen University



Southwestern University of Finance and Economics



Tianjin Normal



Jinan University



Xi'an Jiaotong University



Yantai University



Shanghai University of Finance and Economics



University of International Business and Economics



Nanchang University



Liaoning University



South China University of Technology



Southwestern University



Shanghai Normal University


B +

Tongji University


B +

Capital Normal University


B +

Shanghai Institute of Politics


B +

Central University for Nationalities


B +

Southeast University


B +

Anhui Normal


B +

Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics


B +

Yangzhou University


B +

Central University of Finance and Economics


B +

Anhui University


B +

Central University for Nationalities


B +

Ningbo University


B +

Guangdong College of Commerce


B +

Lanzhou University


B +

China Youth Political College


B +

Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics


B +

Shenyang Normal


B +

Hehai University


B +

Shanghai International Studies University


B +

Hubei University


B +

China Agricultural University


B +

Zhejiang Gongshang University


B +

Henan University of Economics and Law


B +

East China University of Science and Technology


B +

Beijing Institute of Technology


B +

Henan Normal University


B +

Guangxi Normal


B +

Henan University


B +

Huazhong Agricultural University


B +

Zhejiang Normal


B +

Fujian Normal University


B +

Ocean University of China


B +

Changchun University of Science and Technology


B +

Jiangxi Normal


B +

Guangzhou University


B +

Guangdong University of Foreign Studies


B +

Dalian Maritime University


B +

Guangxi University for Nationalities


B +

Hebei Normal


B +

Hainan University


B +

Sichuan Normal


B +

Hainan Normal


B +

Institute of International Relations


B +

Northwestern University


B +

Jiangsu University


B +

Northwestern Polytechnical University


B +

Gansu Institute of Politics and Law


B +

Hunan University of Science and Technology


B +

Wenzhou University


B +

Nanjing University of Finance and Economics


B +

Zhejiang University of Technology


February 22, 2013 in Commentary, News - Miscellaneous, People and Institutions | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Where Gu Kailai will likely spend her time: China's Club Fed


Here's a profile of Qincheng (秦城) Prison, where high-ranking prisoners stay and where the cognoscenti figure Gu Kailai will go (assuming she's not spirited off to a nice tropical island somewhere).

August 20, 2012 in Commentary, News - Chinese Law, News - Miscellaneous, Other, People and Institutions | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Larry Ribstein, RIP

I was shocked and very saddened to hear of Prof. Larry Ribstein's sudden death (apparently from a stroke) on Dec. 24th. In addition to teaching Chinese law, I also teach business associations, and so was familiar with Larry's name and fame before actually meeting him when we were both visiting professors at NYU Law School in 2007-08. You can get a sense of Larry's personality by reading his voluminous writings and blog posts - his style is crystal clear and highly readable, his ideas original and important. But I needed to meet him in person to get a full sense of the man and to realize what a cool guy he was.

As I read others' remembrances, one term keeps cropping up that is one of the first things I noticed, too: intellectually honest. Larry was not afraid to follow his ideas where they led him, but never mischaracterized opposing ideas in order to refute them more easily. He had very strong ideas (in addition to deep learning) on many subjects, but I can think of few people with whom it was more fun to discuss things.

Larry's scholarly productivity is the stuff of legend - lots of it, on a wide range of topics, and all of it top-notch. I once asked him how he managed to do it. His answer: "I don't need a lot of sleep."

So broad is Larry's impact that it even reaches the field of Chinese law. He had been to China and was consulted on the drafting of (what else?) China's Partnership Law.

It is truly sad that such a terrific scholar and colleague has been lost to us.

Here's the announcement from the University of Illinois, and here's a remembrance from Geoffrey Manne (collecting other remembrances as well).

December 25, 2011 in News - Miscellaneous, People and Institutions | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)