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)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Supreme People's Court Work Report to the National People's Congress

Here's the full text of the report on the China Law Translate site, where it's in the process of being translated. Click on the "Select Language" button on the right of the screen to ensure you're getting the version you want (i.e., Chinese or in-process English translation).

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

Friday, July 5, 2013

Call for Submissions: Fordham International Law Journal, Asia-Pacific Issue

My friend and colleague Carl Minzner has asked me to post the following announcement. He adds, "In an unsolicited advertisement on their behalf, I will say that I had a very good experience working with them in publishing my recent article on Chinese legal education, and they were quite capable of handling all of my Chinese-language footnotes."

Call for Submissions: Fordham International Law Journal, Asia-Pacific Issue

In the 2013-2014 academic year, the Fordham International Law Journal will publish its first issue devoted exclusively to legal and policy topics related to the Asia-Pacific region. Similar to the Journal’s annual European Union issue, in which many distinguished scholars, practitioners, and officials have been published, the annual Asia-Pacific issue aims to be a preeminent resource for legal and policy scholarship on the Asia-Pacific region. The Fordham International Law Journal has consistently published a diverse array of notable authors, including Madeleine Albright, Kofi Annan, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, and Philippe Kirsch, and is seeking to provide support and opportunity for authors focusing on this critical region.

The Journal thus invites all scholars, commentators, practitioners, and officials interested in being published in the Journal’s first annual Asia-Pacific issue to submit relevant articles, essays, comments, notes, or reviews for consideration. If selected for publication, submissions will be edited by the Journal’s staff and Editorial Board throughout the summer and fall, with publication planned for the spring.
Submission Guidelines

Draft submissions should be emailed as Word document attachments to [email protected], along with the author’s curriculum vitae (CV) and “Fordham ILJ Asia-Pacific Issue Submission” written in the subject line. Generally, submissions should range between 5,000 and 25,000 words (approximately 10 to 50 pages), though the Journal recognizes that different topics demand various lengths and will not reject submissions solely because they fall above or below this range. To the extent possible, footnotes should follow standard Bluebook formatting rules.

Submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis, though should be sent as soon as possible for best consideration. All submissions will be reviewed by the Journal’s Executive Board, which will consider, among other things, the quality of the writing, the timeliness of the topic, and the importance of the issue.


July 5, 2013 in Other, Publications | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

New report on abuse of psychiatry in China

The organization China Human Rights Defenders has just published a report on abuse of involuntary psychiatric commitment in China. Here's a summary from The Daily Beast.

As far as I know, the most recent full-scale treatment of this issue is Robin Munro's path-breaking China's Psychiatric Inquisition: Dissent, Psychiatry and the Law in Post-1949 China (London: Wildy, Simmonds and Hill, 2006). I have a blog post about it and the controversy his work engendered here. (Bottom line: Munro 1, critics 0.)

Involuntary commitment is an area desperately in need of legal standards. The abuses that occur now can't be blamed on authorities flouting or bending existing law. They don't need to bother; the existing legal regime pretty much gives them carte blanche to involuntarily commit anyone by just saying it's necessary.

Without some standards, I have an uneasy feeling that if current efforts to abolish re-education through labor in its current form succeed, we'll suddenly - through the operation of a kind of Law of Conservation of Police Discretion - see an increase in the number of supposedly crazy people needing commitment.

August 22, 2012 in Commentary, News - Chinese Law, Publications | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Executive summary of 2011 CECC report on China now available in Chinese

The Executive Summary of the 2011 Annual Report of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China is now available in Chinese. Here are relevant documents:

May 15, 2012 in Commentary, Publications, Research Resources | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ricci dictionary of Chinese law (French/English/Chinese) seeks English proofreaders

Here's a communication I recently received on what sounds like a worthy project:

The Ricci Dictionary of Chinese Law is a trilingual Chinese law dictionary project (Chinese to English / Chinese to French) which is currently ran by a team of practicing and academic lawyers with various legal backgrounds. It is part of a wider dictionary project, the “Grand Ricci” which is the reference Chinese to French dictionary and one of the world’s most complete Chinese to foreign language dictionaries (approx. 13,500 Chinese characters and more than 300,000 terms).

Our project started six years ago and recently reached an advanced stage with more than 23,000 Chinese legal terms listed and translated in both English and French.We are looking for native English speakers to proofread the English translations for these entries. Proofreading will be carried using an online editing tool (web database). Candidates must ideally possess or be in the process of completing a law degree and should be familiar with Chinese legal terms. Ability to read French would be a must. Compensation is to be discussed and will depend on the availability of the candidate.

If you are interested, please submit your resume to Hubert BAZIN, project coordinator (hubert.bazin (at)

March 13, 2012 in Internships/Employment Opportunities, Other, Publications | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

China: A Decade in the WTO - conference papers

Here's a link to the papers from a conference on "A Decade in the WTO: Implications for China and Global Trade Governance".


November 26, 2011 in Conferences, News - Chinese Law, Publications | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Judge Dee for free: van Gulik, The Chinese Maze Murders (e- book)

The University of Chicago Press is offering a free e-book version of The Chinese Maze Murders, one of the beloved Judge Dee series by Dutch sinologist Robert van Gulik. Here's the link.

July 1, 2011 in News - Miscellaneous, Publications | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, February 4, 2011

China-EU Law Journal: Call for papers

I have received this call for papers from the China-EU Law Journal. The accompanying email states:

The China-EU Law Journal is a peer-reviewed journal. It is published by Springer under the auspices of the China-EU Law School at the China University of Political Science and Law.

 For manuscript submission and more information you may visit

February 4, 2011 in Other, Publications | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

CECC releases 2010 annual report on human rights and the rule of law in China

The Congressional-Executive Commission on China has released its annual report; it's available in PDF format here.

The CECC has developed a reputation for doing solid, carefully sourced work, and this report is no exception. Of course, if you disagree with the basic premise that a government should be in the business of producing this kind of report about what goes on in other countries - a premise that the Chinese government apparently supports, by the way - then you won't like this report, but I don't see it making wild and unsubstantiated claims. (I confess I have not read every line carefully.)

The report makes an important observation worth quoting in full:

Chinese officials appear to have adopted a new rhetorical strategy with respect to China’s compliance with international norms. In the past, Chinese officials often argued that it was necessary to carve out exceptions and waivers to the application of international norms to China. While stating their embrace of international norms in the abstract, for example, on free expression and the environment, they sought to make the case that, in practice, China deserved to be treated as an exception, due, for instance, to its status as a developing country. Now, however, official statements increasingly tend to declare the Chinese government’s compliance with international norms, even in the face of documented noncompliance.

This rings true to me. Take the example of black jails (illegal detention facilities for petitioners). It's not a state secret that these exist, and there is plenty of material on black jails not just in the more daring Chinese media outlets, but even in outlets under pretty tight control (e.g., the People's Daily Online site). In November 2009, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said, "I can assure you that there are no so-called black jails in China." Earlier that year, Southern Weekend had reported about a case of rape in a black jail, and a Beijing court was trying the accused at the very moment Qin Gang was making his statement. The China Daily was happy to use the term "black jail" in its report on the incident. And just a few days after Qin Gang made his statement, Oriental Outlook magazine, published by the official news agency, Xinhua, produced an investigative report on black jails. So we are not exactly talking about slanders cooked up by hostile foreign forces here. But instead of arguing that China is different, or that the West is imposing its values on China, the government has adopted a strategy of simple denial.

This is going to pose some problems for Western apologists for the government's human rights record, who until now have talked about China's right to be different, cultural imperialism, etc. It's going to be a lonely journey on the S.S. Cultural Relativism now that even the Chinese government has apparently jumped ship.

October 19, 2010 in News - Chinese Law, Publications | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Chinese translation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

Who knows? This might be useful to someone, somewhere (perhaps in explaining why you can't give a gift, even though personally you'd really love to), so here it is, courtesy of the US Department of Commerce.

October 22, 2009 in Other, Publications | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

English-language law review at Tsinghua Law School

I have received the following announcement:

New Law Review at Tsinghua: The Tsinghua China Law Review

The Tsinghua China Law Review is a new academic law journal at the Tsinghua School of Law in Beijing.  The TCLR will publish scholarly articles on topics related to China's laws and legal system.  The journal is the first of its kind in China, as it is published in English and is student-managed.  Articles will be edited by a diverse staff of Chinese and international students.  The TCLR will follow the format of a US law review, will be printed in the US, and in the future will be available through Westlaw, Lexis, and HeinOnline.  For more details, please see the website (

For all scholars in the China law field, there are still a few days remaining to submit articles for the Spring issue!  The period for submissions closes on April 3rd.  Please see the website for submissions details.

Carlton Willey

April 1, 2009 in Publications | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

State Department human rights report on China

It's been quite a while since I last blogged, so I'm a bit behind on current events.

Last February, the US State Department issued its annual report on human rights in China - something it does by congressional mandate for every country. The report for China is here; there's also one for Taiwan here.

Predictably, the Chinese government responded - not with a statement that addressed any actual inaccuracies in the report, but with a report on human rights problems in the United States (Chinese | English). I have never understood why the Chinese government feels that this is an appropriate or convincing response to criticism. Does Chen Guangcheng feel better in his prison cell in China - and should the rest of us feel better about this travesty of justice - knowing that there were 17,000 murders in the United States in 2007? Moreover, it does not take a great legal mind to recognize that in issuing such a report, China completely undercuts its own position that such reports are an unwarranted interference in the internal affairs of other countries.

Since the State Department's report is not footnoted, it would be relatively easy for the government to accuse the State Department of simply making the stuff up. That won't wash, however, with the meticulously sourced human rights report produced annually by the Congressional-Executive China Commission; the latest one is here, tipping the scales at an astounding (by my count) 1,743 footnotes. Of course, footnoting a claim doesn't make it true, but it makes a discussion about the truth or falsity of the claim much more feasible.

I am told that the US government last year posted the Chinese government's critical report on the web site of the US Embassy in Beijing; I can't find that report or this year's on the web site now, but hope the US government has not abandoned this excellent practice.

March 31, 2009 in Commentary, News - Chinese Law, Publications | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 19, 2009

USTR releases 2008 report on China's compliance with WTO obligations

You can download the report here. I offer no comments because I haven't read it yet.

January 19, 2009 in Commentary, News - Chinese Law, Publications | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Chinese state-party report to the UN Human Rights Council

The Chinese government has submitted its state-party report to the UN Human Rights Council in preparation for the upcoming review of China before the Council. This is part of the Universal Periodic Review system under which every state is reviewed.

HT: Nicholas Bequelin.

December 14, 2008 in News - Chinese Law, Publications | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (2)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

CECC issues 2008 report on human rights in China

Here's the link.

November 13, 2008 in Publications | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

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.

September 27, 2008 in Commentary, Publications | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

New book on Chinese legal history

The Journal of Asian Studies has just published a favorable review of the following book; looks interesting.

Writing and Law in Late Imperial China: Crime, Conflict, and Judgment. Edited by Robert E. Hegel and Katherine Carlitz. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2007. xv, 343 pp. $65.00 (cloth)

August 10, 2008 in Publications | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, June 2, 2008

China's 2008 Trade Policy Review report now available at WTO web site

The above document as well as the WTO Secretariat's report are available here.

June 2, 2008 in Publications | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Latest issue of CECC newsletter available

The latest issue of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China's newsletter, "China Human Rights and Rule of Law Update," is now available (PDF from this site | HTML from CECC site).

May 25, 2008 in Publications | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)