Becoming a member of the WTO in 2001 was a historic event of great significance during the process of China’s reform and opening up. Since then, China has steadily pushed forward the reform and opening up policy, proactively seizing the opportunities of economic globalization and positively utilizing the multilateral trading system to develop economic and trade relations with other countries, all of which have contributed to the great economic and social achievements during the first decade of 21st century. However, there are different opinions on China’s futuristic role in the WTO, and those disagreements resulting from various interest preferences are not only one-sided and limited, but also triggering off the discussions on the criteria to assess China’s performance in the WTO. This article argues that China’s activities in the WTO (i.e., implementing WTO commitments, participating in the Doha Round negotiation, the dispute settlement and trade policy review) should be a kind of assessment criteria. Based on comprehensive observation of China’s performance in the WTO, it is concluded in this article that China’s participation in the WTO system and global trade governance extends the scope of world trade law, improves its effectiveness, constitutes China’s new contributions to implement treaty obligations in good faith, resolves peacefully international trade disputes, and maintains substantively the international rule of law. At the same time, it has not only caused new driving forces for international trading system, but also made China face new challenges in the WTO.
The conflict of laws of Hong Kong has predominately preserved traditional common law rules of pre-England conflict of laws. It is considered as the legal basis of the harmonization of law conflicts between different legal units, which mainly include three parts: jurisdiction, choice of law, judicial assistance in civil and commercial matters. As far as the legal source of the conflict of laws of Hong Kong is concerned, convention is an important part of international law sources. Currently, there are ten special conventions related to private international law, one of which is the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Arbitral Awards, and the other nine are the conventions consulted by the Hague Conference on Private International Law (“HCCH”), including the Statute of the Hague Conference. Also, there exist non-special conventions relating to private international law, which play an important role in Hong Kong. These conventions have brought tremendous benefits to Hong Kong. More attention needs to be paid to the conventions of private international law to assist Hong Kong in cooperation with other more jurisdictions.
If the personal and property security of witnesses themselves and their family members could not be protected effectively, witnesses may be reluctant to testify, to present in court, or to give truthful testimony. However, the witness protection system provided by China’s legislation is porous, and the implementation of the current witness protection system in practice is not satisfactory, which causes the serious consequence that a witness is unwilling to testify or does not dare to be present in court. An important measure should be adopted to improve the witness protection system in providing practical and comprehensive protection for witnesses in China. The provisions on the protection of witnesses in the drafted amendment to the Criminal Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China is more advanced than the current law, but still too simple and not enough, which cannot change the weak situation of protection of witnesses, and are needed to be strengthened in judicial interpretations after the drafted amendment is passed. Perfection of China’s witness protection system is necessary in practice, which is still dependent on the reform of the judicial system and the working mechanism in China even if the drafted amendment was passed afterwards. China shall apply the provisions in the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the UN Convention against Corruption Convention as a guide and absorb other countries’ and regions’ experience to improve its witness protection system, but the basic point is that it should be based on China’s realities, and localize the specific systems.
The Doctrine of the Mean is one of the major Confucian classics focusing on natural justice and its political implications via cosmic dynamics and its harmonious eternity. The rule of the saints modeling themselves after the heaven’s virtue is advocated as the so-called rule of man, or the rule of virtue, in which natural harmony in the cosmos is believed to be the manifestation of eternal and universal justice. Both the editors of The Doctrine of the Mean in pre-Qin dynasty and its commentators in the Tang dynasty have availed themselves in repudiating the legalist utilitarianism abused in the despotic Qin dynasty and empty-world thoughts of Buddhism prevalent in the Tang dynasty by virtue of natural justice and cosmic fairness in heaven-mandated- nature theory. Their academic endeavors are directed at consolidating cosmological faith and moral fairness for Confucian political ideology in self-disciplining, family establishing, country ruling, and world harmonizing.
Facing the dilemma on the recourse for Chinese cultural relics pillaged overseas, China shall get a clear understanding of the international legal situation, strengthen international communication and promote international compromise. Based on this foundation, China shall take rational, beneficial, and moderate legal actions to uphold and protect national rights. The recourse on the ground of international custom has been deemed as a failure by the view of the majority; the recourse in a foreign court will almost certainly encounter numerous obstacles in law that are very difficult to deal with, and the recourse in a national court will not only achieve the expected goals but also raise considerable disadvantages. If China hopes to retrieve the pillaged cultural relics by means of international treaty, it is necessary for China to conclude special agreements with relative states. The latter shall exercise best efforts to recover the cultural relics and return them to China at the expense of Chinese tax payers. On the other hand, there are two choices available if China hopes to settle the problem through general principles of law: One is to make an agreement with relative states, and the other is to authorize certain international tribunals to adjudicate the case according to the general principles of law. If the International Court of Justice (“ICJ”) is chosen, then the relative states can authorize the court to decide the case according to the principle of ex aequo et bono; however, the best way is to conclude an international arbitration agreement and renounce the application of certain general principles of law which might hinder the dispute resolutions. The other choice is to make unilateral legal activities with each other according to relative general principles of law, on condition that certain tacit agreement or understanding had been achieved between relative states. However, whether the above international legal methods can be used for the settlement of the problem, it depends on sufficient negotiation and mutual compromise between China and other relative states; the relative national authorities shall pay more attention to such aspects instead on unilateral declarations or sanctions.
For a long time, Chinese export enterprises were afflicted by the vague WTO rules of non-market economy under anti-dumping investigations. On 15 July 2011, the Dispute Settlement Body (“DSB”) of the WTO published the report of the Appellate Body on the dispute called “European Communities — Definitive Anti-dumping Measures on Certain Iron or Steel Fasteners from China” (DS397). In this article, it is to reason four questions, i.e., (i) the scope of article 9(5) of the Basic Anti-dumping Regulation of the European Union; (ii) whether sampling as described in the second sentence of article 6.10 constitutes the only exception to the principle laid down in the first sentence; (iii) whether a state may be seen as a producer unless individual exporters can demonstrate their independence from the state; (iv) interpretation of the word “impracticable” under articles 9.2 and 6.10, the DSB finally concluded that the EU acted inconsistently with articles 6.10 and 9.2 of the Anti-dumping Agreement with respect to article 9(5) of the Basic AD Regulation of EU, which refused to give each known NME exporter or producer individual duty treatment. To some extent, this case might clarify the NME issue in the WTO, change the defective situation, and be considered as a milestone for the promotion of justice under a free and rule-oriented multilateral trade system.
The social and public interest remains one of the fundamental principles and goals pursued by all legal departments. Its independence is prerequisite to its legal protection. However, the attention given to it by the jurisprudential circle is not enough. Through demonstrations and theoretical exploration, this article conducts an analysis of the independence of the social and public interests, in the hope that it can raise the attention of jurisprudential field; and proposes that the social and public interest, with its independent legal appeal, is an interest pattern which exists in parallel with the personal interest or the national interest because of the independence of society.
Legal control of macroeconomic regulation power is a core proposition in the science of economic law, and is served as one of the key links to make macro-control (policies and measures implemented by the government to regulate the operation of market economy) ruled by law. Legal control of macroeconomic regulation power can be summarized into three methods: to acknowledge economic right of social agents (special interest groups, lobbies, and their representatives) by law; to safeguard economic power of social people (the public) by law; to decentralize macro-control power by law. By analysis, this article reaches the conclusion that the first method (to decentralize macro-control power by law) is the main method of legal control of macroeconomic regulation power. This is why it is necessary for China, in the transition period, to decentralize the macro-control power into the macro-control decision-making power, macro-control executive power, and macro-control supervision power in order to legally control macro-control power through mutual restraints and combined action.