Cornell International Law Journal Hosts U.S.–Chinese Business Law Relations Symposium
Ithaca, NEW YORK, February 27, 2014
As the Chinese and U.S. economies grow ever more intertwined, it was only natural that the Cornell International Law Journal address the subject in its annual symposium. The journal wouldn’t be working alone, though—the ILJ co-hosted its 2014 symposium on February 21, entitled “Never the Twain: Emerging U.S.–Chinese Business Law Relations,” with one of China’s most prominent law journals, the Peking University Law Review. Professor Charles Whitehead, an ILJ faculty advisor, said “Having ILJ students collaborate with a Chinese law review on the topics the symposium addressed—this is all cutting-edge stuff.”
The symposium, held in the Law School’s MacDonald Moot Court Room in Myron Taylor Hall, saw legal scholars and lawyers from the United States, China, Singapore, and United Kingdom give talks on the judiciary, financial markets, trade regulation, and corporate governance. Fuli Chen, the Chinese Embassy’s intellectual property rights attaché, gave the symposium’s keynote address. In his speech, he stressed the strong economic ties between China and the United States, and the legal reforms China was instituting to make it a more inviting place to do business. “The trade and economic relationship between China and the United States has never been so close as it is today,” Chen said.
Thanks to the symposium’s international partnership, its organizers say that “Never the Twain” will be the first such symposium to publish papers in English, in the ILJ, and in Chinese, in the Peking Law Review. Whitehead says publishing in both languages means “we have expanded our readership significantly, to an audience U.S. law journals don’t often reach.” He added that with the symposium’s international focus “we’re not limited to U.S. scholars writing about China, we also have Chinese scholars writing about China.”
ILJ Editor-in-Chief Major McCargo ’14 says that the symposium’s theme coalesced after he decided that the journal’s 2014 focus should be on international corporate law, and went to Whitehead, an expert on the subject, for input. Whitehead was the first “foreign expert” visiting law professor at Peking University Law School in Beijing. He said he was standing in Tiananmen Square when McCargo contacted him about the symposium. “I looked around and thought, ‘China would be a great topic,’” Whitehead said.
View more photos here: International Law Journal Symposium
Summing up the symposium, McCargo said, “All of the paper presenters, moderators, and commentators did an excellent job, and we were very lucky to have all of them with us. They were able to take some very complex and technical information and make it very understandable and engaging.” He added, “We received some very intelligent and insightful questions from the audience, from professors and also from students, which was very impressive.” McCargo noted that his counterparts at the Peking University Law Review were also “very happy, very pleased with the event.”
One student attending the symposium, Aaron Yuan LL.M. ‘14, said he had been looking forward to meeting Chinese professors and hearing them speak. “It’s a good opportunity to see what areas might be available when I get back to China,” he said.
Professor Muna Ndulo, director of the Institute for African Development, kicked off the symposium as moderator of a section on the judiciary, with Professor Jerome A. Cohen of New York University School of Law giving a talk entitled, “Settling International Business Disputes with China: Then and Now.”
Professor Robert Hockett moderated the next segment on financial markets, which began with Professor Franklin Allen of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania speaking on “China’s Financial System and the Law.” This was followed by a lengthy and substantive commentary by Hockett on Allen’s paper. Next, Professor Nicholas C. Howson, of the University of Michigan Law School, gave a presentation called “A New ‘Bonding’—the Coming Race to Emerging Markets for Capital-Raising.” David Ludwick, Partner, Linklaters LLP, was the commentator on this paper.
Professor Chantal Thomas moderated a segment of the symposium on trade and trade regulation. Professor Jacques deLisle of the University of Pennsylvania Law School gave a talk entitled, “Trading Places? China, the United States, and the WTO.” Thomas then provided detailed commentary on DeLisle’s paper. Professor Angela Huyue Zhang of King’s College London spoke on “Bureaucratic Politics and China’s Anti-Monopoly Law.” Helene D. Jaffe, a partner at Proskauer Rose LLP, then presented a commentary on Zhang’s paper.
Cornell’s Xingzhong Yu, the Anthony W. and Lulu C. Wang Professor in Chinese Law, moderated the symposium’s final segment, on corporate governance. Professor Li Guo of Peking University Law School gave a presentation called, “Variable Interest Entities: Continue to Sneak Under Chinese Smog?” Jiangyu Wang spoke on “The Political Logic of Corporate Governance in China’s State-Owned Enterprises.” Serving as commentators for this final panel were Professor Whitehead, who explored Wang’s paper, and Professor Curtis J. Milhaupt of Columbia Law School, who discussed Guo’s paper.
This event builds on a robust tradition of exchange between Cornell Law School and leading law faculties in China. Past events and exchanges conducted by the Clarke Program in East Asian Law and Culture, the Clarke Business Law Institute, and other programs have been essential to establishing Cornell’s excellent reputation amongst Chinese scholars and practitioners.