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American Review of International Arbitration - ARIA
ARIA Vol. 4 No. 2 1993
At the end of the day, one must ask whether those participants in the international economy who choose arbitration as their mode of dispute settlement have simply made a choice of forum, with the expectation that that choice has no effect on the substance of any dispute that may arise, or whether some difference in the source of law as well as in the decision-making process is part of the understanding of those who choose arbitration.
The growing number of trade and investment disputes between Chinese and foreigners is a by-product of the remarkable expansion of China's foreign trade and foreign investment in China since it embarked on an extensive program of economic reform in late 1978. This article examines the resolution of international commercial disputes in China, with particular emphasis on arbitration as it is conducted before the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission ("CIETAC"). CIETAC handles virtually all commercial arbitrations between Chinese and foreign entities, and its caseload has grown so large that it now annually hears more disputes than any other arbitral institution in the world except the International Chamber of Commerce.
Stanley B. Lubman has been advising clients on transactions in the People's Republic of China for over twenty years. He is Head of the China Group of the international law firm of Allen & Overy and travels between his San Francisco base and the firm's offices in Beijing, Hong Kong and Europe. He also teaches on Chinese law, most recently as Visiting Professor at the University of Heidelberg (Spring 1993) and the Stanford Law School (1992).
Gregory C. Wajnowski is Counsel -- China, Taiwan, Hong Kong -- for General Electric, based in Hong Kong.