Professor Jianfu Chen Invited to Speak at the University of Shanghai

On 16-17 June 2016, Professor Jianfu Chen was invited to teach an international masterclass, as well as a five-day faculty seminar, at the University of Shanghai.

During the masterclass, Professor Jianfu Chen presented a paper titled ‘Is China Responsible for the International Economic Disorder?’ The intensive law faculty seminar on 17 June 2016, focused on international economic law with Professor Chen presenting a paper titled ‘China’s Choices in the Geo-political Re-positioning and Re-Balancing in International Economic Relations’.

Both events were very well attended by more than 100 participants.

Abstracts

International Masterclass: ‘Is China Responsible for the International Economic Disorder?’

The international economic order, created and maintained by the Bretton Woods System (but especially the WTO), is in crisis: Doha round negotiations are in disarray, if not dead already. Regional and bilateral free trade agreements are flourishing, and geo-political considerations now often prevail over trade and investment needs. In short, instead of a coherent system of law and rules, expected of the establishment of the WTO, the current international economic order is chaotic, inconsistent, and often irrational, and, as a result, is facing disintegration.

It is not uncommon that the rising powers, principally China (and to a less degree India or BRICS as a group), are blamed for causing such conflicts and tensions in international economic law. While it is true that the rising powers are carrying much more weight in changing, creating or maintain the existing international economic order, they are hardly the cause of the current crisis.

In this presentation, Professor Jianfu Chen argued that the rise of China would inevitably cause some changes to the existing international economic order, but the needs for changes are not the result of any unique or particular demands from China, rather, it is an inevitable and logical development of the NIEO movement that started in the 1950s and continues today.

Faculty Seminar: ‘China’s Choices in the Geo-political Re-positioning and Re-Balancing in International Economic Relations’

The current negotiations of the historically unprecedented “super” RTAs/FTAs – the TPP (now signed), TTIP, RCEP, and TiSA – amount to a showdown between the existing powers (i.e. the US and the EU) and the emerging Asian powers (principally India and China, but especially China) for domination and primacy in the international economic order. Such a showdown seriously undermines multilateralism and, in the final analysis, could lead to the disintegration of the existing international economic order created and maintained by the Bretton Woods system. As a result, all countries must have a clear and coherent strategy responding to the changing and changed international economic order.

This paper examines the various trends in international economic law, their potentials in re-ordering of international economic governance, and the needs for China to have an overall strategy in the current geo-political repositioning and rebalancing at the global level.

La Trobe