Application of Law in China in Foreign Civil Cases: Codification of Choice of Law Rules and Development of Conflict of Laws Regime

Mo Zhang

Volume 37 - Issue 1, Fall 2011


Choice of law as a conflict of laws mechanism to resolve disputes arising from cross-border civil and commercial activities has become a pressing matter in China as a result of the nation's rapid economic growth and a significant increase in foreign business engagement. The adoption of the Choice of Law Statute[1] is the latest development in the conflict of laws legislation in China. Driven by the need to cope with ever-escalating civil disputes that contain foreign elements, the Choice of Law Statute intends to provide a choice of law scheme by which the application of law is dealt with in a more certain and predictable way in China.

In comparison with other countries, China does not have a rich experience in conflict of laws. The Choice of Law Statute thus draws a great deal from foreign laws and international conventions. Nonetheless, the Statute also strikes to stand on the footing of Chinese reality. The Choice of Law Statute reflects a number of foreign approaches and international rules in choice of law and combines these elements with the existing practice and legislative preference of China.

[1]Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo Shewai Minshi Guanxi Falu Shiyong Fa [Law of the People's Republic of China on the Laws Applicable to Foreign-Related Civil Relations] ( promulgated by Standing Comm. Nat'l People's Cong., Oct. 28, 2010, effective on Apr. 1, 2011), translated in Law of the People's Republic of China on the Laws Applicable to Foreign-Related Civil Relations, Conflict of Laws (Jan. 12, 2011),

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