Welcome to our weekly blog on the legal complexities of doing business in China (and the legal issues faced by Chinese businesses wishing to enter the US market as well). Think of us as your “legal interpreter,” guiding you thru the intricacies and obstacles of these two entirely different legal systems.
With dramatically different political and cultural systems, a short time ago the odds of creating joint US-Chinese business ventures would have been both improbable and unimaginable. Even today, substantial trade barriers, tariffs and currency issues still remain to be resolved before free and open trade truly begins. But as these barriers continue to fall, particularly after China’s admission into the World Trade Organization in December of 2001, one thing is certain: the world’s two largest economies are destined to become increasingly interconnected.
The point is clear. China can no longer be ignored by anyone in business today. With the fastest-growing major economy for the past 30 years with an average annual GDP growth rate above 10%, the economy of the People’s Republic of China has exploded to become the second largest in the world after the United States and California has become the main driver of US exports to China. Anyone who fails to grasp the power of this formerly “sleeping giant” does so at the risk of missing out on the huge opportunities presented.
China may well turn out to be THE emerging market in the decade ahead and one of the principle engines for global growth well into the 21st. So the immediate question arises, “how do you capitalize on this opportunity” and “how do US and Chinese partners do business together?” Specifically, what are the legal hurdles each face when dealing with the other and the latest strategies to overcome these obstacles and succeed?
America, with its supreme rule of law built around our fundamental principle of protecting private property, is the antithesis of everything the state controlled, Communist Chinese legal system seems to embody. You couldn’t find two more unlikely legal partners. It’s that confusion and contrast that we will attempt to understand and explore each week as we bring to light the legal challenges and changes in these two systems that dramatically affect and shape our dual destiny. We invite you to “join the conversation” as we continue to explore the legal issues which complicate our inevitable US-Chinese trade and investments, and bring to light the latest in ideas and information on this fascinating and confusing subject.