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The Supreme People’s Court has established an impressive framework to facilitate the use of Guiding Cases but has not given clear guidance on how to handle inconsistent applications of a Guiding Case by Chinese courts. In this article, the authors analyze the inconsistent applications of Guiding Case No. 60 by several important courts in China, discuss potential problems associated with such inconsistency, and propose solutions to these problems.
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The Supreme People’s Court’s issuance of 26 new Guiding Cases, China’s de facto binding precedents, during the last few weeks of 2022 brought the total number of these cases issued in the entire year to 33, a record-high number that has only been matched in 2019. A comparison of Guiding Cases released before and after 2019 shows positive developments and, as explained in this article, gives optimism for 2023.
Last Sunday, Dr. Mei Gechlik delivered a keynote speech titled Zhejiang, Case Guidance, and China’s Global Economic Development at a conference held in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. The speech turned out to be timely as on the same day, a Chinese Communist Party leader visited Alibaba, the e-commerce giant headquartered in Zhejiang. The visit not only marked the first of this type since Alibaba faced serious regulatory investigations, but also occurred only two days after President Xi Jinping chaired the country’s economic working conference, at which China’s “platform enterprises” (e.g., Alibaba) were called upon to “show their talents in leading [the country’s] development, job creation, and international competition”.
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U.S. President Joe Biden’s recent meeting with Chinese President XI Jinping has eased the growing tension between the two countries, giving rise to hope that the difficult Taiwan issue will be unlikely to trigger conflict in the near future. This development is in line with the mainstream stance taken by people in Taiwan. The majority of respondents to surveys conducted from 1994 to 2022 have expressed their wish to see Taiwan (a) maintain the status quo and then decide the future at a later date; or (b) maintain the status quo indefinitely. What does this signal to leaders in Beijing? What can be done in the interim?
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In his recent speech, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken clearly stated that China is “integral” to the United States’s ability to solve the climate crisis. He urged China to join the United States in “accelerating the pace” of their shared efforts. Ecosystems with healthy populations of native plants and animals help address climate challenges. Yet many ecosystems have been adversely affected by the loss of biodiversity. How does China tackle this loss?
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In December 2021, the Supreme People’s Court of China released Guiding Case No. 177. The Guiding Case illustrates how China performs its obligations under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora to protect marine biodiversity.
Three decades ago, China’s decision to develop a “socialist market economy” helped bolster foreign investors’ confidence. Today, if China shows similar determination to bring about positive changes in crucial areas, foreign investors will have strong reasons for feeling optimistic about the Chinese market. One crucial area is the regulation of China’s stock market. China does have regulatory tools to combat irregularities in the stock market. Have these tools been used well?
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Amid foreign businesses’ growing concerns about COVID restrictions, China’s five-year intellectual property plan may help instill confidence. If implemented well, the plan will help China establish a strong intellectual property protection mechanism that will facilitate the country’s post-COVID economic recovery. How can the plan be implemented well?
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Justice delayed is justice denied. The prompt delivery of judgments is particularly important in cases involving infringement of intellectual property rights, where holders of these rights need to minimize their losses by stopping the infringement swiftly. China does offer a solution. How does it work?
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The highest court in a province in China recently ordered a retrial of a dispute because lower-level courts handling the dispute failed to discuss in their reasoning a relevant Guiding Case cited by a party as similar to the dispute. This ruling is expected to bring about positive changes to the judicial practice of using Guiding Cases in that province. Why? Will this ruling be a game changer for the rest of the country?