The WTO's Impact on China: A Battle of Administrative Review Settings Between Internal and External Regulatory Frameworks
Vienna Journal on International Constitutional Law, Vol.10, 3/2016
26 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2016 Last revised: 22 Nov 2016
Date Written: April 8, 2016
As a WTO member and one of the largest trading countries, China is subject to a series of rule-of-law related international obligations. Yet, China emphasizes ‘Chinese characteristics’, ‘rule by law’, and recently, ‘socialist ethics’. What is the impact of WTO law on China? This paper examines the WTO and Chinese regulatory frameworks in terms of administrative review settings. Through reviewing the roles of self, law, and government under Confucianism and Chinese Legalism, this study finds that China generally adopts a Confucian internal regulatory framework based on self-regulation, which negates external control. The WTO law, however, assumes a Chinese Legalist like external regulatory framework based on control by rules in the form of checks and balances. The impact of WTO law on China, therefore, is about a battle between these internal and external frameworks at the opposite regulatory directions. On this battlefield, China seems not to be affected by the WTO yet.
Keywords: WTO, China, rule of law, rule by law, socialist ethics, chinese characteristics, implementation of law, administrative review, regulatory frameworks
JEL Classification: K33
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