China's Rise: How It Took on the U.S. at the WTO

71 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2017 Last revised: 4 Mar 2018

Gregory Shaffer

University of California, Irvine School of Law

Henry S. Gao

Singapore Management University - School of Law

Date Written: March 20, 2017

Abstract

This article builds from original fieldwork to show what lies behind China’s remarkably successful use of international trade law to take on the United States and Europe. The World Trade Organization (WTO) is unique in China’s international relations as it is the only forum where China, with its anti-legalist traditions, has resolved its disputes through law and the use of third party dispute settlement. After China acceded to the WTO in 2001, it invested massively in building trade law capacity to transform itself and defend itself externally. Through these investments and its increased market power, China became a serious rival to the U.S. and Europe in the development and enforcement of international trade law. This article provides the most complete account of this important development, which has had significant political impacts within the United States and Europe. The article first explains China’s significant trade law capacity-building efforts in government, academia, law firms, and business. It then assesses the broader implications for the international trade legal order. It shows that global economic order itself is at stake, affecting citizens around the globe. The article builds from research involving over a decade of original fieldwork in China, Washington D.C., Brussels, and Geneva.

Keywords: China, WTO, legal capacity, dispute settlement, transnational legal ordering, two-level game, international trade law

Suggested Citation

Shaffer, Gregory and Gao, Henry S., China's Rise: How It Took on the U.S. at the WTO (March 20, 2017). University of Illinois Law Review, 2018 (1), 115-184. ; UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2017-15; Singapore Management University School of Law Research Paper No. 14/2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2937965

Gregory C. Shaffer (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

401 E. Peltason Dr.
Ste. 1000
Irvine, CA 92612
United States

Henry S. Gao

Singapore Management University - School of Law ( email )

55 Armenian Street
Singapore, 179943
Singapore

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.smu.edu.sg/faculty/law/henrygao.asp

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
1,047
rank
18,338
Abstract Views
4,185
PlumX