Aggressive Legalism: The East Asian Experience and Lessons for China

CHINA'S PARTICIPATION IN THE WTO, Henry Gao, Donald Lewis, eds., Cameron May Publishers, November 2005

39 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2006

See all articles by Henry S. Gao

Henry S. Gao

Singapore Management University - School of Law

Abstract

"Aggressive Legalism" is defined as a strategy whereby a WTO Member uses the substantive rules of the WTO to counter what it deems to be the unreasonable acts, requests and practices of its major trading partners. When they first joined the GATT, both Japan and Korea were reluctant to use the dispute settlement system. In the 80s and 90s, however, they shifted their policy and became more active in using the dispute settlement system. With China's accession to the WTO, many authors predicted that China would also be jumping on the aggressive legalism bandwagon. After a careful analysis of the three cases China has involved since its accession, the author argues that this optimism is unwarranted and China does not seem to be ready to embrace aggressive legalism yet. At the same time, however, the author also considers it in the best interest of China to follow the examples of Japan and Korea to use WTO rules to protect its legitimate trade interests. Thus, China should try to learn from the experiences of Japan and Korea and become more active and aggressive in using WTO dispute settlement system in the future.

Keywords: China, WTO, dispute settlement, Agressive Legalism, Korea, Japan, international trade, world trade organization

JEL Classification: F17, H63, K34

Suggested Citation

Gao, Henry S., Aggressive Legalism: The East Asian Experience and Lessons for China. CHINA'S PARTICIPATION IN THE WTO, Henry Gao, Donald Lewis, eds., Cameron May Publishers, November 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=897140

Henry S. Gao (Contact Author)

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

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