China: Law, Economy and Foreign Relations - A Symposium Introduction

Iowa Journal of Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems, Vol. 16, No. 1, Fall 2006

39 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2007

See all articles by Larry Catá Backer

Larry Catá Backer

Pennsylvania State University, Penn State Law


The promise and challenges of Chinese law, economy, and foreign relations is nicely framed within the Chinese Constitution. From the time of the leadership of Deng Xiao-Ping, China has invested tremendous resources on the modernization of all sectors of its society while attempting to remain true to the founding ideology of the People's Republic. Chinese ideological and political systems ultimately shape the social, political, and economic culture of the People's Republic of China. In a state that takes political theory very seriously (at least officially) but in which development is still not at an advanced stage, theory and practice, aspiration, and reality serve as critical sites for study. This paper discusses a number of important contributions to the study of Chinese law, economy and foreign relations produced in connection with a symposium sponsored in February 2006 by the University of Iowa College of Law. Taken together, these articles paint a picture of a sophisticated state in substantial transition in its internal governance and its external relations. Examining various aspects of this transition, from both American and Chinese perspectives, these contributions touch on a range of important current issues, including the role of ideology in governance, to the state of the regulation of the finance sectors, the development of administrative law mechanisms, the evolution of rights in property, the delivery of "justice" services, and the construction of a policy on Taiwan, these contributions suggest the possibilities of Chinese-American dialogue. Both the United States and China remain ideologically dynamic in this latter sense. Their conversations, both internal and between them, will have tremendous effects. These effects will touch not only on the state of global norm making, but also the way in which the United States and China each comes to understand the other, and themselves.

Keywords: China, Taiwan, rule of law, constitution, Communist Party, administrative law, courts, securities markets, banks

JEL Classification: K00, P30

Suggested Citation

Backer, Larry Catá, China: Law, Economy and Foreign Relations - A Symposium Introduction. Iowa Journal of Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems, Vol. 16, No. 1, Fall 2006. Available at SSRN:

Larry Catá Backer (Contact Author)

Pennsylvania State University, Penn State Law ( email )

Lewis Katz Building
University Park, PA 16802
United States

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