Special Session: The New International Trade and Investment Rules: Chinese Perspectives

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The last panel (the Special Session) turned to New Trade and Investment Rules: Chinese Perspectives. The session was moderated by Professor and Dean of Shandong University Law School Wei Shen. Paolo Farah: (Professor, West Virginia University) presented “China’s “One-Belt One-Road” and Geopolitics in Eurasia: Cooperation in Energy and Infrastructures.” Nichlas Rowland (Professor, Pennsylvania State University – Altoona) & Matthew Jon Spaniol (Professor, Roskilde University) presented “Futures for China: Results from Pre-conference Scenario Planning Workshop (Part 2).” Yi Liang (Ph.D. Candidate, University of International Business and Economics) presented “The Enforceability of WTO-plus and WTO-extra Provisions in the New Generation of Chinese FTAs. ”Yewei Shi (Ph.D. Candidate, Peking University) submitted his paper “A Research on Technology Transfer in China’s Outward FDI under Globalization” at this session.

It was agreed at this panels that Chinese perspectives on the construction of trade, and China’s increasing influence in that construction is both hard for Westerners to grasp and absolutely essential for rigorously understanding the way these trends toward trade Constitutionalization will be shaped. Paolo Farah spoke to China’s One Belt One Road initiative and geopolitics in Eurasia. The focus was on cooperation and synergies in energy and infrastructure. It provided an interesting window on a markets based approach that also provided strong state guidance in targeting investment objectives. The project serves as a reminder that Westerners become more comfortable with Marxist Market approaches to international trade and development. Nicholas Rowland and Matthew Jon Spaniol walked us through scenario planning focused on a report of the results from a pre-conference scenario planning workshop futures for China. Yi Liang then brought us back to the development of Chinese engagement with the traditional regulatory structures of international trade. The consideration of the enforceability of WTO-Plus and WTO-Extra provisions in the new generation of Chinese Free Trade Agreements provided an additional window on the way in which multiple variations on regional trade systems are developing, even in the shadow of global trade regimes. It is a reminder that in the end, even governance standards are made and operationalized through the language of law, and that while the great norms are satisfying, a proficiency with the technical language of trade tends to be the way that the great norms are actually manifested.