After a series of pro-arbitration judicial interpretations and circulars issued by the Supreme People’s Court in 2017 and 2018, 2019 continued to witness the development of Chinese arbitration practice towards a more open and strengthened pro-arbitration environment that aligns with internationally acceptable standards.
The Chinese central government and Shanghai local government have decided to allow foreign arbitration institutions to establish operating offices in the Lingang area, the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, to administer arbitrations seated in mainland China. This is a significant step by the Chinese authorities and showcases their new mindset to open up the Chinese arbitration market to foreign arbitration institutions.
Another development is the mutual arrangement entered into in April 2019 between mainland China and Hong Kong for granting interim measures for China’s and Hong Kong’s courts in aid of arbitration proceedings seated in mainland China and Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, domestic arbitration institutions are making impressive efforts in updating their arbitration rules to serve the needs of international arbitration players. The rules set new ground for the internationalisation of Chinese arbitration.
- The opening of the Chinese arbitration market to foreign arbitration institutions.
- Availability of interim measures in mainland China for Hong Kong arbitrations.
- Innovations and developments of Chinese arbitration institutions.
Referenced in this article
- Supreme People’s Court (SPC).
- China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (SFTZ).
- Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC).
- International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).
- China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC).
- Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration (SCIA).
- Beijing Arbitration Commission (BAC).
- Arbitration Law of People’s Republic of China 2017
- Civil Procedure Law of People’s Republic of China 2017.
- The New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards 1958.
Opening of the Chinese arbitration market to foreign arbitration institutions
The continuous growth of cross-border trade and inbound and outbound investment over the past decade has led to an increase in disputes and rapid development of commercial arbitration in mainland China. Domestic arbitration institutions prospered and bloomed across the country. However, under the existing regime of the 2017 Arbitration Law, as interpreted and applied by the Chinese judiciary, parties wishing to choose foreign arbitration institutions to administer arbitrations in mainland China were guaranteed no protection, and designation of a seat of arbitration outside mainland China appeared to be the only safe option.
Foreign arbitration institutions denied from taking a share in the Chinese arbitration market might protect local arbitration institutions from a high level of foreign competition in the short term. However, closing the door to outside competition is not in the interests of the long-term development of arbitration in mainland China and is partly why, despite its growing role in the international market, mainland China is yet to position itself as a leading centre for arbitration in the Asia-Pacific region.
In the second half of 2019, the Chinese government announced new policies explicitly allowing foreign arbitration institutions to establish operating offices in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone to administer arbitrations seated in mainland China. This opening up of the Chinese arbitration market to foreign arbitration institutions – even if limited – is a strong incentive for domestic arbitration institutions to improve their arbitration services and to become more competitive worldwide.
This chapter reviews the evolving history of judicial practice and the latest developments in government policy regarding Chinese mainland-seated arbitrations administered by foreign arbitration institutions. The chapter offers clarity on the legality of such arbitrations and the controversies surrounding the enforcement of arbitral awards.
Validity of arbitration agreements providing for foreign arbitration institutions administering arbitrations in mainland China
Although there is nothing in Chinese law that explicitly prohibits arbitrations with their seat in mainland China from being administered by foreign institutions, articles 10, 16 and 18 of the Arbitration Law have caused much concern regarding the legality of foreign institutions administering arbitrations in mainland China, as well as the validity of arbitration agreements providing for such arbitrations.
Under article 16 of the Arbitration Law, an arbitration agreement must contain the following elements:
- an expression of the parties’ intention to submit their disputes to arbitration;
- a description of the matters subject to arbitration; and
- a designated arbitration commission.
Article 18 of the Arbitration Law further provides that if an arbitration agreement fails to designate an arbitration commission and no supplementary agreement is reached to designate one, the arbitration agreement will be void.
According to articles 16 and 18, designation of an arbitration commission constitutes a mandatory requirement for the validity of an arbitration agreement – the requirement is peculiar to Chinese law. As such, a problematic issue arises, begging the question of whether a foreign arbitration institution qualifies as an ‘arbitration commission’ within the meaning of articles 16 and 18, or whether the term ‘arbitration commission’ refers only to Chinese arbitration commissions.
In this regard, article 10 of the Arbitration Law provides:
Arbitration commissions may be established in municipalities directly under the central government and in municipalities that are the seats of the people’s governments of provinces and autonomous regions. They may also be established in other municipalities with districts, according to need. Arbitration commissions shall not be established at each level of the administrative divisions . . . The establishment of an arbitration commission shall be registered with the administrative department of justice of the relevant province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the central government.
A restrictive interpretation of articles 16 and 18 is to read them together with article 10. Articles 16 and 18 require the designation of a Chinese arbitration commission in the sense of article 10, and foreign arbitration institutions do not qualify as ‘arbitration commissions’ within the definition of article 10; that is, arbitration institutions established by China’s municipal governments and registered with the competent administrative departments of justice. Hence, where Chinese law is applicable, an arbitration agreement providing for an arbitration administered by a foreign arbitration institution does not satisfy the compulsory requirement under article 16 and is void as per article 18.
A more liberal view holds that article 10 only regulates the establishment and administration of Chinese arbitration institutions and does not purport to set out the definition of the term ‘arbitration commissions’ under articles 16 and 18, which is a general reference to arbitration institutions and may include foreign arbitration institutions. This view concludes that articles 16 and 18 neither prohibit nor outlaw arbitrations in mainland China administered by foreign arbitration institutions.
The controversy and lack of an unequivocal approach by the Chinese courts in the interpretation of the above provisions invoked great concern for the legality of a Chinese mainland-seated arbitrations administered by foreign arbitration institutions under the Arbitration Law, and the associated issue regarding the validity of an arbitration agreement providing for such an arbitration had been under debate and remained unclear only until the SPC finally made its stance in March 2013.
The Shenhua Coal case is worth particular attention when it comes to understanding the SPC’s interpretation of the term ‘arbitration commission’ under the Arbitration Law. In this case, Shenhua Coal Trading Co and the Marinic Shipping Company entered into a charterparty with an arbitration clause providing for arbitration in London. One of the issues the SPC was asked to decide was whether article 13(2) of the Judicial Interpretation on the Arbitration Law was applicable to an arbitration administered by a foreign arbitration institution. On 4 February 2013, the SPC issued its reply:
The provisions of the Arbitration Law and the Judicial Interpretation on the Arbitration Law may apply to foreign-related arbitrations . . . The arbitration commissions as mentioned in article 20 of the Arbitration Law are established in accordance with articles 10 and 66 of the Arbitration Law, not including any foreign arbitration institution. Therefore, article 13 of the Judicial Interpretation on the Arbitration Law does not apply under the circumstances where a foreign arbitration institution makes a determination on the validity of an arbitration agreement.
Whereas Shenhua did not address the validity issue of the arbitration agreement, and the SPC’s opinion appears only pertaining to articles 10, 20 and 66 of the Arbitration Law and does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that designation of a foreign arbitration institution does not satisfy the requirement of the designation of an arbitration commission under articles 16 and 18 of the Arbitration Law, it was feared that the SPC’s reply might imply its general position that foreign arbitration institutions cannot qualify as arbitration commissions as defined under the Arbitration Law and thus an arbitration agreement providing for a Chinese mainland-seated arbitration to be administered by an foreign arbitration institution was susceptible to invalidation.
The doubt was largely dispelled by the SPC’s ruling in Longlide on 25 March 2013, where the SPC expressly recognised for the first time the validity of an arbitration clause allowing Chinese mainland-seated arbitration to be submitted to a foreign arbitration institution. The arbitration clause at issue stated: ‘Any dispute shall be referred to the ICC International Court of Arbitration . . . jurisdiction [place of arbitration] shall be Shanghai, China.’ In applying the Chinese law as the law of lex arbitri, the SPC was of the view that because the parties had expressly opted for the ICC Court of Arbitration, the requirement under Chinese law that an arbitration agreement must include a designated arbitration commission was satisfied, and based on this, the SPC ruled the arbitration clause to be valid.
Although in Longlide, the SPC avoided clarifying whether foreign arbitration institutions fall within the definition of ‘arbitration commission’ under articles 16 and 18 of the Arbitration Law, and focused its reasoning on the parties’ express designation of an arbitration institution, the SPC’s confirmation of the validity of the arbitration clause relieved much of the concern about arbitration agreements The shadow cast by the said articles 16 and 18 over the validity of arbitration agreements providing for foreign arbitration institutions to administer arbitrations seated in the Chinese mainland was mostly dissipated.
Controversy of enforcement of awards rendered in Chinese mainland-seated arbitrations administered by foreign arbitration institutions
Settlement of the arbitration agreement validity issue, being a positive signal of the SPC’s pro-arbitration stance, is not, however, a one-size-fits-all resolution to the legal obstacles to Chinese mainland-seated arbitrations administered by foreign arbitration institutions. Despite the position of certain Chinese courts, it is generally accepted that there is a lack of legal basis for enforcing awards rendered in such arbitrations and this discourages international arbitration players from choosing the Chinese mainland as an arbitration seat.
In the famous Züblin Case, when Züblin Int’l GmbH applied to the Wuxi Intermediate People’s Court to enforce the award made by the ICC Court of Arbitration in Shanghai, the Wuxi Intermediate People’s Court, while denying the recognition and enforcement of the award insomuch as the arbitration clause had been invalidated by the SPC (because the arbitration clause failed to expressly designate an arbitration institution), reasoned that as the arbitral award was made by the ICC Court of Arbitration and confirmed by the seal of its secretariat, it ought to be regarded as a ‘non-domestic award’ under article I(1) of the New York Convention.
Adopting the same position as the Wuxi Intermediate People’s Court on ‘non-domestic awards’, in Duferco, the Ningbo Intermediate People’s Court recognised and enforced an ICC award seated in Beijing. In that case, the arbitration clause provided that: ‘All disputes in connection with this Contract or the execution thereof shall be settled by friendly negotiation. If no settlement can be reached, the case in dispute shall then be submitted to the Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce in China, in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the International Sales of Goods.’
In a ruling of 22 April 2009, the Ningbo Intermediate Peoples’ Court dismissed the challenge to the validity of the arbitration agreement, on the grounds that it was already time barred according to article 13 of the Judicial Interpretation on Arbitration Law. On the issue of recognition and enforcement, the court ruled that the ICC award made in China should be considered as a ‘non-domestic award’ under article I(I) of the New York Convention, and decided to recognise and enforce the award because no grounds for refusing to recognise or enforce an award set forth in the New York Convention existed.
The ruling by the Ningbo Intermediate People’s Court reflects a positive trend in opening up the market for arbitration in China to foreign arbitration institutions. However, as the court denied the objection to the validity of the arbitration agreement on a procedural ground, and the ruling only reflects the view of that particular court, it is unclear whether other courts will take a similar approach to recognise and enforce arbitral awards issued by foreign arbitration institutions in mainland China. More importantly, the classification of the award as a ‘non-domestic award’ and the recognition and enforcement of the award under the New York Convention prompted considerable disagreement and controversy.
Under Chinese law, different procedures and standards of recognition and enforcement apply to different types of arbitral award. How to categorise an arbitral award is crucial for deciding whether and how the arbitral award will be recognised and enforced in China. Broadly speaking, there are four different recognition and enforcement regimes applicable to four different types of arbitral award:
- the New York Convention, which is applicable to arbitral awards made in the territory of a contracting state to the New York Convention other than China;
- the special arrangements and provisions in regard to Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, which are applicable to arbitral awards made in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan respectively;
- article 237 and other related rules of the Civil Procedure Law, which are applicable to awards rendered by Chinese arbitration commissions, generally regarded as purely domestic arbitral awards; and
- article 274 and other related rules of the Civil Procedure Law, which are applicable to arbitral awards rendered by Chinese arbitration commissions involving foreign, Hong Kong, Macao or Taiwan elements.
It remains controversial, however, whether an award rendered in a Chinese mainland-seated arbitration administered by a foreign arbitration institution falls within the scope of any of the above types of award, or recognition or enforcement regime:
- The New York Convention – the Wuxi Intermediate People’s Court and the Ningbo Intermediate People’s Court categorised arbitral awards rendered by foreign arbitration institutions in Chinese mainland-seated arbitrations as non-domestic awards and applied the New York Convention accordingly. However, even if such awards constitute non-domestic awards, it is arguable that China’s reservation under the New York Convention, as confirmed by the SPC’s Notice on Implementing the New York Convention, that ‘it will apply the convention to the recognition and enforcement of awards made only in the territory of another contracting state’ excludes the application of the New York Convention to awards issued in China.
- The special arrangements and provisions in regard to Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan – arbitral awards made in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan are eligible for recognition and enforcement in mainland China under these arrangements and provisions, but not arbitral awards made in mainland China.
- Articles 237 and 274 of the Civil Procedure Law – pursuant to a textual and holistic interpretation of arbitration-related rules of the Civil Procedure Law and the Arbitration Law, articles 237 and 274 of the Civil Procedure Law are generally regarded as regulating enforcement of domestic arbitral awards. In determining whether an arbitral award is domestic, the common view is that Chinese law and Chinese courts adopt an ‘institution’ standard instead of a ‘territorial’ criterion, according to which an arbitral award made by a foreign institution is not a domestic award even if it is made in the territory of mainland China (this is why the Wuxi Intermediate People’s Court and the Ningbo Intermediate People’s Court categorised an arbitral award issued in mainland China by a foreign arbitration institution as ‘non-domestic award’).
The institution standard in determining the nationality of arbitral awards, in conjunction with China’s reservation under the New York Convention, has resulted in a seemingly irreconcilable dilemma and a lack of legal mechanism to recognise and enforce awards made in mainland China by foreign arbitration institutions. Without further clarifications or legislative adaptations, the controversy and uncertainty in relation to recognition and enforcement of such awards in mainland China would likely to propel international arbitration users to play on the safe side and not to adopt an arbitration agreement for a foreign arbitration institution to administer the arbitration in mainland China.
Groundbreaking new policy and measures explicitly allowing foreign arbitration institutions administering foreign-related arbitrations in the SFTZ
Since the enactment of the Arbitration Law in 1994, more than two decades have elapsed. To accommodate China’s new social and economic dynamics and for China’s arbitration practice to keep up with the internationally acceptable standards, the 13th Standing Committee of National People’s Congress announced in September 2018 that it was to include the amendment of the Arbitration Law in its legislative agenda. However, an overhaul of the Arbitration Law is a major and time-consuming project. Pending amendment of the current arbitration law regime, in order to tackle the existing legal obstacles faced by Chinese mainland-seated arbitrations administered by foreign arbitration institutions, the Chinese government has set out on a journey to open up the Chinese arbitration market to foreign arbitration institutions by making innovations in the SFTZ, a pioneering and experimental zone of China’s multifaceted reforms.
On 8 April 2015, the State Council issued the Plan for Further Deepening the Reform and Opening-Up of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone; according to Provision 11 of which, commercial presence of foreign arbitration institutions in the SFTZ is permitted and supported by the Chinese government. Since then, several prominent international arbitration institutions – including the HKIAC, the ICC and the SIAC – established representative offices in the SFTZ, but only to conduct liaison activities and not to engage in the conduct of arbitration in mainland China. The concern was that the SPC’s confirmation of the validity of arbitration agreements for foreign arbitration institutions to administer arbitrations in mainland China did not necessarily imply the lawfulness or compliance of the conduct of arbitration in mainland China by foreign arbitration institutions, as the former was related to a civil and commercial case while the latter was essentially an administrative matter monitored by government authorities pursuant to article 10 of the Arbitration Law. In addition, allowing the commercial presence of foreign arbitration institution in the SFTZ is not the same as allowing arbitration activities. Consequently, the foreign arbitration institutions were cautious not to be the first to test the waters.
Groundbreaking changes in 2019
On 27 July 2019, the State Council issued the Framework Plan for the Lingang Special Area of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone. Immediately afterwards, on 30 July 2019, the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government passed the Measures for the Administration of the Lingang Special Area of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, and on 21 October 2019, the Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Justice passed the Administrative Measures for Business Offices Established by Overseas Arbitration Institutions in the Lingang Special Area of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone. For the first time, these policies and measures explicitly allowed foreign arbitration institutions to establish operating offices in the Lingang area of the SFTZ to administer foreign-related arbitrations seated in mainland China with respect to civil and commercial disputes in areas including international commerce, maritime and investment.
On 13 December 2019, the Opinions of the Supreme People’s Court on Provision of Judicial Services and Guarantee by the People’s Courts for the Construction of the Lingang Special Area of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone were issued and further clarifies judicial support for foreign arbitration instructions to carry out arbitration activities in mainland China. Provision 6 provides: ‘The application for and enforcement of property preservation, evidence preservation, conduct preservation and other interim measures before and during arbitration shall be supported and guaranteed in accordance with the law, judicial examination shall be conducted for arbitral awards according to the law.’ It is understood that by allowing applications to Chinese courts for interim measures in the arbitrations and empowering Chinese courts to supervise arbitrations in accordance with Chinese law, the SPC actually adopts the territorial criterion and regards Chinese mainland-seated arbitrations administered by foreign arbitration institutions as domestic arbitrations, the awards being domestic awards. Such an approach may shed light on the long-lasting confusion regarding supervision and enforcement for Chinese mainland-seated arbitrations administered by foreign arbitration institutions, and marks the trend of the internationalisation of China’s arbitration law regime.
The changes in late 2019 have released a clear signal of the Chinese government’s policy to open up the Chinese arbitration market to foreign arbitration institutions. The far-reaching impact brought by these changes on the layout of the Chinese arbitration market is yet to be revealed.
Availability of interim measures in mainland China for Hong Kong arbitrations
On 2 April 2019, the secretary for justice of Hong Kong and the vice president of the Supreme People’s Court signed the Arrangement Concerning Mutual Assistance in Court-Ordered Interim Measures in Aid of Arbitral Proceedings by the Courts of the Mainland and of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Hong Kong becomes the first and only seat of arbitration outside mainland China where arbitration parties would be able to apply to the mainland courts for interim measures.
Under the Arbitration Law and Civil Procedure Law, only parties to arbitrations administered by the mainland arbitration commissions may apply to the mainland courts for interim measures and the mainland courts have no power to grant interim measures in aid of foreign arbitrations, while interim measures obtained from an emergency arbitrator or arbitral tribunal in foreign arbitrations are not enforceable by the mainland courts.
With the commencement of the arrangement, parties to Hong Kong-seated arbitral proceedings administered by a prescribed list of arbitration institutions or their permanent offices in Hong Kong (including the HKIAC, the ICC Asia Office, the CIETAC Hong Kong Arbitration Centre, the Hong Kong Maritime Arbitration Group, the South China International Arbitration Centre (HK) and the eBRAM International Online Dispute Resolution Centre) can apply for interim measures (including property preservation, evidence preservation and conduct preservation measures) to the mainland courts before the arbitral award is made. The arrangement does not apply to ad hoc arbitrations or arbitrations administered by arbitration institutions with no office in Hong Kong, even if those arbitrations are seated in Hong Kong.
The arrangement is anticipated to boost institutional arbitration in Hong Kong involving a Chinese mainland party, assets, or evidence, which will no doubt strengthen Hong Kong’s reputation as the leading seat for China-related international arbitrations and enhance Hong Kong’s status as an international arbitration centre.
Eye-catching innovations and developments of Chinese arbitration institutions
In 2019, the SCIA pioneered, for the first time in China, an internal optional appellate arbitration mechanism through the SCIA Arbitration Rules 2019, according to which parties may agree to subject the award rendered by the arbitral tribunal to the review and reconsideration by an appellate tribunal, which is empowered to render the final and binding award in lieu of the original award.
Besides party consensus, one fundamental premise for the applicability of the optional appellate arbitration procedure is that the procedure is not prohibited by the laws of the place of arbitration applicable to the case, such as the laws of the United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Hong Kong or other jurisdictions where an appeal within the arbitration process is permitted or not forbidden. If China’s Arbitration Law is the governing law, such procedure is inapplicable. Also, for the optional appellate arbitration procedure to apply, it is required that the case involve a disputed amount of more than 3 million yuan and not be subject to expedited procedure.
Normally, a tribunal’s award is final and unappealable, which, saving both time and money, is often regarded a distinctive advantage of arbitration proceedings as compared to regular court proceedings. However, there have been surveys showing that some international market players, especially arbitration respondents, worry that a wrong award might not be corrected due to the finality of single-instance arbitration, as in general judicial review and supervision of arbitration by courts does not address the parties’ concerns about substantive issues or errors in arbitration. As indicated by the practice in the jurisdictions where arbitral awards are appealable, finality is not an absolute principle or inherent nature of international commercial arbitration.
The optional appellate arbitration procedure introduced by the SCIA Arbitration Rules 2019 is a product of trade-off between procedural advantage of arbitration finality and parties’ demand for adequate remedy and substantive justice in case of an unjust award. This is no doubt an immensely innovative move among Chinese arbitration institutions, and it is to be seen whether the procedure will actually attract arbitration users in the future.
The BAC Arbitration Rules 2019, which came into effect on 1 September 2019, introduced a remarkable reform of arbitration fees structure, making the BAC the first arbitration commission in mainland China to divide arbitration fees between arbitrator remunerations and institutional fees. At the same time, the new rules increase the minimum remuneration for arbitrators and the proportion of arbitrator’s remunerations in the total arbitration fees. The BAC’s reform has brought the internationalisation of Chinese arbitration to new heights and is likely to induce similar reforms of other Chinese arbitration commissions.
Before the new rules, like all other Chinese arbitration commissions, the BAC categorised its arbitration fees into case acceptance fees and case handling fees, a fee structure applicable to the vast majority of arbitration cases administered by the BAC. It was universal practice across mainland China that the arbitration fees were charged by the arbitration commissions, the allocation of the charged fees among arbitrators and institutions not being transparent. From the limited disclosure of data, the remuneration to arbitrators in most cases accounted for less than 50 per cent of the total arbitration fees charged by the arbitration commissions – a rate much lower than the international standards.
The modified fee structure in the BAC’s new rules reconciles the longstanding difference between Chinese and international arbitration practice regarding arbitration fees. By tackling the flawed and opaque arbitrator remuneration system that had been unattractive to high-calibre arbitrators and discouraging for arbitrators committed to diligent work, the new rules are conducive to the promotion of arbitrators’ performance as well as the professionalisation of arbitration in China.
To reach the full potential of the new rules, the BAC is still confronted with practical challenges and questions such as how to maintain the high quality of institutional case management and how to ensure a fair and reasonable quantification of arbitrators’ work and calculation of arbitrator remunerations. It is expected that more specific billing and charging rules or practices will be established by the BAC in the future and the implementation of the new rules will continue to be improved.
 Reply of the Supreme People’s Court to the request for instructions on issues concerning Shenhua Coal Trading Co v Marinic Shipping Company for the confirmation of validity of an arbitration clause, (2013) Min Si Ta Zi 4, 4 February 2013.
 Interpretation of the Supreme People’s Court concerning several issues on application of the Arbitration Law 2006, article 13:
- As required by paragraph 2 of article 20 of the Arbitration Law, if a party concerned fails to object to the effectiveness of the agreement for arbitration prior to the first hearing in the arbitral tribunal, and then applies to the people’s court for confirming the agreement for arbitration as ineffective, the application shall not be accepted by the people’s court.
- Where, after an arbitration institution makes a decision on the effectiveness of an agreement for arbitration, a party concerned applies to the people’s court for confirming the agreement for arbitration as effective or applies for revoking the arbitration institution’s decision, the application shall not be accepted by the people’s court.
 Reply of the Supreme People’s Court on issues concerning Anhui Longlide Packaging Co Ltd v BP Agnati SRL for confirmation of validity of an arbitration clause, Min Si Ta Zi  13, 25 March 2013.
 Reply of the Supreme People’s Court to the Request for Instructions on Issues concerning the Case of Züblin Int’l GmbH v Wuxi Woco-Tongyong Rubber Engineering Co Ltd for confirmation of validity of an arbitration clause,  Min Si Ta Zi 23, 8 July 2004; Case of Züblin Int’l GmbH’s application for recognition and enforcement of the foreign arbitral award, (2004) Xi Min San Zhong Zi 1, 19 July 2006.
 Duferco SA v Ningbo Arts & Crafts Imp and Exp Co  Yong Zhong Jian Zi 4, 22 April 2009.
 Arrangement of the Supreme People’s Court concerning the mutual enforcement of arbitral awards between the mainland and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Fa Shi  3, effective from 1 February 2000; arrangement of the Supreme People’s Court concerning the mutual recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards between the mainland and Macao Special Administrative Region, Fa Shi  17, effective from 1 January 2008; provisions of the Supreme People’s Court on recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards of Taiwan Region, Fa Shi  13, effective from 1 July 2015.
 Notice of the Supreme People’s Court on implementing the convention on the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards acceded to by China, Fa [Jing] Fa  5, effective from 10 April 1987.
 Notice of the State Council on Issuing the Plan for Further Deepening the Reform and Opening-Up of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, Guo Fa  21, effective from 8 April 2015.
 Notice by the State Council of Issuing the Framework Plan for the Lingang Special Area of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, Guo Fa  15, effective from 27 July 2019.
 Measures for the Administration of the Lingang Special Area of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, Order 19 of the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government, effective from 20 August 2019.
 Administrative Measures for Business Offices Established by Foreign Arbitration Institutions in the Lingang Special Area of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, Hu Si Gui  5, effective from 1 January 2020.
 Opinions of the Supreme People’s Court on Provision of Judicial Services and Guarantee by the People’s Courts for the Construction of the Lingang Special Area of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, Fa Fa  31, effective as from 13 December 2019.
 The SCIA Rules, effective from 21 February 2019.
 The BAC Arbitration Rules, revised and adopted at the fourth meeting of the seventh session of the BAC on 4 July 2019, effective from 1 September 2019.