CWR > Volume 5(1); 2019 > Article
Research Paper
Published online: March 1, 2019

'Foreign Elements' in the Arbitration of China's Free Trade Zones

Xia Tang
International Law at Xiamen University
422 Siming Nan Road, Xiamen City, Fujian Province, P.R. China 361005
Corresponding Author: tangxia1990vip@163

ⓒ Copyright YIJUN Institute of International Law. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Since the traditional definition of 'foreign elements' cannot meet the new requirements of the arbitration of China's FTZs, Chinese judicial practice must create a useful supplement to already established standards. In free trade zone arbitration cases, Chinese courts determine foreign elements based on the standards of subject, object, and legal facts. In this regard, the explanation for 'other circumstances' in the First Judicial Interpretation of the Supreme Court on Several Issues Concerning the Application of Law of the PRC on Foreign-Related Relations is based on the three abovementioned elements. The Chinese arbitration system and legislation must be further perfected; however, overly broad standards may impede China's domestic arbitration system. Moreover, China must add certain restrictions to the standards: judges should distinguish the artificial foreign elements created by contracting parties, controversial civil relations should have a material connection with foreign countries, and discretion should be reasonable with sufficient nucleus.

Keywords : Free Trade Zone, Arbitration, Foreign Elements, Standard Limitation

View the Full Text