Timothy P. Stratford

Timothy P. Stratford

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China to Broaden Market Access for Foreign Investors in Financial Services

In the wake of the Chinese Communist Party’s 19th Party Congress, and US President Donald Trump’s visit to China, the Ministry of Finance has announced a high-level roadmap for broadening market access for foreign investors in the financial services industry. This policy development, long under discussion, is part of an effort by the Chinese leadership … Continue Reading

US Launches Investigation into China’s Technology Transfer & IP Practices

United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) Robert E. Lighthizer launched an investigation under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 (“Section 301”) into acts, policies, and practices of the Chinese government as they relate to “technology transfer, intellectual property [IP], and innovation.” The August 18 announcement of the investigation came just days after President Donald … Continue Reading

China’s State Council Releases Draft Revisions to Process for Formulating Administrative Regulations

For years, the foreign business community has called for greater transparency and opportunities to provide more input into China’s legislative and regulatory rule-making processes. In a small step forward, on July 19, the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council (“SCLAO”) released draft revisions to the Regulations on Procedures for Formulating Administrative Regulations (“Draft Revisions”) … Continue Reading

China’s New Foreign Investment Catalogue Reduces Restrictions, Furthers Nationwide Negative List Approach

An updated version of China’s Catalogue of Industries for Guiding Foreign Investment (“Foreign Investment Catalogue,” or “Catalogue”) went into effect on July 28. The Catalogue has been a key tool used by Chinese policymakers to coordinate foreign investment with the country’s economic development plans and industrial policies. Its categorizations are an important factor in determining the … Continue Reading

State Council Trims Negative List in Free Trade Zones

China has put into effect an updated “negative list” for foreign investment in the country’s pilot free trade zones (“FTZs”). Officially named the Free Trade Zone (FTZ) Foreign Investment Entry Special Administrative Measures (Negative List) (2017 Version), the FTZ negative list is an important document that lists business sectors in which foreign investment is subject … Continue Reading

China Seeks Public Comments on Draft Regulation on the Protection of Critical Information Infrastructure

On July 11, 2017, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) released the draft Regulation for the Protection of the Critical Information Infrastructure (“Draft Regulation”) for public comment (official Chinese version available here). The comment period ends on August 10, 2017. Aiming to add greater clarification to the Cybersecurity Law, which took effect on June 1, … Continue Reading

China’s 2017 Party Leadership Transition

As the dramatic political shifts in Washington captivate the world, and the US reconsiders its traditional global leadership role, Chinese President Xi Jinping is positioning China to increase its own global role and influence. In a highly touted speech at the World Economic Forum in January, Mr. Xi mounted a rousing defense of economic globalization … Continue Reading

Trump, Xi Kick Off Economic Relationship

On Friday, April 14, the U.S. Department of Treasury published a widely anticipated semi-annual report detailing the foreign exchange practices of America’s major trading partners. Although he regularly called for China to be labeled as a “currency manipulator” as a candidate, President Donald J. Trump and his administration declined to use the occasion of this … Continue Reading

China Implements New Charity Law

In May, we wrote about China’s new Charity Law (official Chinese version available here; unofficial English translation available here) and its establishment of a comprehensive framework for revamping the government’s management of the social sector. For decades, charities, social organizations, and civil society groups have operated in a quasi-legal environment where enforcement has been unpredictable … Continue Reading

China Builds New Framework Governing Civil Society Organizations, Part II: Foreign NGO Law

In Part I of this two-part series published on May 12, we described China’s new Charity Law and its implications for charitable organizations operating in the country, both domestic and foreign. On April 28, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress enacted another new law, this one governing foreign non-governmental organizations (“NGOs”) operating in … Continue Reading

China Builds New Framework Governing Civil Society Organizations, Part I: Charity Law

Since the Xi administration’s pledge during the Fourth Plenum of the 18th Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party in October 2014 to promote the rule of law (or, as the ambiguous language was interpreted by many, “rule by law”), China has issued a number of final and draft laws and regulations of significance to … Continue Reading

China Moves Forward with Negative List for (Domestic and Foreign) Market Access

In recent years, the business community in China has been abuzz with talk of various market access “negative lists” — lists of exceptions to what would otherwise be open market access. China has now introduced a new market access negative list for all forms of investment in the country, both domestic and foreign. Before describing … Continue Reading

China Enacts Broad Counter-Terrorism Law

On December 27, 2015, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislative body, enacted a Counter-Terrorism Law (see the Chinese version here), which took effect on January 1, 2016. The adoption of this law, a year after the first draft was released for public comment, followed closely the adoption of a … Continue Reading

China, the Middle East and the Global Economy–Where Might the “Silk Road” Lead?

China clearly wants to use its enormous financial capacity to secure access to resources, to create good jobs for its huge population, to enhance its strategic clout and to spur global growth in ways that shore up growth at home.  Certainly, this is true of China’s engagement with the Middle East, from which it obtains … Continue Reading

China’s New National Security Law

The Chinese government made headlines around the world on July 1 when the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress passed a sweeping new national security law (see official Chinese version here). The scope of the law, China’s most comprehensive piece of national security legislation to date, is broad. It covers issues of political security, … Continue Reading

Chinese Government Issues 2015 Foreign Investment Catalogue — Effective April 10, 2015

The Chinese government makes no secret of the fact that in its view, foreign investment should be consistent with China’s economic development plans and industrial policies. Its ability to administer foreign investment in accordance with industrial policy is aided by the fact that all foreign investment must go through an often rigorous approval process. By … Continue Reading

Chinese Draft Foreign Investment Law–First Post

China has begun the process of revamping its legal regime for foreign investment. On January 19, 2015, the Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM”), the ministry charged with regulating foreign investment in China, issued a new draft Foreign Investment Law (the “Draft Law”), representing China’s attempt to unify the governance of foreign and domestic private investment. Comments … Continue Reading

Evaluating Foreign Investment Restraints in China

As we have written previously, China is engaging in simultaneous bilateral investment treaty (BIT) negotiations with the United States and the European Union. Indications are that the Chinese government is taking these negotiations very seriously. This presents the most significant opportunity for foreign investors in China to influence market access restrictions and other restraints on … Continue Reading

Foreign-owned hospitals in China

After the news this past July that German hospital operator Artemed had signed a framework agreement to establish the first wholly foreign-owned hospital in the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone (“Shanghai FTZ”), foreign investors anxious for an opening into China’s tightly regulated healthcare sector may now have even more reason for (cautious) optimism. The Chinese … Continue Reading

Recent Developments in China: S&ED, Shanghai FTZ and BIT Negotiations

The United States and China recently concluded two days of high-level talks as part of the sixth U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (“S&ED” or the “Dialogue”), which took place in Beijing from July 9-10. The most concrete outcome of this year’s S&ED is the commitment by both sides to reach agreement on the main body … Continue Reading
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