Shifting Tides: The Future of Globalization in an Era of Rising Populism

Adam Church
Vol. 38 Associate Editor

Over the past year, there have been numerous events indicating that populism is on the rise in the Western world. Though the particular forms of these individual events may vary, a common thread linking them together is a desire to retreat from globalization to the perceived safety of protectionism. While a retreat from globalization would likely have steep consequences for a number of market sectors,[1] one sector that may prove to be especially vulnerable is the financial sector. Arguably still reeling from the lingering effects of the 2008 financial crisis,[2] the international financial sector is already under pressure from events that appear to indicate a retreat from globalization by the West, such as Brexit.[3] Furthermore, as Western nations have traditionally occupied significant leadership positions within the international financial system,[4] their shift towards more protectionist stances would likely create a substantial leadership vacuum within this system. Should Western nations continue to retreat from globalization, the question arises as to who will emerge as a leader and how they will shape the future of international finance and trade. Continue reading

The Curious Case of Disappearing Booksellers: A Conflict of Sovereignty between China and Hong Kong

Angela Ni
Vol. 37 Associate Editor
Vol. 38 Managing Note Editor

Free speech and separation of political spheres in China have always been tenuous. Publishing houses and bookshops in Hong Kong have spent years churning out books banned on the Chinese mainland, often focusing on poorly sourced secrets and rumors about the top echelons of China’s ruling Communist Party.[1] However, the recent arrest of five Hong Kong citizens, who published books that revealed critical and salacious information regarding the Chinese leadership, ignited citywide protests and debates about Hong Kong’s true political status.[2] One of the booksellers, Lee Bo, disappeared from his warehouse in December 2015 when his publishing company was to publish a book on Chinese president Xi Jinping’s alleged love affairs before his political ascent.[3] Continue reading

China’s Military Drills Over Okinawa

Virginia Koeppl
Vol. 37 Associate Editor
Vol. 38 Article Editor

On December 26, 2015, China sent three armed vessels, one of them designed to carry four cannons, into Japan’s territorial waters surrounding the Senkaku Islands in the southern part of the East China Sea.[1] This is the first time that the People’s Republic of China has sent armed vessels into waters claimed by Japan.[2] Continue reading

Steel Antidumping Tariffs: The Issue of Surrogate Countries

Sung “Chris” Lee
Vol. 37 Associate Editor
Vol. 38 Online Content Editor

Low steel prices have been driven by Chinese steel glut: China is dumping steel globally to get rid of the massive excess supply. As China shifts away from growth driven by the manufacturing industry, it is flooding the worldwide steel market with its excess capacity. China plans to cut some of the excess capacity by 100 to 150 million tons as part of an effort to restructure its economy, but it did not specify the deadline.[1]  Continue reading

Under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, Can China Adversely Possess and Militarize Islands of the South China Sea?

Lauren Richards, Vol. 37 Associate Editor

China’s militarization of islands in the South China Sea threatens the right of innocent passage by States and, therefore, may pose a threat to international law.[1] The U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) establishes a 200-mile continental shelf beyond the coastal State.[2] This entitles the coastal State to an additional 200 miles beyond the border of its territorial sea, which extends 12 miles from the coastal State.[3] In the territorial sea and continental shelf, all States have a right of continuous, expeditious, and innocent passage.[4] China claims a significant portion of the territory of the South China Sea as its own over the protestation of several other States in the region.[5] As a result of recent militarization of man-made islands in the South China Sea, China is potentially threatening the right of passage of these States, and others. Continue reading

Lack of a legal framework regarding island building in the South China Sea

Daniel Mooney, Vol. 37 Associate Editor

Over the past few years the Chinese government has rapidly undertaken widespread land reclamation and construction in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. In general, the island building consists of converting formerly submerged reefs into artificial islands and increasing their size in order to suit specific needs. Once built, the islands are then converted into civilian or military outposts such as ports or airstrips. [i] China is one of many countries that have engaged in island building in the Spratly Islands, however the scope and speed of Chinese activities is largely unprecedented.[ii] Continue reading

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the New Balance of Power

David Angel, Vol. 36 Associate Editor

Introduction

This year has brought fresh examples of how the balance of the world’s economic power is shifting, promising to realign the relationships between major powers and their allies. A recent example of this is Australia’s decision to join the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) over the objection of US officials.[1] Earlier this year, close American allies including the United Kingdom,[2] France,[3] Germany,[4] Italy,[5] and South Korea[6] also decided to become AIIB founding members. One motivation for the creation of the AIIB is to plug a large infrastructure funding gap in Asia, providing much-needed capital for projects like roads and bridges.[7] Other development banks, including the World Bank and the Asia Development Bank, simply do not have sufficient funds to adequately finance infrastructure projects in the region.[8] Continue reading

Legal Uncertainty Remains in International Arbitration for Chinese-Foreign Disputes

Zhouyuan Diana Duan
Vol. 37 Executive Editor
Vol. 36 Associate Editor

Introduction

The question of whether a foreign arbitral institution can administer an arbitration seated in Mainland China has been discussed for many decades and still remains unresolved till this day. Until 2009, two leading cases established two different perspectives on this issue. In 2006, the Supreme People’s Court in Züblin International GmbH v. Wuxi Woke General Engineering Rubber Co., Ltd. (“Züblin”) ruled that the award rendered by an ICC tribunal seated in Shanghai was invalid.[1] In contrast, in Duferco S.A. v. Ningbo Arts & Crafts Import and Export Co., Ltd. (2009) (“Duferco”), the Ningbo Intermediate People’s Court of Zhejiang Province upheld an award rendered by an ICC tribunal seated in Beijing.[2] Continue reading

Economic Shifts in Michigan and China Dictate Need for Socially Responsible Businesses

Amy K. Bergstraesser, Vol. 36 Associate Editor

Introduction

The experience of large economic shifts often sparks the need for more than some governments can or are willing to deal with. Social welfare systems deteriorate and the gap between the rich and the poor grows, causing concern and strife. Recently, businesses have been called on to pick up the pieces. Eastern Michigan, on the brink of recovery from a huge economic downturn, has looked to smaller-scale grassroots ways of revitalizing the economy. Continue reading

The Long Arm of Justice: America’s Place in China’s Anti-Corruption Campaign

Derek Turnbull, Vol. 36 Associate Editor

As President Xi Jinping’s burgeoning anti-corruption campaign takes root in China, forcing government officials at the top of diverse ministries from the energy sector to the military to sit up and take notice, China’s anticorruption officials have set their sights on a new area: the United States.  Increasingly, China’s state media has critically covered the large number of government officials who have come under investigation in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and then fled abroad, many to the United States, allegedly in possession of billions of dollars in stolen cash and assets.[1]  In February, Chinese and American government officials confirmed that they had recently met to discuss this issue, and announced that in August they will sit down together once more to talk about extradition.[2]  While the United States should naturally be at the forefront of any effort to bring corrupt criminals to justice, reasons still exist for caution as American officials move forward in negotiations with their Chinese counterparts.  Rather than capitulating to the PRC’s demands for an extradition treaty, the US should settle on a more flexible alternative, such as compliance with already-existing international agreements like the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. Continue reading