Don Lewis: How China is taking the lead in International Trade Law and Policy

Donald Lewis is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Economics, Law and International Business, University of San Francisco (USF) School of Management and is associated with the USF China Business Studies Initiative (CBSI). He is also an Expert and Member of the Public International Law Advisory Group (PILAG) based in Paris, France, and a Research Fellow of the Center for China and Globalization (CCG) in Beijing. He has previously been on the faculty at Stanford Law School and an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law, The University of Hong Kong (HKU). While at HKU, he acted as Director of the East Asian International Economic Law and Policy (EAIEL) Program and was the first Academic Coordinator of the WTO Asia Pacific Regional Trade Course (RTPC) for the governments of the Asia Pacific region, including the Chinese Government. He specializes in Chinese Law, International Economic Law, and their intersections. Professor Lewis obtained his A.B. cum laude in international relations from the University of Southern California; his J.D. from Emory University School of Law; and his LL.M. from the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). In addition to his native English, he reads and speaks Mandarin Chinese. 

Don has been deeply involved with China for most of his career and there is perhaps no one who understands the subtleties of both Chinese and Western law as he does. He first came to China in 1984 as a Fulbright Law Professor, lecturing at the law schools of Nankai University (Tianjin) and Zhongshan University (Guangzhou). Most recently, he has been a Visiting Professor at the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) School of Law (2017) and at the China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL) for their 2018 International Summer Semester program.

In 2017, at the University of San Francisco, Professor Lewis taught perhaps the first MBA course in the U.S. on BRI: China's Belt and Road Initiative, Regional Economic Integration, and International Trade Regulation for U.S. Business. He has just completed teaching the first course in English in the world on Trade and Investment Law for China’s Belt and Road Initiative at the China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL) in Beijing (July 2018).  His co-authored BRI publications include “OBOR Roadmaps: The Legal and Policy Frameworks” in TDM OBOR Special Issue (Transnational Dispute Management, The Netherlands, 2017) and in The Belt and Road Initiative: Law, Economics, and Politics (E.J. Brill, The Netherlands, pending 2018); “One Belt, One Road, One World: Where is the US Business Connectivity?” in China’s Belt and Road Initiative – Changing the Rules of Globalization (Springer International, Switzerland, 2018). He has also published: “OBOR in the context of China-EU FDI and China’s evolving economic diplomacy” in China-EU Investment Relationships (Edward Elgar, United Kingdom, pending 2018) and “Belt and Road 'architecture' strong, with more construction ahead” in China Daily Online (Sept. 25, 2017) 

In this podcast, Professor Lewis discusses some of the distinctive features of China’s legal system, what is meant by the Belt and Road Legal “Architecture,” including in relation to the Cyber/Digital Silk Road, and the resounding impacts which BRI is bringing to the world of international arbitration and dispute resolution generally, with special reference to the recent inauguration by the Supreme People’s Court of the China International Commercial Courts in Xi’an and Shenzhen – the Silk Road Courts. 

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Don Lewis: from WTO to BRI, a pioneer in interpreting International Trade Law and China's role