Our Research

The features of China's recent FTA and their implications: an anatomy of the China-Korea FTA

by Associate Professor Heng Wang

The paper analyzes the following questions from a Chinese perspective: what are the characteristics of the China-Korea FTA? And what are their underlying considerations and implications? It argues, first, that the China-Korea FTA is characterized by expanded coverage, highlighted focus on services and investment, increased non-trade concerns of competition and environment, and enhanced good governance norms. Generally the features are not fully developed largely due to the gentle pace of the China-Korea FTA. Among the features, good governance is more salient than others. Second, these features may be attributable to a variety of factors, particularly the response to trade practice and disputes, the impact of other trade agreements, and the need of economic transformation of China. Third, these characteristics may face challenges particularly those regarding the implementation and interpretation of relevant obligations. Finally, these traits may represent some of the future direction of China’s FTAs, and the goal of a high-level FTA will remain a guiding force. New development will be made in areas such as services and investment. Besides relevant initiatives of China, mega FTAs may have more impact.

Read the pulication here.


The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement: Implications for Australian Services Suppliers and China’s Services Sectors

by CIBEL team (Dr Weihuan Zhou, Professor Colin Picker, Associate Professors Lisa Toohey and Heng Wang and SJTU team led by Associate Professor (Emma) Junfang Xi

The project is funded by SJTU-UNSW Collaborative Research Fund (Seed Grants). It explores the implications for the Australian services sector and the Chinese services sector under the landmark China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), signed on 17 June 2015. It focuses on selected services sectors and provides a thorough analysis of China's commitments to opening up these sectors under ChAFTA and China’s current economic and regulatory environment in the sectors. The studies and analysis provide insights into (1) the market access that Australian services providers may actually gain and the challenges that they will have to overcome to reap the full benefits of the agreement; and (2) the potential impact on the Chinese services sectors as a result of the opening-up to Australian services suppliers.

The project contributes to understanding of the ChAFTA and its legal and business implications especially for Australian businesses.  


Beyond ChAFTA: China's (Ab)use of Anti-Dumping Measures

by Dr Weihuan Zhou and Dr Shu Zhang

In this paper, we examine China’s behaviour in taking antidumping actions against its trading partners with a focus on those actions having been challenged under the WTO dispute settlement mechanism. We argue that the typical motivations behind China’s resort to antidumping include protecting domestic import-competing industries, fostering industry development, retaliating against antidumping actions overseas and safeguarding export interests. These motivations would likely outweigh China’s observance of WTO obligations in deciding whether to impose antidumping measures. Using Australia as a case study, we show how the motivations may influence China to take antidumping actions against Australia, which would take away the expected benefits for Australian businesses under the landmark China – Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA). By way of brief recommendations, we submit that foreign governments and exporters should take steps to weaken or respond to China’s antidumping motivations in order to avoid its antidumping actions. To our knowledge, the paper has been the first comprehensive analysis of China’s antidumping actions which have been challenged under the WTO and also the first to argue that WTO litigation would be inadequate to change China’s antidumping behaviour. 


Regulation of Digital Financial Services in China: Last Mover Advantage?

by Dr Weihuan Zhou, Professor Douglas Arner and Professor Ross Buckley

In this publication, we explore the evolution of digital financial services (DFS) in China and the development of China’s regulation of DFS. We argue that while China has been a late mover to DFS and the regulation of DFS, it has become one of the world’s largest DFS markets and among the most active of regulators of digital finance in a short period of time. Although China’s current regulations on DFS have been inadequate, there has been strong political will in China to accelerate the regulatory work so as to establish a sustainable, effective regulatory framework for DFS. To our knowledge, the publication has been the first comprehensive analysis of the evolution of DFS and DFS regulation in China. 

Read the publication here 


China's Implementation of Rulings of the World Trade Organisation

by Dr Weihuan Zhou

Since China’s accession to the WTO in 2001, China has been a respondent in many WTO disputes. This research project explores China's implementation of WTO rulings since its accession with a focus on China’s implementation measures and analysis of the WTO-consistency of the measures. The research will conclude with observations on the implications of China’s implementation of WTO rulings for the WTO and other WTO members, and on the impact of the implementation on China’s domestic reforms.

Read the publication here