Washington International Law Journal


Professor Liming wrote the article and Keith Hand translated the article into English.


Translator's Forward: In March of 1999, China's Ninth National People's Congress ("NPC") passed the Contract Law of People's Republic of China. The new law is the product of nearly six years of drafting work by China's Legislative Affairs Commission and contains over 400 articles, including 129 general contract provisions and 299 articles dealing with specific types of contracts. When the law takes effect on October 1, 1999, it will unify China's contract law by replacing the three principal contract statutes currently in force, the Economic Contract Law, the Foreign-related Economic Contract Law, and the Technology Contract Law. The passage of this statute is thus a significant milestone in the development of China's contract regime. The article translated here was originally published in the Chinese law journal Zhengfa Luntan in 1996. The author, Professor Wang Liming of the People's University of China, has written numerous articles on contracts and was intimately involved in the drafting of the Contract Law as an NPC deputy. He is thus well qualified to provide insight into the drafting process. For those seeking to understand the new statute, this article provides an introduction to Chinese contract theory as well as a comprehensive analysis of the policy considerations and practical problems that influenced the drafters of the Contract Law. Some minor revisions to the original text have been made with the cooperation of Professor Wang. In addition, translator's notes have been included to clarify aspects of Chinese law that may be unfamiliar to Western readers and to direct the reader to supplementary source material.

First Page