I was just reading Civil Procedure Law’s of the People’s Republic of China and found Article 5 to be interesting. They focus is reciprocity of rights and obligations of a foreign party, whether plaintiff or defendant, and those of a Chinese party. Article 5 starts out by stating both the foreign party and the Chinese party will be treated equally with respect to their rights and obligations in civil proceedings.

The interesting part was the latter portion of the Article that states if a foreign party’s government imposes any restrictions or obligations on a Chinese party, the Chinese court will reciprocate and impose the same restriction or obligation on the foreign party in court in the People’s Republic of China.

Beware of this little but yet important law. It’s worth checking your home country’s law to determine if they have provisions calling out for special treatment to Chinese or foreigners. It may be a good practice to know of these, if any, special provisions before drafting a contract. If you find yourself in a bind because the way your home country restrict or obligates a foreign in your home country’s court, you may want to consider settling disputes with arbitration.

 

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