EU investment in China has increased dramatically since the early 1990s and is poised to increase further in light of Chinas recent accession to the World Trade Organisation. This book explores and critically appraises the existing legal framework governing EU-China investment relations,particularly EU investment in China.
The current legal framework is composed of Chinese law, EU law and applicable international law, but the Chinese law is unsystematic and hard to discover and the EU has acquired only shared external investment competence which is vaguely defined. The applicable international treaties are incomplete, incoherent, or either too general or too specialised. Besides this, the international fora to settle investment disputes are still not readily available. Furthermore while law has played a very important role in decision-making by EU investors, the Chinese legal system is generally perceived as ineffective and lacking in effective enforcement of court and arbitration decisions. What the book demonstrates is that the time is ripe for a new international legal framework for foreign investment in China, and that as EU-China economic and political relations continue to improve, construction of such a framework is not only necessary, but also possible.