The rise of Chinese investors as claimants: What are the likely impacts on international arbitration?
In recent years, China has experienced unprecedented economic, military and diplomatic growth. China is now regarded as the number one economic superpower by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the basis of gross domestic product (GDP), surpassing the United States. Beginning with its accession to the World Trade Organisation, there have been a number of recent initiatives that have contributed to China’s prolific involvement in global trade and investment. China’s entry into international investment treaties has the dual benefit of signalling to the world that China is a safe place to invest, as well as providing Chinese outbound investors with the legal framework to protect their foreign investments. The rise in Chinese foreign trade and investment and China’s open attitude towards international investment agreements has had a direct impact on the number of Chinese parties involved in cross-border commercial disputes. Specifically, Chinese parties are becoming increasingly assertive in enforcing their rights internationally. This article explores the current and anticipated increase of Chinese investors as claimants in cross-border disputes and the cultural, legal, procedural and practical implications this has on international commercial and investor-state arbitrations.