CIETAC Investment Arbitration Rules
China has been at the forefront of a number of recent developments in the dispute resolution space. One notable development is the announcement by the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) of its new rules governing the arbitration of international investment disputes (Rules) and the CIETAC Investment Dispute Resolution Centre in Beijing, the default centre to administer those Rules. According to CIETAC’s Secretary-General, the Rules seek to “fill the gap” in the area of Chinese international investment arbitration and develop and promote the international investment arbitration practice in China. The Rules are intended to support Chinese companies “going out” in furtherance of China’s Belt and Road initiative and to support the independent and impartial resolution of international investment disputes between investors and host countries. The Rules are also intended to provide an alternative for Chinese investors who may be concerned about potential bias against them in offshore forums due to a lack of understanding of Chinese law and practice. The Rules retain traditional arbitration characteristics such as flexibility, efficiency, and economy but incorporate elements of both Chinese and international arbitration law and practice. How the Rules will be adopted in practice, however, remains to be seen.