US-China Legal Cooperation Fund Seeks Funding for Rule of Law Efforts

US-China Business Council Staff

The US-China Legal Cooperation Fund, a unique business community effort to strengthen the rule of law in China, is seeking new funding to support projects that address a wide variety of rule-of-law issues in China. Past projects have focused on issues as diverse as intellectual property protection, alternative dispute resolution, dissemination of government information, health law, and employment rights.

The fund has awarded more than .5 million in grants since it was established by members of the US-China Business Council in 1999. Each project is jointly implemented by American and Chinese partners; to date, 60 American and 53 Chinese institutions have participat¬ed in projects that received support from the fund. Most of these project partners are educational institutions or legal services organizations.

Forty five American companies have contributed to the fund since its inception. Recent supporters include the GE Foundation; The Boeing Company; ExxonMobil Corporation; Motorola, Inc.; Cargill, Incorporated; CIGNA Foundation; Dewey & LeBoeuf; FedEx Express; Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP; Mary Kay Inc.; and Jones Day.
Some of the projects supported by the fund to date include:

  • Establishment of a facility for resolution of commercial disputes;
  • Evaluations of Chinese courts’ performance in commercial litigation;
  • Training of Chinese judges in court administration;
  • Publication of a Chinese health law textbook for Chinese law schools;
  • Training for migrant workers on employment rights;
  • A seminar for Chinese judges on intellectual property rights;
  • A Chinese university patent training workshop;
  • A study of criminal sanctions to enhance trademark protection in China;
  • World Trade Organization (WTO) training programs for Chinese judges, government officials, academics, and enterprise managers;
  • Education of Chinese legislators and agriculture regulators on WTO agriculture implications;
  • Research on possible reforms of National People’s Congress legislative procedures;
  • Research and a workshop in China on freedom of information; and
  • Chinese-language courses in China on US corporate, securities, and intellectual property law.

Phase One Tracker

We are tracking over 150 commitments—several of which had never been offered before—on items ranging from market access to improving intellectual property rights protection and administrative reforms.