LAWS5210 Working with China: Business in a Socio-legal Context

6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face
This is the foundation unit of the Graduate Diploma in Chinese Business Law (20390) and is compulsory. It provides students with (1) key social, cultural, legal and economic contexts that are widely ignored or misinterpreted when discussing Chinese law and legal and political reforms; (2) details of the changes in important branches of Chinese laws such as the labour contract law and judicial independence; and (3) essential cultural and risk management skills for advising foreign companies entering into China and for engaging Chinese clients.

The unit aims to dramatically broaden students' purview in Chinese knowledge, which has been viewed by top tier law firms and companies as a crucial but widely absent skill when dealing with Chinese clients. For instance, this unit helps students to develop analytical abilities of assessing the directions of China's legal and political reforms in the near future. Such assessment skills are essential to any firm's business projection in China. But such analysis must commence under a comprehensive understanding of many ignored social, cultural, legal and economic contexts of China.

The unit provides case studies on specific Chinese topics such as avoiding corruptive behaviours and judicial reform. For instance, it examines the political origin of the lack of judicial independence since 1949 and why and how the ongoing legal reform is changing this reality. It also establishes a firm connection between Chinese history and culture and China's future reform trajectories.
Students are able to (1) develop an integrated understanding of business law in China, and the ability to critically evaluate certain important branches of Chinese law; (2) employ cultural and risk management skills in advising foreign companies doing business in China ethically and professionally, as well as a cultural sensitivity to differences in ethical and professional norms; (3) critically analyse specific social, cultural, legal and economic contexts of China under which China's legal and political reforms take place; (4) conduct independent research and group work demonstrating a high level of theoretical and advanced integrated knowledge; (5) develop unique practical skills in interacting with China and engaging Chinese clients, and enhance their ability to work in a group and conduct independent research; and (6) organise and structure time and resources in the efficient pursuit of academic excellence and skill building.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) group project; (2) test; and (3) research paper. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Ken Shao
Contact hours
Students must attend every day of the intensive period 21-24 November. Refer to the timetable website for further information.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available at the University Co-operative Bookshop (from early January) and appropriate administrative offices for students to consult. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.