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by Warren Brooks
In 2007, as a part-time off-campus student in my 8th year of study you might forgive me for taking Chinese Commercial Law as some sort of reward trip or victory lap. In such circumstances it might be especially easy for the study of law to get lost somewhere in between Great Walls, Terracotta warriors, Forbidden cities and the very sophisticated Suzy Wong club. Despite these wonderful distractions, the trip offered a perfect balance of lectures, field visits, sightseeing and socializing. I did have to turn back the clock a few years to get by on 5 hours sleep a night but it really was worth it to suck out every bit of the China study tour experience.
So what did I learn? Firstly, I think I now know something about Chinese Commercial Law which is really valuable given its open engagement commercially with the West in recent year and particularly meaningful for me as I work as a Regional Marketer for a US Pharmaceutical company based in Singapore. I learnt that China is developing at an enormous rate and that it is very proud of it’s achievement of introducing a modern and sophisticated legislative framework in such a very short time. The administrative and judicial infrastructure is also well developed in many jurisdictions and China is moving towards consistent application of law across the nation and stopping corruption within its public institutions. At the same time I learnt that China still faces enormous problems in some areas of law enforcement particularly when it comes to areas such as Intellectual Property. I don’t think I was Robinson Crusoe when it came to taking of advantage of some excellently priced ‘branded’ products.
Recently a leading US Economist suggested that by 2030 China would surpass the USA as the World’s leading economy. As the world seems to be shrinking due to technological advancement and commercial globalization the value of putting a toe in Chinese water’s is readily apparent. From an academic point of view I would highly recommend this course for this reason alone. However, more important to me, I learnt to appreciate a great culture and a proud race. Their history and achievements are impressive, their customs and traditions intriguing, the people friendly and warm.
For some the Chinese Commercial Law Study Tour may be a step outside your comfort zone. Nevertheless, please take a moment to think about the personal growth you might enjoy through joining the course … but don’t think for too long because as Confucius says: ‘Chi Wen Tzu always thought three times before taking action. Twice would have been quite enough’.