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Centre for Chinese and Comparative Law

Co-authored Article of Professor Julien Chaisse on the Investment Treaty for the Belt and Road Initiative


This article was co-authored by Professor Julien Chaisse (Associate Member of the Centre for Chinese and Comparative Law) and Jamieson Kirkwood (PhD Student, Faculty of Law, The Chinese University of Hong Kong). This article makes a major contribution to the emerging Belt and Road Initiative scholarship (and international economic law) by highlighting that: (i) China’s existing investment treaty network along the Belt and Road is dated; (ii) many or most of those treaties include Most Favoured Nation provisions; (iii) these treaties have hitherto been subject to a static three generations analysis which does not reflect the reality; and (iv) there is significant authority supporting the use of the Most Favored Nation provisions by Chinese investors to upgrade the Belt and Road Initiative investment treaty network. This article demonstrates that an investment treaty for the Belt and Road Initiative already exists via the Most Favoured Nation clause present in China’s bilateral investment treaties. Moreover, the article further identifies that China’s treaty network is unique (by being so extensive) and assesses the potential for investment claims in light of Belt and Road Initiative jurisdictions past involvements in Investor-State Dispute Settlement, and by doing so, the article sheds a new light on the predicted increased use of such procedure by Chinese investors. Read the full article here: Julien Chaisse and Jamieson Kirkwood, “Chinese Puzzle: Anatomy of the (Invisible) Belt and Road Investment Treaty” (2020) 23(1) Journal of International Economic Law 79-115.