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Based on research on a number of judicial decisions regarding concession and Public–Private Partnership (PPP) agreements, this paper demonstrates the problems and dilemmas of China’s current PPP dispute resolution mechanism and clarifies three fundamental issues: concession≠PPP; concession agreement ≠ administrative agreement; and disputes related to administrative agreements≠administrative disputes. On the grounds of these conclusions, the paper argues that the logical chain of China’s existing PPP and concession dispute resolution mechanism is untenable. The logic of the current mechanism starts from the definition of an administrative agreement; it then classifies concession agreement as administrative agreement; and finally subjects the disputes over concession agreements to administrative litigation. Yet, this starting point is problematic because the definition of administrative agreement and the distinction between public and private law attributes are difficult to determine precisely, as they lack the necessary theoretical clarity and uniqueness. Overall, the current legal situation of PPP in China is far from being satisfactory because a statutory law on PPP is absent, the existing laws and regulations on administrative agreements are primitive, and the judicial practice has not yet established unified and clear criteria. Against this backdrop, this paper proposes a possible way out. First, we should critically reflect on the current administrative agreement and PPP agreement theory. Then, we should apply the method of legal fact research, adopt doctrinal tools of the legal relationship theory and contract construction theory, and eventually establish a multiple dispute resolution mechanism to resolve disputes effectively.

In: Frontiers of Law in China
In: Frontiers of Law in China

Punitive damages have several functions that are worthy of serious research. For instance, punitive damages could help to compensate victims for moral damages suffered and offer more sufficient ex-ante compensation in cases of wrongful death or bodily injury, thus compensating for the losses suffered by victims more completely; they could punish private wrongs more effectively and provide a means of personal revenge within the law, incidentally deterring and preventing future wrongs; they could be used to correct abuses of power or status by the rich, large corporations, or the government; and they could be used to complement criminal law, etc. In order to fully realize the advantages of this institution in the Chinese society, we should expand its application in China’s tort law and carefully design the scope of its application, including the subjects to which it would be applicable and the amounts that would be allowable. In the short term, the application of punitive damages could be expanded through specific individual legislation, increase of the amounts of compensation for mental damages in individual cases or local legislation. In the long term, a general clause on punitive damages should be established in tort law in China’s future Civil Code, stipulating that “punitive damages can be applied to those who have performed tortious acts that deserve severe moral condemnation, due to the actor’s malicious intent or indifference or disregard for others’ rights.”

In: Frontiers of Law in China

Under the public utilities franchise system, the executive branch may transfer the task of providing public utilities services for the common good to a private party. It should undertake to regulate and prevent the private party from pursuing its own interests to the detriment of public interest while discharging its duty under the public utilities franchise. Since any public interest must be enjoyed by all individuals, we can say that the obligations owed under administrative regulations aim at the ultimate goal of increasing individual welfare. In the public utilities franchise system, regulations of this kind can be divided into six different categories: maintaining and promoting necessary market competition, ensuring the continuity of public utilities services, ensuring non-discriminatory provision of public utilities services, ensuring the quality of public utilities services, ensuring reasonable charges for public utilities services, and ensuring the conservation of energy and protection of the environment while providing public utilities services. The absence of governmental regulation of the provision of public utilities and of reforms in such services in China has harmed both public interest and the rights and interests of consumers. Some of the problems caused include chaotic market access for public utilities, no guarantee of the sustainability of public utilities, the failure of the universality of public utilities, declining quality of public utilities, sharp rise in the prices of public utilities, insufficient regulations on the conservation of energy and environmental protection, and so on. In order to achieve the effective implementation of the administrative regulations and obligations therein with respect to public utilities and the maximization of public interest, the Chinese government should enhance its consciousness of regulating public utilities, improve the legal system to regulate public utilities, perfect the regulatory system for public utilities, and establish a system of liability to compensate for failures in regulation.

In: Frontiers of Law in China

While public–private partnerships (PPPs) have surged worldwide since the 1990s, they have been met with growing skepticism during the last years. A recent revision of Germany’s constitutional rules on motorway construction and observations on the use of PPPs published by both the German and the European Courts of Auditors illustrate this new caution. These two examples fit into a general trend towards a revival of the public sector, which can be summarized under the cross-level umbrella term “publicization.” It would, however, be remiss to replace the uncritical euphoria that once surrounded privatization with a similarly undifferentiated euphoria regarding publicization. Rather, it is crucial to identify the most appropriate solution for the fulfilment of each public task from the “toolbox” of publicization on the one hand and privatization on the other hand in order to ensure the most effective completion of public functions.

In: Frontiers of Law in China
In: Frontiers of Law in China
In: Frontiers of Law in China

This paper studies Su Xuelin’s imaginative and scholarly writing from the 1940s to the 1980s as a series of projects aimed at building a utopian world to reconcile the conflicting claims of Chinese nationalism and her Christian faith. In her short stories celebrating the Ming loyalists, Confucian and Catholic, who defended the Manchus unto death, she highlighted the image of the mountain as the center of their moralpolitical universe. She continued to work on the mountain in her scholarly articles and, under the influence of the European school of Pan-Babylonianism, traced the origin of Mount Kunlun, the Biblical Eden, and other sacred mountains to ancient Mesopotamia. On this basis, she postulated that Qu Yuan produced his rhapsodies by drawing from the repository of world mythologies brought to him by ancient migrations, the forgotten foundation of the Chinese civilization. Although Su’s work is limited to the medium of print culture, her seemingly disconnected projects coalesce to enact a fantastical world mediating diverse times and places. A representative of the Chinese Catholics, a knowledge community actively participating in what Henry Jenkins calls trans-media world-building, Su reimagined China and Christianity as both located in a global network of migrations and mutations.

In: Frontiers of Literary Studies in China
In: Frontiers of Literary Studies in China

This paper examines the performative significance of Lu Xun’s historical short stories collected in Gushi xinbian (Old stories retold, 1936) by focusing on the mediality of his idiosyncratic writing, which he himself called “facetious.” It revisits the young Lu Xun’s uneasy engagement with medical science as student documented in his lecture notebooks bearing corrections by his teacher as well as his early essays. This provides an analytical framework for discussing the stakes of his historical fiction as a critique of the discourse of scientific historiography which was increasingly gaining currency in May Fourth China. Lu Xun’s historical fiction is conspicuously not meant to function as a stable medium between the past and the present but betrays its opaque and even arbitrary mediality, which disrupts identity in historical representation and thus critiques ideological, “cultural” power inherent in scientific discourse that tries to establish that identity. The paper then reads Gushi xinbian as attempts at recovering history from such power and envisioning new possibilities of historical transmission in the midst of an aporetic search of a prehistory of Chinese modernity—attempts hinged on anachronistic textual moments whose meanings circulate in defiance of any identity of time with itself, thereby bespeaking an alternative power to “make” history.

In: Frontiers of Literary Studies in China

This paper examines the visual representation of the famous poem The Song of Everlasting Sorrow in modern China. Painted by Li Yishi in 1929, this sequential set of paintings was based on the Tang poet Bai Juyi’s poem, written under the same title. First shown at the National Art Exhibition in Shanghai and then published as an illustrated book in 1932, Li’s work rekindled public imagination of the tragic romance. Li’s choice of subject, format, as well as style and its mixed reviews raise crucial questions regarding the notion of realism and the authenticity of historical representation. This paper argues that Li’s work revealed new transmedia aesthetics and cross-cultural fascination with China’s past that shaped the cultural identity of East Asia in the early twentieth century.

In: Frontiers of Literary Studies in China

This article examines the effect and affect of historical representations in wartime Chinese theater and cinema, as well as the interplay between the two media. With the burgeoning of late Ming stories on stage and on screen, the fall of the Ming became a “chosen trauma” that connects the nation’s past with its historical present. However the traumatic fate of the nation was never the actual subject of representation, but served to enhance the affective power of tragic‐heroic figures. Focusing on A Ying’s Sorrow for the Fall of the Ming, one of the most popular wartime historical plays, the paper studies the narrative structure, performance style and adaptation strategy of the play to demonstrate how patriotic spirit was foregrounded as the key to national survival. It was through the audience’s resonation with the characters’ passionate speech on stage and on screen that individuals’ emotional attachment to the nation was consolidated, both horizontally across space and vertically through history.

In: Frontiers of Literary Studies in China

“Make the past serve the present!” Thus goes Mao Zedong’s slogan on how to appropriate the ancient in revolutionary times. In my previous studies, I have argued that the Chinese writers’ engagement with the ancient gave rise to a platform of “necessary anachronism” in cultural transformation. This new project carries further this argument and draws attention to the transmediality in the leftist historical imagination. From the 1940s through the 1970s, the revolutionary representations of the ancient were simultaneously poetic, theatrical, intellectual, and cinematic, to say nothing about the calligraphic and visual adaptations they elicited. This current of reinventing the ancient manifested itself in the historical drama in wartime China and found a coda in the anti-colonial leftist cinematic adaptation of the historical play Qu Yuan in 1970s Hong Kong. Starting with a broader theoretical intervention into the issue of media, this paper emphasizes that the transmedial reinterpretation of the ancient in fact formed a mode of mediation between revolution and history, between politics and aesthetics. In the cultural regime of China’s long revolution, the transference or translation of the allegorical-anachronistic energies among different media was a key site of signification, contestation, and crisis.

In: Frontiers of Literary Studies in China

Inspired by recent environmental historical studies on animal extinctions and human-animal relations, this paper shifts scholarly attention from the plague-centered narrative of the great Pneumonic Plague Epidemics (1910–11) to the fate of the plague host animals, Tarbagan marmots (Marmota sibirica), and examines their near-extinction in Northwest Manchuria (Hulunbuir) from the 1900s to 1930s. Focusing on changing images of Tarbagan marmots from “inexpensive,” “sacred,” and “beneficial” in the pre-modern period to “valuable,” “dangerous,” and “noxious” in the early twentieth century, it argues that three interrelated factors: the international fur trade, pneumonic plagues, and environment changes together resulted in the “retreat of the marmots.” It also uses this case study to help us better understand larger historical changes that occurred by contextualizing them in terms of human-marmot relations in Manchuria, China and beyond.

In: Frontiers of History in China
In: Frontiers of History in China

This paper examines the predicament of modern Chinese conservatism. I use the eminent historian Qian Mu (1895–1990) as an example to show that under the influence of modernity and in an effort to preserve tradition, a prominent conservative like Qian needed to “modernize” Chinese tradition so that it could be saved. I will examine Qian’s reconstruction of Chinese history, which was not just a reiteration of China’s past, but a new type of understanding of Chinese tradition influenced by modern Western concepts. By focusing on Qian’s most prominent work, Guoshi dagang , we can get a sense of the struggle of modern Chinese conservatives as they tried to fend off the detractors of Chinese tradition.

In: Frontiers of History in China

At the beginning of the 20th century, American officials, newspapermen, and businessmen in China promoted and participated in the establishment of a branch of the Committee on Public Information (CPI) in China. The purposes of the China station were to compete with other foreign states seeking influence in China, to promote American values and to eventually lead China down an “American” path. The CPI China station built an image of America as a friendly country which offered political and economic assistance and held a leading position in the new postwar order, an example which China could use for its own development. Chinese people were quick to respond to this propaganda as they wanted their concerns to be addressed at the Paris Peace Conference and sought to reform their national identity. The idea of a Wilsonian international order gained support in China through effective propaganda. After the diplomatic defeat in Paris, however, some Chinese began to consider a path very different from that of America. The CPI’s promotion of a particular development path for China and new world order had various effects on the country. The propaganda came at a time when the Chinese were searching for a new national identity and gained support from many groups. In addition, the Chinese people were not passive listeners of the propaganda and did not blindly accept the information that was “fed” to them.

In: Frontiers of History in China

This study analyzes medical practitioners’ adaptation to a dynamic cultural and political scene and examines the impact of medical refugees on a local community. In the early 1920s, there was an influential Russian medical community in Harbin that established medical societies and medical schools. The organization of medical societies was a part of the active formation of a professional community and represented a thoughtful measure for countering the control of Chinese officials. The high degree of cooperation between Russian and Chinese medical personnel in the medical-sanitary department of the Chinese Eastern Railway and in Harbin municipal medical facilities was a part of Harbin physicians’ activities.

In: Frontiers of History in China

In a fragmented wartime China (1931–45), the levels of violence, suffering, and resistance varied in different regions. The Anti-Japanese War left people with different experiences and memories. To date, both Chinese- and English-language scholarship have paid insufficient attention to the more than two hundred million common Chinese who stayed in Japanese-occupied areas. To help fill this gap, this study provides a thematic analysis of interviews conducted by the author with six Chinese women of the urban middle-class about their experiences in the Japanese-occupied areas. It adds voices and perspectives of ordinary, middle-class women to the rich tapestry of everyday life of wartime China. The oral narratives of these women are everyday accounts of uncertainty, fear, and survival. More important, they are testimonies to the evolution of their gender consciousness and their determination to pursue an education as a means of resisting gender inequality. In addition, these oral narratives show how these women developed strategies in their marriages, work, and political views to reconcile with the reality of living with the enemy. Their everyday forms of resistance helped them maintain dignity in the face of foreign imperialism.

In: Frontiers of History in China

The paper examines the ways in which memory is constructed in Lu Xun’s writings, above all his essay (zawen) by means of an artistic staging of its antagonism with forgetting. The author emphasizes the primacy of forgetting, as opposed to recollection conventionally understood, as the centrality of Lu Xun’s stressful, tragic principle of memory. The author argues that, by turning to forgetting as a register of and formal-spatial space for historical and political content, Lu Xun puts his signature stylistic maneuvers and mannerisms in full display. Hence, “memory for the sake of forgetting” must be understood literally, that is, as forgetting functioning as a heightened and intensified form of social protest, albeit in modernistic rather than realistic terms; and through this pressurized and agonistic inner space of convoluted temporality. Furthermore, the author seeks to show that forgetting also serves a representational function that goes hand-in-hand with Lu Xun’s zawen as poetics and chronicle all at once. In Lu Xun’s writing of reminiscence, that which fails to be repressed into silence, despair and oblivion roars back from the depth of an existential void, and reorganizes historical experiences of chaos and danger into a more powerful and intimate encasement and mimesis of reality. Thus, in Lu Xun, a modernist intervention into nothingness makes palpable history’s own structure of conflict, oppression and impasse which simultaneously stands for a metaphysics of defiance and hope.

In: Frontiers of Literary Studies in China
In: Frontiers of Literary Studies in China
In: Frontiers of Literary Studies in China
In: Frontiers of Literary Studies in China
In: Frontiers of Literary Studies in China

This article makes a reinterpretation of Lu Xun’s acclaimed prose poetry collection Yecao (Wild grass), written between 1924−27, by reading it in conjunction with a rediscovered prototype consisting of seven pieces published in Guomin gongbao (The citizen’s gazette) between August and September 1919 under the title Ziyan ziyu (Talking to oneself). Lu Xun’s baihua prose style had advanced considerably in the interim, but the author discerns a degree of thematic overlap between the two collections, on the basis of which he proposes answers to key questions that have been asked about Yecao since its first publication, concluding that it is still as fresh and avant-garde a collection to readers today as it was nearly one hundred years ago.

In: Frontiers of Literary Studies in China
In: Frontiers of Literary Studies in China

Resorting to the immensely state-centric international legal system to regulate corporate human rights abuses is often viewed as inadequate. Among many proposals aiming at filling the international regulatory gaps, imposing international human rights obligations directly on corporations is a bold one, which, due to profound doctrinal and practical challenges, is yet to be materialized. However, state-owned enterprises (SOEs), given their prima facie “state–business nexus” that blurs the traditional public–private divide, might provide a renewed opportunity to push forward the “direct international corporate accountability” campaign. This study investigates whether SOEs represent a golden chance for direct corporate accountability in the international legal regime. This study provides a legal analysis supported by case law, and by comparative and empirical research when appropriate. After providing a definitional account of SOEs, it examines the legal status of SOEs under international law. Then, in the reverse direction, it proceeds to explore if the state–business nexus of SOEs as non-state actors could render the argument toward direct international corporation accountability more convincing. Major findings reveal that SOEs, to a limited extent, represent a renewed opportunity to rethink direct corporate accountability under international law.

In: Frontiers of Law in China

In the era of globalization, commercial transactions readily gain international dimensions and are increasingly delocalized. With a view to establishing effective dispute resolution mechanisms, it is desirable that judgments rendered in one state be recognized and enforced in other states. This is especially important in East Asia, as cross-border business activities are rapidly expanding along with its economic growth. This paper aims to examine the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters in East Asia with a focus on Sino–Japanese relationships, where the establishment of a reciprocal relationship has posed a considerable challenge. It is worth considering how we can gradually pave the way towards the mutual recognition and enforcement of judgments to achieve coordination among legal systems.

In: Frontiers of Law in China
In: Frontiers of Law in China

This paper explores the main legal aspects of filial piety in Israel. Based on a socio-legal study, it traces a significant gap between the law in the books, which mandates that children support their parents financially if the latter cannot support themselves, and the law in action, which narrows this obligation to cases in which the parents must be cared for in a State nursing home. The study also highlights the relevance of religious and cultural norms in shaping filial piety in multicultural countries and thus points to the urgent need to tailor filial piety legal policies according to socially constructed, actual, and diverse filial piety perceptions and practices.

In: Frontiers of Law in China

The increase in aging populations is one of the most important issues facing the world today. This article considers how the legal systems in three jurisdictions — China, Singapore, and the United States — with different legal, political, and ethical regimes, impose and then enforce obligations on adult children to care for their parents. For Singapore, this article considers the content and operation of the Maintenance of Parents Act 1996 and the use of mediation and tribunals for the enforcement of its provisions. For the United States, where more than half the states have some forms of filial support legislation, this article mainly focuses on the experience in Pennsylvania and North and South Dakota and considers cases interpreting the legislation from these states; it also considers the interplay between the legislation and federal social security and healthcare programs. For China, this article mainly considers the obligations imposed by the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of the Elderly (amended in 2009, 2012, 2015 and 2018) with examples of recent cases decided in 2017 and the encouragement given to children to support their parents through two agreements (the Separation of Family Assets and the Family Support Agreement) and increased inheritance rights under the Law of Succession 1985. China is unusual in imposing a legal obligation on children to visit their elderly parents, and the article considers recent cases on this. Through a comparative approach, this article also assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the approaches in each jurisdiction.

In: Frontiers of Law in China
In: Frontiers of Law in China
In: Frontiers of Law in China