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Chen Lei

Abstract

While Chinese law occupies a sui generis position, namely, East Asian law, it is generally acknowledged that Chinese law comfortably wears the dress of civil law. The Chinese civil law tradition finds its historical roots in the late Qing Dynasty (1902–1911). Long before Alan Watson's magisterial book on the legal transplant, China experimented with importing foreign law. More to the point, the newly enacted Chinese Property Code, in effect for more than two years still has this feature. The new property code is an evolution rather than a revolution, since it is little more than an organic development of the existing law. Consequently, one would expect to find in the new legislation many traces of its past history. It is worth noting that any legal development is not a complete break with its past. Chinese law is no exception. A historical perspective exploring the origin of the traditions of civil law is both necessary and useful for it can shed light on the direction of the future development of Chinese private law.

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100 Years of Chinese Property Law

Looking Back and Thinking 
Forward

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Lei Chen

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CHEN Guodong and LEI Xiaoyan

Using the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey, we try to identify the effect that quantity of children has on the health statuses of elderly parents. After dealing with a potential endogeneity problem using instrumental variable estimation, we find no significant long-arm “fertility effect,” but do find a positive “supporting effect” of the quantity of children on parental health. That is, giving birth to more children has no significant effect, but the availability of additional children in old age has a beneficial effect on health during that time. Further investigation yields a more significant effect on mothers than on fathers, and a more pronounced effect on cognitive health than on physical health, as measured by occurrences of hypertension.

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Towards a Chinese Civil Code

Comparative and Historical Perspectives

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Edited by Lei Chen and C.H. (Remco) van Rhee

Currently, China is drafting its new Civil Code. Against this background, the Chinese legal community has shown a growing interest in various legal and legislative ideas from around the world. Within this context, the present book aims at providing the necessary historical and comparative legal perspectives. It concentrates on substantive private law and civil procedure, both in China and in other jurisdictions. These perspectives are of considerable importance for the present codification work. Additionally, the book is dedicated to commemorating the centennial of the first Western-influenced and civil law-oriented Civil Code of China, the Da Qing Min Lü Cao An of 1911.

The following topics are addressed: property law, contract law, tort law and civil procedure. The book also contains contributions on codification experiences in Europe and on the concept of codification in general. The topics are discussed by leading Chinese and international scholars. Most of the Chinese contributors have taken part in preparing the Chinese Draft Civil Code.

The book is the outcome of a conference organized by the Centre for Chinese and Comparative Law (RCCL), School of Law, City University of Hong Kong, in October 2010.