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International Speaker Series 2022-2023

In Spring 2023, the Philip K. H. Wong Centre for Chinese Law will invite scholars from multiple jurisdictions to give interactive talks on their most up-to-date ideas and publications. This International Speaker Series will contribute fresh perspectives to help us better understand the past, present, and future of Chinese and global governance, legal institutions, economics, and finance. In their presentation of five illuminating topics, the speakers will offer insights on how to make sense of Chinese judicial trends, China’s dream of legal cosmopolitanism, its reinvention of money, China’s performative governance at the street-level of its bureaucracy, and its relative economic decline in the 18-19th centuries. Anyone with a keen interest in China is most welcome to join us!


A Fireside Chat with Benjamin Liebman on Chinese Judicial Trend

Date & Time: January 10, 2023 (Tuesday) 15:30 - 16:30 

Speaker: Professor Benjamin Liebman, Columbia Law School

Discussants: Professor Hualing FuUniversity of Hong Kong

                 Professor Xin HeUniversity of Hong Kong

Venue: Academic Conference Room, 11/F, Cheng Yu Tung Tower, HKU (Live via Zoom)

Watch previous video: Please click HERE

Legal Systems Inside Out: American Legal Exceptionalism and China’s Dream of Legal Cosmopolitanism


Date & Time: February 3, 2023 (Friday) 12:00 - 13:00 

Speaker: Dr. Matthew Erie, University of Oxford

Discussant: Dr. Jedidiah Kroncke, University of Hong Kong

Venue: Academic Conference Room, 11/F, Cheng Yu Tung Tower, HKU (Live via Zoom)


This talk explores the relationship between a legal systems’ foreign-facing elements and its domestic ones. Contrary to “dualistic” theories which suggest that a single legal system may encompass qualitatively different regimes regarding foreign and domestic legal questions, Erie takes the view that gaps between the foreign-facing and domestic aspects of a legal system may threaten that system’s legitimacy and, in turn, its sustainability. Compatibility between the foreign/external and domestic/internal aspects of a legal system could be measured across a range of categories including provision of justice, fairness, and efficiency. Erie focuses on the recognition of difference, which means both the nature and source of law and of legal authorities. The question posed is whether a legal system can regard difference disparately between its foreign-facing and domestic aspects. Erie addresses this question through a comparison between the PRC and the US, the two most powerful economies in the world and which are locked in a trade-cum-tech war.

In-person Registration: Please click HERE

Zoom Registration: Please click HERE

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Date & Time: March 29, 2023 (Wednesday) 09:30 - 10:30

                  Zoom only

Speaker: Martin Chorzempa, The Peterson Institute for International Economics

Discussant: Professor Douglas Arner, University of Hong Kong


This book talk draws a startling picture of how China’s revolution in finance and technology is changing both Wall Street and the way individuals manage their personal finances. China reinvented money with lightning speed, transforming a backward cash-based finance system into one centered on super-apps created by technology giants. We need to understand China’s cashless revolution for reasons ranging from the macroeconomic to issues of personal liberty.

Registration: Please click HERE

Date & Time: April 12, 2023 (Wednesday) 20:00 - 21:00 

Zoom only

Speaker: Dr. Iza Ding, University of Pittsburgh 

Discussant: Dr. Ying Xia, University of Hong Kong

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This book talk shows how the state can shape public perceptions and defuse crises through the theatrical deployment of language, symbols, and gestures of good governance―performative governance. It unpacks the black box of street-level bureaucracy in China and demonstrates how China’s environmental bureaucrats deal with intense public scrutiny over pollution when they lack the authority to actually improve the physical environment.

Registration: Please click HERE

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Date & Time: May 31, 2023 (Wednesday) 12:00 - 13:00

Venue: Academic Conference Room, 11/F, Cheng Yu Tung Tower, HKU (Also available on Zoom) 

Speaker: Professor Taisu Zhang, Yale University 

Discussant: Dr. Jedidiah Kroncke, University of Hong Kong


This book talk looks at China’s relative economic decline in the 18th and 19th centuries. The decline was believed to be related to China’s weak fiscal institutions and limited revenue. Zhang argues that this fiscal weakness was fundamentally ideological in nature. Belief systems created through a confluence of traditional political ethics and the trauma of dynastic change imposed unusually deep and powerful constraints on fiscal policymaking and institutions throughout the final 250 years of China’s imperial history. 

Registration: Please click HERE

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