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Where does China Stand: the Evolving National Treatment Standard in BITs?

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Up until now, China has already signed more than one hundred bilateral investment treaties (“BITs”). One of the most significant changes among these BITs is arguably China’s attitude towards national treatment standard, which gradually evolves from “restrictive” to a more “liberal” extent. In the meantime, China’s dual role as both capital-importing and capital-exporting adds more challenges as to how to strike a balance between protecting its own overseas investors and maintaining its traditional sovereignty power. This paper examines China’s stance through the evolution of national treatment in its BITs and addresses China’s concerns behind its cautious liberalization process.

Affiliations: 1: L.L.B. and L.L.M. (University of International Business and Economics, China), L.L.M. Candidate (Stanford Law School), Trade lawyer, T&D Associates, Beijing, China, Email:, URL:


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