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The Possibility of Recognising and Enforcing Chinese Judgment in United States


s a Chinese litigation lawyer, I write this article to talk about the possibility enforce Chinese judgment in the United States. I hope it will help Chinese lawyer to enlarge their vision over the United States judicial rules of recognize and enforcement of foreign judgment. The main message is that different states have different rules. The recognition and enforcement of a Chinese judgment in one state doesn't mean other state will do the same.

An Example of a Chinese Judgment Recognized in U.S.

On August 12, 2009, the United States District Court for the Central District of California issued a judgment enforcing a $6.5 million dollar Chinese judgment against an American corporate defendant under California’s version of the Uniform Foreign Money Judgments Recognition Act. The court’s full decision is available here.

This case is unique because it is generally believed that United States courts will not enforce Chinese judgments given the lack of a treaty between the two countries on the issue and given that Chinese courts generally do not enforce United States judgments in China, which limits the argument for reciprocity in the United States. Given this decision, California may become a favorable forum for enforcement of Chinese judgments in the United States.

China lawyer Blog

This just a news, Chinese lawyers have to know more United States rules to learn how to recognize and enforce a Chinese judgment in United States. The following is a case:

Hilton v Guyot
Diversity case from the pre-Erie era. Set out 5 requirements:
• Afforded an opportunity for full and fair proceedings.
• Court was a competent jurisdiction over persons and subject.
• Court conducted regular proceedings which afforded due notice of appearance to adversaries.
• Court afforded a system of jurisprudence that was impartial.
• Reciprocity of recognition and enforcement of judgment.


Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgment in China

The law applying to the enforcement of foreign judgments in China is found in Chapter XXIX, containing Articles 262-270 of the Law of Civil Procedure of the People’s Republic of China. This Chapter is headed Judicial Assistance. These articles are as follows:

Article 267 Where a legally effective judgment or ruling made by a foreign court requires the people’s court in the PRC to acknowledge its validity and execute it, the applicant may directly request a competent intermediate people’s court to do so, or the foreign court may request the people’s court to do so, according to the international treaties which China has concluded or to which China is party or in accordance with the principle of mutual reciprocity.

Article 268 In the case of an application or request for recognition and enforcement of a legally effective judgment or written order of a foreign court, the people's court shall examine it in accordance with the international treaties concluded or acceded to by the People's Republic of China, or according to the principle of reciprocity. If the court arrives at the conclusion that it does not contradict the basic principles of the law of the People's Republic of China nor violate the State sovereignty, security and social and public interest of the country, recognise the validity of the judgment or written order, and, if required, issue a writ of execution to enforce it in accordance with the relevant provisions of this Law. If the application or request contradicts the basic principles of the law of the People's Republic of China or violates the State sovereignty, security and social and public interest of the country, the people's court shall not recognise and enforce it.


Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Award in China

Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Award in China is very easy now, since China is a signatory of New York Convention. As a China arbitration lawyer, I have extensive exposure in representing foreign clients to apply to Chinese court for the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Award. The following is an article explaining the legal background of recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitration decision in China.

On 2 December 1986 China elected to accede to the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the New York Convention). The New York Convention became effective in China on 22 April 1987.

In acceding to the New York Convention, China adopted both the reciprocity reservation and the commercial reservation. The former provides that China will recognise and enforce only those arbitral awards made in other states that are signatories to the Convention. The commercial reservation limits the scope of recognition and enforcement only to arbitral awards that have been rendered in commercial cases.

It is noteworthy that article V(2)(b) of New York Convention provides that signatory states may refuse to recognise and enforce arbitral awards that are contrary to the state’s ‘public policy.’ For purposes of the this ‘public policy exception,’ the Chinese courts have generally accepted the terminology in article 258 of Civil Procedural Law of PRC, which provides that a court may refuse the enforcement of an arbitral award if it determines that the award is against the ‘social and public interest’ of China. As the definition and scope of this term are somewhat ambiguous, it is important to be aware of this restriction, and consult your lawyers for more detailed advice, when seeking the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award in China.


China Contract for Sales of Goods

This contract for sale of goods is a typical agreement between foreign buyers and Chinese suppliers. Our China contract lawyer advise that you should consult our China contract drafting lawyer before you use it. You should understand that a purchase and sale agreement should be drafted according to your specific circumstance.

Contract for Sales of Goods


(1) Seller LIMITED

(2) Buyer LIMITED

1 Definitions and Interpretations

1.1    In these Conditions:-

"Business Day"    means any day other than a Saturday, Sunday or bank holiday in England;

"the Buyer"    means the person who accepts a quotation or offer of the Seller for the sale of Goods or whose order for the Goods is accepted by the Seller;

"these Conditions"    means the standard terms and conditions of sale set out in this document and (unless the context otherwise requires) includes any special terms and conditions agreed in writing between the Buyer and the Seller;

"the Contract"    means the contract for the purchase and sale of the Goods under these Conditions;

"the Delivery Date"    means the date on which the Goods are to be delivered as stipulated in the Buyer's order and accepted by the Seller;

"the Goods"    means the goods (including any instalment of the goods or any parts for them) which the Seller is to supply in accordance with these Conditions;

"Month"    means a calendar month;

"the Seller"    means [<Insert Seller's name>] a company [<Insert country where Buyer registered>] under number [<Insert Buyer's company number>] whose registered office is at [<Insert Buyer's registered office>];

"Writing"    means any communication effected by facsimile transmission or any comparable means.

1.2    Any reference in these Conditions to a statute or a provision of a statute shall be construed as a reference to that statute or provision as amended, re-enacted or extended at the relevant time.

1.3    The headings in these Conditions are for convenience only and shall not affect their interpretation.

2 Application of Conditions

The Seller shall sell and the Buyer shall purchase the Goods in accordance with any quotation or offer of the Seller which is accepted by the Buyer, or any order of the Buyer which is accepted by the Seller, subject in either case to these Conditions, which shall govern the Contract to the exclusion of any other terms and conditions subject to which any such quotation is accepted or purported to be accepted, or any such order is made or purported to be made, by the Buyer.

3 Incoterms

In these Conditions "Incoterms" means the international rules for the interpretation of trade terms of the International Chamber of Commerce as in force at the date when the Contract is made.  Unless the context otherwise requires, any term or expression which is defined in or given a particular meaning by the provisions of Incoterms shall have the same meaning in these Conditions, but if there is any conflict between the provisions of Incoterms and these Conditions, the latter shall prevail.

4 Basis of Sale

4.1    The Seller's employees or agents are not authorised to make any representations or claims concerning the Goods unless confirmed by the Seller in writing.  In entering into the Contract the Buyer acknowledges that it does not rely on, and waives any claim for beach of, any such representations which are not so confirmed.

4.2    No variation to these Conditions shall be binding unless agreed in writing between the authorised representations of the Buyer and the Seller.

4.3    Sales literature, price lists and other documents issued by the Seller in relation to the Goods are subject to alteration without notice and do not constitute offers to sell the Goods which are capable of acceptance.  An order placed by the Buyer may not be withdrawn cancelled or altered prior to acceptance by the Seller.  No contract for the sale of Goods shall be binding on the Seller unless the Seller has issued a quotation which is expressed to be an offer to sell the Goods; or has accepted an order placed by the Buyer, by whichever is the earlier of:-

4.3.1    the Seller's written acceptance;

4.3.2    delivery of the Goods; or

4.3.3    the Seller's invoice.

4.4    Any typographical, clerical or other accidental errors or omissions in any sales literature, quotation, price list, acceptance of offer, invoice or other document or information issued by the Seller shall be subject to correction without any liability on the part of the Seller.


China Sales Contract

This sales contract is drafted by our China contract lawyer. It includes main terms and conditions of a typical sales contract used in China. You are high recommended to contact our China contract drafting lawyer to draft a sales contract according to your specific circumstance.

Contract for Sale of Goods

This Contract for Sale of Goods is made this __ day of _______, 20__ by and between _________, a [STATE OF ORGANIZATION OR RESIDENCE] [CORPORATION/PARTNERSHIP/SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP/RESIDENT], with its principal place of business at [COMPLETE ADDRESS],  (“Seller”) and ___________, a [STATE OF ORGANIZATION OR RESIDENCE] [CORPORATION/PARTNERSHIP/SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP/RESIDENT], with its principal place of business at [COMPLETE ADDRESS] (“Buyer”) for the purchase of the goods described below:

1. Term. This Contract shall begin on __________, 20__, and end upon the last delivery, which shall be shipped, with or without requisition for the balance of goods then unshipped, by___________, 20__, unless the parties agree otherwise. However, if as of such date, Buyer is in arrears on the account, Seller may then cancel this Contract and sue for its damages, including lost profits, offsetting the deposit there against, and further recover its cost of suit including attorney fees.

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I am a licensed China lawyer. Most clients are foreign nationals and companies. China Lawyer Blog have associates in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Suzhou, Nanjing, Qingdao, Fuzhou, Hainan, Hefei, Wuhan, Xian, Changsha, Xiamen and Hangzhou. Learn More

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This China Lawyer Blog is aiming at providing better knowledge and understanding of Chinese law for foreigners. Should you have any legal issue in China, do not hesitate to contact China Lawyer Blog for consultation. Preliminary consultation is free. Further legal service, however, will be charged in due rate and in due course.

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China Lawyer BLog AuthorPeter Zhu, an experienced China attorney licensed to practice law for more than ten years, the author of this China Lawyer blog, welcomes any enquiry or consultation related to Chinese law.