I was in Shanghai last week for the first time, attending a conference and an alumni dinner. The conference – The 2014 International Forum on Financial Law — was at KoGuan Law School at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and was a lot of fun. The conference format was a new one for me and I thought worked very well, especially for an international audience.
The morning consisted of public lectures by party officials, regulators, practitioners, and academics with simultaneous translation. One or two of the Chinese academics were fairly critical of various aspects of the Chinese legal system, and watching the responses from fellow presenters and audience members was especially interesting, though I’m sure that I missed many of the subtleties of these exchanges.
The afternoon was divided into parallel sessions, one in Chinese and one in English, with paper presentations by invited guests. My presentation was in the English session, of course, so I can only speak to the specifics of that one, but I was very pleased with the quality of the presentations and discussion. I learned some new things about emerging corporate law and financial regulation issues in China, Singapore, and Japan, and was struck by both the similarities and the differences of the concerns: for example, several of the papers were on shadow banking in China, which is clearly a concern (as it is in the U.S.), but the character of shadow banking appears quite different in China, making the US experience only partially comparable.
My panel line-up was scheduled as follows, though for scheduling reasons there was a last minute switch of Shen Wei’s presentation on Chinese local government debt and shadow banking (which was excellent) instead of Cheng-Yun Tsang (who did a fine job on the next panel):
Host: Shen Wei, Professor of KoGuan Law School, SJTU
Discussant: Douglas Arner, Professor of The University of Hong Kong
Kim Krawiec, Professor of School of Law, Duke University
Wang Jiangyu, Associate Professor of Law School, National University of Singapore
Manabu Matsunaka, Professor of Nagoya University
Tang Yingmao, Associate Professor of Law School, Peking University
Cheng-Yun Tsang, Doctoral Student of School of Law, Duke University
Naturally, I made time for some food tourism as well (courtesy of UnTour, which I highly recommend). Included are photos of my street food breakfast in Shanghai on the day of departure, which was delicious, and can be roughly divided into three categories: noodles, dim sum, and deep fried dough (yum, yum!)