Blog Day 1 – 19th November 2018
The authors are Monica, Josh and Sanah
Our first day started with a lecture given to us by Professor Zheng Ge (George) who informed us about how the Chinese law initially developed and provided us with invaluable insight into the development of law today.
He explained how China has undergone rapid economic growth over the past three decades, and in some ways all this occurred without an effective legal system. The Professor emphasised the need for China to develop at its own pace. The Chinese legal system continues to develop, borrowing elements from the Western legal systems that already exist, however great emphasis is placed on the need to develop at a pace that is determined by them. Development of the economy and social conditions needs to occur, before the development and advancement of legal institutions.
Of particular interest was the self-regulation/private-law capacity maintained by businesses like Taobao. Through Taobao, he explained the current state of online private law, emphasising how Taobao can enforce contracts, prevent fraud, allow avenues for dispute resolution, and finally has the power to enforce any decision made. A notable comparison to Australian law is how an online trader such as Taobao, can carry out roles that in Australia, would be carried out by an external physical court.
Overall, the lecture was very engaging and allowed for a better understanding of Australian law and development through comparing the two.
Following the lecture, we headed out as a group for a lunch at the KoGuan canteen – Uni of Adelaide, we’d like to put you on notice about the lack of 6 course student lunches available for under $10. C’mon.
We broke up after lunch to explore the city and wrestle with the challenging world of Chinese SIM cards (thanks Nengye for haggling us a good rate). Once the euphoria of stable roaming data wore off, a few groups headed via the exceeding cheap and efficient Metro to Nanking Road and the Bund. Shanghai’s largest shopping precinct and waterfront promenade didn’t disappoint –we didn’t know we needed a 4 floor flagship Forever 21. But we did.
The atmosphere along the Bund in particular was very welcoming – it felt like anyone was available to help you take group shots (and Boomerangs) with an artistic eye for placement. Shanghai knows the importance of good angles.
The first dinner was a welcome banquet, hosted at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University Faculty Club, a traditional restaurant on the campus of the university. We were treated to a large spread of Chinese cuisine, ranging from simple rice and meats right through to delicacies. The entire group made a conscious effort to try one of everything including duck which many said tasted like chicken or beef, fish served in its entirety, eyeballs and all, and even frog soup which was quite spicy and we only worked out exactly what the meat was when the bones were put together. All in all, it was a beautiful dinner that introduced us to the diverse eating we can look forward to in China. After dinner the whole group headed out to find out what’s behind the bright light of Shanghai.