Authors, Georgia and Bridget
After seven amazing days and a lot of anticipation, finally, today was the day. As the morning sun started to rise, a group of keen and eager Adelaide Law School students met in the hotel lobby at 6:15am to take advantage of the extremely well-equipped Jiao Tong University Sports Track for a morning workout. Was it worth the drag out of bed? You betch-ya! While the locals seemed to love it almost more than we did, joining in with our amateur routines of star jumps, burpees and sit-ups, it was indeed a refreshing start the day. Let’s see if we can keep it up!
Todays lecture was provided by our very own Senior Lecturer from Adelaide Law School, Dr Nengye Liu. He gave a comprehensive lecture on China and its history from the Imperial Chinese Tributary System where foreign rulers were expected to acknowledge China’s cultural superiority, to the five principles of co-existence. It was definitely captivating.
After lunch, the group caught a bus together with students from Melbourne Law School to visit ZhongLun Law Firm (中轮). Not only is ZhongLun regarded as China’s best law firm, but it is also one of the largest and oldest domestic law firms within Mainland China with over 2000 Lawyers in 28 fully developed practice areas. We were very fortunate to have heard directly from three of the partners (Peter, David and Jackie) who shared great insight into their practice areas and shared their experiences with foreign clients. One of their biggest challenges as a firm is to bridge the cultural gap between domestic and western parties. Having two nations with vast cultural differences where ‘no means yes and yes sometimes means no’ often brings distrust. The lawyers further explained the importance of how Chinese culture, particularly ‘Guang Xi’, or the system of returned favours, plays a role in shaping matters.
At the end of their presentations, students were given the opportunity to ask questions and it was fantastic to have so many Adelaide Law Student engage and ask a variety of stimulating questions.
Following from visiting ZhongLun, the group separated into those staying to have placements as interns and those who had free time. One group decided to visit the YuYuan Gardens which was a short metro ride across the river. While we didn’t go into the gardens themselves as they were soon to close, we were able to explore the surrounding streets which were filled with a plethora of different shops and photo opportunities. Most of the buildings surrounding the gardens were styled traditionally and the ones in the main area around the YuYuan Garden tea house lit up with lights around 5pm. Even though there were quite a lot of people, it didn’t take away from the tranquillity of the beautiful setting.
For the 9 students undertaking internships, it was down the road to Shanghai Tower (the tallest building in Shanghai, pictured above) to visit AllBright Law Firm where three of nine New Colombo plan scholars will be interns for 4 weeks. AllBright is another leading full-service law firm in Mainland China. It was a beautiful law firm and we all felt very welcomed being introduced to the firm and learning about their comprehensive services.
The day ended with a splendid dinner at Ding Tai Fung with Nengye. Our stomachs were filled with delicious ‘Xiao long Bao’, handmade dumplings filled with soup and other Chinese specialties. For others, their night ended with some singing at the local karaoke bar across the road from the hotel. An hour filled with belting out everyone’s favourite from Carly-Rae Jepsen, to Fall Out Boy. However, nothing could beat Josh’s rendition of Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Because of You’. A fulfilled day but certainty a wonderful experience we won’t soon forget.