Postrevolutionary China did not trade with the West prior to the announcement of its "open door policy" in 1977, when one-fifth of the world's population joined the mainstream global trading system. Since then, China's trade has increased dramatically, particularly with the United States. China's need for trade regulation and control resulted in the Foreign Economic Contract Law' ("FECL") in 1985. Through an understanding of the FECL's provisions and East-West trade characteristics, the practitioner may become an effective advisor to clients who trade with China or who are considering doing so.

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