In politics, East is East and West is West even as economies grow closer

Our Center’s Director of Global Practice Preparation, Kathleen A. Doty, is a World Affairs Council Young Leaders Fellow just completing her tour of China. Traveling with her have been eleven others, many from globally minded businesses. This is another dispatch in Kate’s series of posts on her travels.

imageSHANGHAI – A Chinese official at the Pilot Free Trade Zone in Shanghai told us:

“The United States is a very different economy than China; it is much more globalized. We are still learning.”

Visiting Shanghai, one would never guess that China is still learning. The city is shockingly modern, with architecture straight out of a sci-fi movie, sparklingly clean public spaces, and every sort of of consumer product available. The brands are recognizable to Americans – from Walmart to most high-end designers. Yet the rhetoric from the officials with which we’ve met has been all about development: how to further open up China’s economy.

The efforts in this regard are impossible to miss. Almost everywhere in the city there are new buildings going up and renovations in progress.

The Chinese are obsessed with space: the first thing they tell you about any project is the number of square kilometers it will occupy and the population of people living or working there. This is understandable given the stress such a high population places on the limited physical space and infrastructure of the city.

image3Perhaps more striking: they are obsessed with showcasing this development. The government has erected entire museums and project-specific showrooms dedicated to urban planning with information tailored to foreign visitors. They are surreal – we saw several unbelievably intricate miniature models of the building projects, complete with lights in the windows of the mini-buildings, and incredibly high resolution 3D video tours set to dramatic symphonic music. At one such display a colleague leaned over and said:

“Wow, it’s propaganda.”

And propaganda it is. Unlike Cuba, which is still brimming with billboards of Fidel and slogans like “¡Patria o Muerte! ¡Venceremos! (Homeland or Death! We Shall Overcome!),” the Chinese version is more subtle. It’s not centered on a leader or on separation from the rest of the world, but on the collective progress: development, innovation, opening up.

I expected Shanghai to be filled with the iconic Soviet concrete-style buildings, but the new Communism is glass and steel. It is rows of narrow, tall apartment buildings shooting out of the ground in perfectly aligned formation. But it still feels cold, a little sterile, and with pollution hanging in the air, eerie.

image1It was also quite clear that the Chinese keep a tight grip on the narrative available to foreign visitors. My trip, sponsored by the Confucius Institute, a division of the government education agency, made sure to show us the best of what China had to offer. We looked up at a major skyscraper in the distance and asked our tour guide if we were going to go there. He looked at us in complete seriousness and said:

“But why would we go there? You saw it in the model.”

I realized then that the propaganda wasn’t just for the foreign visitors, he believed it too. Government control of the narrative affects everyone.

We were told that the farmers who used to be on the land now occupied by the new industrial parks were simply removed from their land. Eminent domain is in full force in China. Here’s a statement of fact about the issue, rather than skepticism, from our same tour guide:

“You can’t bargain with the government.”

Nor can you reason with it. On my way out of the airport, after the security checkpoint where they took large liquids, I bought two waters. These were confiscated in an unexpected secondary screening on the jetway. When I asked the guard why he took them, he explained it was because of TSA rules. When I protested that they had already screened for liquids and that I purchased these past security, he just shook his head and tossed my water in a bin. Perhaps China doesn’t regulate items for purchase after security and therefore doesn’t meet TSA standards, but I find that unlikely. Despite the progress in China, it felt much more like the absurdity of life characteristic of such a strong state government.

image2China is impressive. It is actualizing public works and infrastructure projects at a rate that is unimaginable in the United States. It is developing its cities and offering its people access to a diverse marketplace of consumer goods.

Wandering a mall, I couldn’t help but wonder if this was Cuba’s future. It’s not a bad compromise between the socialist and capitalist models. (Oh, the irony; I wonder if Marx could ever have envisioned a transition back to capitalism.)

I’m not entirely certain whether the official we spoke with at the Free Trade Zone would say that the main difference between the United States and China was the economic model of each country, but I know that I left thinking that no matter how open the Chinese economy becomes, we will always be far apart, even in business, because of our different underlying political systems.

Shanghai story opens World Affairs Council Young Leaders’ China sojourn

Our Center’s Director of Global Practice Preparation, Kathleen A. Doty, is a World Affairs Council Young Leaders Fellow now touring China. Traveling with her are eleven others, many from globally minded businesses. Kate will post on her travels throughout the trip; her 1st dispatch in this series is below.

img_0315SHANGHAI –

“Confucius said: it is such a delight to have friends from afar.”

And so began our first day in China, with a warm welcome from Professor Yang Li, Vice-President of Shanghai International Studies University (SISU). He shared his hope that through our exchange, “the distance between American and Chinese businesses will be bridged.” These sentiments were echoed by Kimberly Griffin, Deputy Director of the Confucius Institute at Georgia State University, and Paulina Guzman, Membership Manager at the World Affairs Council of Atlanta.

Our opening ceremony took place in the state-of-the-art conference facilities at SISU, one of the top universities in China for students of translation and interpretation. We all felt quite official, with headphones, tablets at each of our seats, and interpretation provided by the Dean, Zhang Ailing. The ceremony closed with our hosts presenting us with a lovely gift of custom-made SISU jackets.

img_0316We were then treated to a lecture by Dr. Zhang Shangwu, Professor and Deputy Dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Planning at Tonghi University. He introduced us to the historical expansion of the city of Shanghai, and its newly unveiled 2040 development plan. Shanghai has always been an important city in the region because of its rich water resources from the Yangtze river delta. Following the 1840 opium wars, the city started to take shape as an international center of commerce, because of the concessions granted to various foreign governments in the aftermath of the war. Official urban planning began in the 1920s and 1930s, but intervening conflicts and political changes meant that many of these projects were never completed.

It wasn’t until the 1990s that the Shanghai Master Plan was adopted as the blueprint of development for the city. This was a critical because it emphasized the four major areas of industry that would define the city going forward: economy, finance, trade, and shipping. It also aimed to control the incredibly densely populated city – at that time, 9 million people in fewer than 700 square kilometers – by moving approximately 80,000 people to satellite cities built to absorb them. This plan was bolstered by China’s accession to the World Trade Organization in 2001, and showcased when Shanghai hosted the 2010 World Expo, which focused on urban life. The latter also drove a new wave of infrastructure development, including a deep water port, two international airports, and a vastly improved metro system.

img_0317The economic crash forced Shanghai to re-envision its future, as the manufacturing industries and accompanying trade suffered. The city faces many challenges, including a steady population growth rate and a dwindling supply of land as urban sprawl expands. Accordingly, the 2040 plan aims to re-position the city by adding three new areas of focus to those emphasized by the 2010 plan:

► Innovation, especially in the areas of the tech and service industries;
► Culture, to make the city more attractive to newcomers and livable for current residents; and
► Environment, to include increased outdoor spaces and sustainable growth mechanism.

The overall goal is to create a better city that offers a better life.

From what we’ve seen so far, Shanghai is indeed an incredibly organized city for a place so densely populated. I look forward to exploring more and seeing this development plan in action.

Seeking Global Practice Preparation Assistant: Georgia Law’s Dean Rusk International Law Center

sign2We’re looking for a great administrator here at the Dean Rusk International Law Center. To be precise, we’re looking for a Global Practice Preparation Assistant (aka Administrative Specialist I).

This person will support the Global Practice Preparation portfolio at the Center under the supervision of the Director for Global Practice Preparation and the Associate Dean for International Programs & Strategic Initiatives. The successful applicant will provide administrative, organizational, and logistical support for an array of Center programs, including conferences, lectures, and events, study abroad, Global Externships, faculty exchanges, visiting scholars, professional trainings, and research projects. Experience in event planning, demonstrated organizational ability, and social media or marketing skills are desirable.

The job includes the opportunity to interact with a diverse array of individuals, including students and scholars from the United States and abroad, distinguished visitors, faculty and staff, policymakers, and potential or actual donors. It also offers exposure to a wide range of international legal and policy issues. Accordingly, we particularly welcome applications from individuals with a demonstrated interest in international law, policy, and foreign affairs, and those with language skills and/or travel experience.

To apply, click here and follow registration/application instructions, inserting the posting number 20161972 in order to reach the vacancy.

We plan to fill this position asap, so if you’re interested, don’t delay!

Global Atlanta, our new partner in diplomacy news

downloadThe Dean Rusk International Law Center at the University of Georgia School of Law is honored to partner with Global Atlanta in presenting coverage of diplomatic news in Atlanta.2658403_23502

This new collaboration builds on long traditions of engagement history with the diplomatic community.

Georgia Law’s Center is named after Dean Rusk (below right), Secretary of State to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Baines Johnson. The second-longest-serving Secretary of State in U.S. history, Rusk was a Georgia Law professor for decades after leaving the federal government.

outerspace

In 1967, flanked at left by Arthur Goldberg, US Ambassador to the United Nations, and at right by President Johnson, Secretary of State Dean Rusks signs the Outer Space Treaty on behalf of the United States. (credit)

Since 1977, the Dean Rusk International Law Center has served as a nucleus for research, education, and service in international, comparative, transnational, and foreign affairs law and policy. In addition to preparing Georgia Law students for today’s global marketplace and administering the law school’s Master of Laws (LL.M.) curriculum for foreign-educated lawyers, the Center hosts high-level conferences, closed-door experts’ workshops, and international trainings.

The Center’s new partner, Global Atlanta, has for more than twenty years been the only Atlanta publication devoted to tracking the city’s rise as a center of international business, education, and culture. Through its monthly Diplomacy e-newsletter and online archive, Global Atlanta helps officials in consulates and trade missions, as well as other readers, to stay informed about the activities of the local diplomatic corps.

“This partnership is an excellent opportunity for our Dean Rusk International Law Center to engage with Atlanta’s global community and to provide new opportunities for our students,”

said Diane Marie Amann, Georgia Law’s Associate Dean for International Programs & Strategic Initiatives and the Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law. Phil Bolton, President of Agio Press and Publisher of Global Atlanta, agreed:

“The monthly Diplomacy newsletter, where we also cover speeches by visiting dignitaries, the arrival of new consuls general stationed in Atlanta and global policy developments affecting international business, has quickly become one of the most heavily engaged areas of our website. We are delighted that the Dean Rusk International Law Center shares our deep interest and appreciation for these important representatives and their work.”

To receive the Diplomacy e-newsletter, subscribe online.

“London had fallen”: Brexit reflections from a Georgia Law Global Extern

It’s our pleasure today to publish this post by Shirley Kathryn Griffis (below right), a member of the Georgia Law Class of 2017. Katie, as she’s known, spent Spring 2016 as  in our study abroad at Oxford University, and then began her second summer as a Global Externship Overseas in the London law firm Maples Teesdale. Reflecting on last week’s “Brexit” vote, Katie writes:

KatieThe first thing I thought on Friday morning was, “this can’t have happened.” It was a sentiment shared by almost all of my colleagues at Maples Teesdale’s London office, where I am spending my summer Global Externship Overseas. Together, we spent Friday morning pulling up articles, dusting off our United Kingdom constitutional law practice guides, and sharing legal theories on how the Brexit vote might be undone. It seemed that through the 51.9% to 48.1% vote to leave the European Union, London had fallen.

And we were in denial:

“The referendum is not legally binding.”

“Parliament can override.”

“Scotland won’t accept this. They can block it.”

“Cameron didn’t invoke Article 50, there’s still a chance.”

“Did you see the petition for the second referendum? Three million signatures! This won’t stand.”

The mood in London quickly turned from denial to anger when Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the results of the referendum must be respected, and the members of Parliament largely agreed. I chimed in with other voices from London on social media, asking how this could have happened. The feeling in London is that there is so much to be angry about that it is hard to know where to start, and whom to blame. Londoners started circulating a secessionist petition, there was a rally in Trafalgar Square to show solidarity with Europe, and everyone is talking about immigrating to Ireland.

London has a long way to go before accepting the reality of Brexit. The financial markets are reeling. The pound has plummeted, hitting a 31-year low in just four hours, and four major companies—Prudential Insurance, HSBC, BT and Royal Bank of Scotland—announced they were considering major staffing changes to include relocation or mass downsizing. As the financial capital of the United Kingdom, most major businesses in London have structured themselves to operate in accordance with European Union law and procedure. It is for this reason that London’s “stay” vote was 70% in favor—the European Union is vital to the survival of London’s economy.

FlagsThis is my second summer working for Maples Teesdale in London. I have always envisioned myself returning to London to practice after I graduate from the University of Georgia School of Law, but I worry now about whether that will be a possibility. It’s still uncertain what jobs, even industries, are safe, and how long the current financial crash will continue. I stand by my colleagues here in London, hoping that no matter how far London falls, it won’t take long at all to get back up and carry on.

International law alive and well in Atlanta

Last week was a busy one for international law in Atlanta.

On Thursday evening, the Young Arbitrators Group for the Atlanta International Arbitration Society (AtlAS) and the International Chamber of Commerce Young Arbitrators Forum (ICC YAF) presented an excellent event on international law practice in Atlanta. As announced, it featured four attorneys serving as in-house counsel at major corporations, including:

  • Gary Bunce, Assistant General Counsel, Delta Airlines
  • Carolyn Dinberg, VP and Associate General Counsel, InterContinental Hotels Group
  • Eugenia Milinelli, Counsel, JAS Freight Forwarding
  • Nicole Levy, Executive Director and Senior Legal Counsel, AT&TKing and Spalding

Attended by many young members of AtlAS, ICC YAF, and the broader Atlanta legal community, the evening presented an interesting conversation about the use of international arbitration by large corporations, and provided insight into the career tracks of the panelists. The panelists offered advice to young attorneys, such as the importance of acquiring language skills, and the reception afterwards at the office of King & Spalding provided a valuable networking opportunity.

Then, on Friday morning, the World Affairs Council of Atlanta hosted a breakfast with Ambassador Charles Rivkin, who currently serves as the Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs. Amb RivkinAmbassador Rivkin spoke about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) that was signed on February 4, 2016 in New Zealand, but has yet to be approved by Congress. Ambassador Rivkin stressed the ways the TPP would benefit Atlanta businesses, in particular those exporters of: transportation equipment; non-electrical machinery; computer and electronic products; chemicals; processed foods; electrical equipment, appliances and components; the agricultural sector generally. He further stressed that the the TPP is unique and good for U.S. businesses because it sets rules for state-owned enterprises, has a chapter dedicated to small and medium sized businesses, and addresses intellectual property and data flow, labor standards, and the environment. His remarks inspired a lively conversation with the audience, who represented a cross-section of the Atlanta business community.

Young Arbitrators Event in Atlanta

atlas-logoThe Young Arbitrators Group for the Atlanta International Arbitration 1526304_10152174822329940_1562069949_nSociety (AtlAS) and the International Chamber of Commerce Young Arbitrators Forum (ICC YAF) will present a cocktail reception and speakers panel tomorrow, June 2, 2016 from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.

10268504_10152606953834696_6959801446290693027_nHosted by the Atlanta office of King & Spalding, the event will focus on international law issues faced by Atlanta’s global companies, and will highlight how many attorneys around the city handle international law and trans-border issues on a day to day basis.

The panel will be moderated by Jorge Fernandez, the Global Commerce Manager for the Metro Atlanta Chamber, and will also include:

  • Gary Bunce, Assistant General Counsel, Delta Airlines
  • Carolyn Dinberg, VP and Associate General Counsel, InterContinental Hotels Group
  • Eugenia Milinelli, Counsel, JAS Freight Forwarding
  • Nicole Levy, Executive Director and Senior Legal Counsel, AT&T

Students and professionals alike are welcome to attend what promises to be an interesting panel and excellent networking opportunity. RSVP is requested to gharrah@kslaw.com.

Summer 2016 GEOs: Georgia Law students ready to take on the world

GEO blog post photoThis summer, ten law students will benefit from international placements through the Global Externship Overseas, or GEO, administered by Georgia Law’s Dean Rusk International Law Center.

These students have been awarded funding to enable them to earn legal training in law firms, in-house legal departments, government agencies, and nongovernmental organizations around the world. Practice areas span a range, including refugee law, property law, criminal law, corporate law, and cultural heritage law.

2016 GEO participants include several rising 3Ls, who are headed to Europe and Asia:

► Bradley Dumbacher – GÖRG, Cologne, Germany
► Shirley Kathryn Griffis – Maples Teesdale, London, United Kingdom
► Brenny B. Nguyen – Boat People SOS, Bangkok, Thailand
► Jianan Zhang – Lenovo & Han Kun Law, Beijing, China

Numerous rising 2Ls also will be working ’round the world:

► Megan Alpert – GÖRG, Cologne, Germany
► Victoria Barker – DLA Piper, St. Petersburg, Russia
► Decker McMorris – Tosetto, Weigmann e Associati, Milan, Italy
► Claire Provano – Studio Legale Associato Rossini, Turin, Italy
► Carson Stepanek – Tosetto, Weigmann e Associati, Milan, Italy
► Hannah Mojdeh Williams – Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage, Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

We congratulate them all on their GEO acceptance, and wish them an enriching summer. Can’t wait to hear travel notes!

May 2 Event in DC: Common Challenges to Diverse Security Threats: A Conversation with Mallory Stewart

On Monday, May 2, at 5:30 p.m. at Tillar House in Washington D.C., the Dean Rusk International Law Center will co-sponsor “Common Challenges to Diverse Security Threats: A Conversation with Mallory Stewart.”

Mallory_Stewart_8x10_200_1The event will feature remarks by Mallory Stewart, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Emerging Security Challenges and Defense Policy at the U.S. Department of State. She is responsible for the management of the Office of Emerging Security Challenges and the Office of Chemical and Biological Weapons Affairs. Prior to this position, she served as an attorney in the Legal Adviser’s Office. In that role, she represented the United States before the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal, served on the U.S. delegation that negotiated the Ballistic Missile Agreements with Poland and Romania, and acted as the lead lawyer on the 2013 U.S.-Russian Framework for the Elimination of Syrian Chemical Weapons.

Stewart will explore the challenges common to the areas of space, cyber security, and chemical and biological weapons affairs, and the relevance of legal and/or political frameworks.tsinghua

Acting as moderator and discussant will be Diane Marie Amann, the University of Georgia School of Law’s Associate Dean for International Programs & Strategic Initiatives, Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law.

The event, also sponsored by the Nonproliferation, Arms Control & Disarmament Interest Group of the American Society of International Law, that I chair, will have a reception following the substantive discussion. We welcome those in the DC area to join us. The event is free and registration is not required, but appreciated.

Ambassadorial briefing on Venezuela

wac_vz-eventEarlier this week, Dean Rusk International Law Center staffer Martica Marín and I attended an excellent event at Atlanta’s World Affairs Council: “Venezuela: A Crisis at our Doorstep.” It featured a conversation between the two ambassadors at left: Roger Noriega, former assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs and former U.S. ambassador to the Organization of American States. Posing questions was Council President Charles Shapiro, former U.S. ambassador to Venezuela.

Ambassador Noriega emphasized the importance of the crisis in Venezuela to U.S. interests not only because of its proximity to the United States, but also because, he said, it is serving as a breeding ground for drug smuggling, money laundering, and support of global terrorist networks. He warned that should Venezuela become a failed state, the vacuum of power could worsen this situation. He opined that Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro‘s control over the country’s situation was tenuous, and said that the likelihood of violence during a regime change and a refugee crisis was high.

On a positive note, Noriega said he was encouraged by the opposition party’s success in December’s parliamentary elections. Both he and Ambassador Shapiro stressed, to the large number of Venezuelans in the audience, that political organization would be key to creating change in U.S. policy towards Venezuela. arepas

In all, a highly interesting discussion, punctuated by a fun excuse for Martica, left, and me to grab some arepas at Atlanta’s own Arepa Mia. It’s one of only a few, but growing number, of Venezuelan restaurants in the United States.