Commercial Activities

Missouri’s COVID Suit Against China Revived

The Eighth Circuit has breathed life back into Missouri’s attempts to hold the People’s Republic of China (PRC) responsible in U.S. court for the COVID-19 pandemic. Missouri filed this claim in April 2020 and, as Chimène Keitner outlined at the time, the case is rife with Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) issues. This latest decision…

Continue Reading

China Adopts Restrictive Theory of Foreign State Immunity

On September 1, 2023, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress promulgated the Foreign State Immunity Law of the People’s Republic of China (FSIL) (English translation here). When the law enters into force on January 1, 2024, China will join those countries—a clear majority—that have adopted the restrictive theory of foreign state immunity. For…

Continue Reading

China’s Draft Law on Foreign State Immunity—Part II

In December 2022, Chinese lawmakers published a draft law on foreign state immunity, an English translation of which is now available. In a prior post, I looked at the draft law’s provisions on immunity from suit. I explained that the law would adopt the restrictive theory of foreign state immunity, bringing China’s position into alignment…

Continue Reading

China’s Draft Law on Foreign State Immunity Would Adopt Restrictive Theory

On the question of foreign state immunity, the world was long divided between countries that adhere to an absolute theory and those that adopted a restrictive theory. Under the absolute theory, states are absolutely immune from suit in the courts of other states. Under the restrictive theory, states are immune from suits based on their…

Continue Reading