Concern About "Litigation Explosion" Misplaced, Argues China Youth Daily Commentator

May 9, 2005

Chinese journalists and legal scholars who have raised alarms about China’s "litigation explosion" have created a false issue, argues a commentator in the April 26 China Youth Daily. The article notes that while Chinese people traditionally avoided litigation, recent legal and market developments have transformed such attitudes and the number of lawsuits in China is steadily on the rise. Unlike some observers, however, the commentator does not see this as a problem that must be resolved. The growth in litigation is the inevitable result of market development. And China’s per capita litigation rate, he notes, is still less than half that of Japan, which has one of the lowest litigation rates in the developed world. According to the commentator, judicial independence, justice, and capacity are the real problems that need to be addressed, not the growth in litigation. Focusing on the latter, he argues, shifts attention away from social contradictions and needed judicial reforms.