Prof. Yan XU 許炎教授
Associate Professor 副教授
Tel (852) 3943 4396
Fax (852) 2994 2505

Room 608,
Faculty of Law,
6/F, Lee Shau Kee Building,
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Sha Tin, NT, Hong Kong SAR

Dr Yan Xu is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK).  She joined CUHK from the University of Hong Kong where she obtained a doctorate degree and conducted research and teaching.  She was a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar 2014-15 and a Visiting Scholar at Columbia Law School in 2014-15 for a research project on tax reform, the rule of law and representative government.  She has held a number of international academic scholarships at institutions which include the University of Cambridge, New York University, the University of Melbourne and the University of New South Wales.  She has published in a range of international journals, presented papers at high-level international and regional conferences, made presentations on invitation from prominent international bodies, including the Australian Commonwealth Treasury, and is often invited to act as referee for law journals and books.  Most recently, she was invited as a panelist at the International Fiscal Association (IFA) Annual Congress seminar series on international indirect taxation.  Her research interests include Comparative Tax Law and Policy, International Taxation, Tax History and Environment Taxation. 

Awards and Fellowships
  • Vice-Chancellor in Honour of Award, CUHK, June 2015
  • Fulbright Senior Research Scholar Award 2014-15, Fulbright-Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC) and the US Department of State
  • Visiting Fellow, University of Auckland Law School, New Zealand, December 2016
  • Visiting Scholar, Melbourne School of Law, Australia, December 2015
  • Visiting Scholar, Columbia Law School, USA, September 2014 - May 2015
  • Visiting Fellow, Cambridge Faculty of Law, UK, June - July 2014
  • Harvard Law School Institute for Global Law and Policy Award, USA, January 2014
  • Brown International Advanced Research Institutes Scholarship, Brown University, USA, June 2013
  • Abe GreenBaum Fellow 2012, University of New South Wales Atax, Australia, July - August 2012
  • OeAD Scholar, Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research of the Austrian Federal Government, Austria, September 2008 - February 2009
Selected Publications

Journal Articles

  • “Simple and Competitive: Proposed Tax Measures in Hong Kong” (2018) 89(5) Tax Notes International 455-461;
  • “Red China’s Green Ambition: Using Taxation and Emissions Trading to Address Pollution” (2018) 89(9) Tax Notes International 793-799 (lead article);
  • “Foreign Tax Credits and the Complexity of Tax Law: China as a Case Study” (2017) 46(2) Australian Tax Review 120-136;
  • “Convergence and Divergence: the Imperial Foundations of China’s Path to a Modern Tax State” (2017) 18(1) Australian Journal of Asian Law 1-18 (Article 5);
  • “Chinese Tax Policy and the Promotion of Agricultural Cooperatives and Environmental Protection” (2016) 31(4) Australian Tax Forum 649-669 (with Bill Butcher);
  • “Urbanisation and the Right to Housing: the Role of Property Tax” (2016) 17 Peking University Journal on Economic Law 84-99 (in Chinese);
  • “Applying VAT to Financial Services in China: Opportunities for China and Lessons for the World” (2016) 45(1) Australian Tax Review 38-49 (with Richard Krever);
  • “Chinese Cooperatives and Environmental Social Responsibility” (2014) 47(4) The Chinese Economy 63-80 (with Bill Butcher);
  • “Key Questions Regarding Chinese Tax Law” (2014) 76(12) Tax Notes International 1111-1114 (translated in Spanish and published 15 September 2015 at IUS3600, available at;
  • “The Application of General Anti-tax Avoidance Rules in Hong Kong” (2013) 4 International Taxation in China 18-23;
  • “China’s Turnover Taxation in the pre-VAT Period: 1949-1993” (2012) 1(2) World Journal of VAT/GST Law 149-157;
  • “Addressing the Hidden Cost of Automobile Use in China: The Potential Role of Taxation” (2011) 26(4) Australian Tax Forum 693-718;
  • “China’s ‘Stir Fry’ of Environmentally Related Taxes and Charges: Too Many Cooks at Work” (2011) 23(2) Journal of Environmental Law 255-283;
  • “Reforming Value Added Tax in Mainland China: A Comparison with the EU” (2010) 20(1) Revenue Law Journal 96-126;
  • “The Impact of the Global Financial Crisis on Broadly Based Indirect Taxation: A Chinese Case Study” (2010) 8(2) eJournal of Tax Research 188-214 (with Andrew Halkyard);
  • “Green Taxation in China: A Possible Consolidated Transport Fuel Tax to Promote Clean Air” (2010) 21(2) Fordham Environmental Law Review 2, 295-343;
  • “Putting the ‘Value Added’ in China’s VAT” (2010) 58(6) Tax Notes International 487-497 (lead article)
  • “No Taxation without Representation? China’s Taxation History and Its Political-Legal Development” (2009) 39(2) Hong Kong Law Journal 515-540;
  • “Taxation and Constitutionalism in China” (2006) 36(2) Hong Kong Law Journal  365-389

Books Edited

Book Chapters

  • “Urbanization and the Right of Living: the Role of Property Tax in the Case of Hong Kong” in Zezhong Xie (ed.), Real Estate Tax: Law and Policy (Taipei: Taiwan Yuanzhao Publishing House, November 2017) 365-385;
  • “China’s ‘Stir Fry’ of Environmentally Related Taxes and Charges: Too Many Cooks at Work” in Janet E. Milne (ed.), Environmental Taxation and the LawThe International Library of Law and the Environment Series (UK: Edward Elgar, 2017, Volume 1) (verbatim copy of Journal of Environmental Law 2011 article), Chapter 22;
  • “China” in Michael Littlewood and Craig Elliffe (eds.), Capital Gains Taxation: A Comparative Analysis of Key Issues (UK: Edward Elgar, 2017) 168-195;
  • “The State Salt Monopoly in China: Ancient Origins and Modern Implications” in Peter Harris and Dominic de Cogan (eds.), Studies in The History of Tax Law (Volume 8) (Cambridge: Hart Publishing, 2017) 513-537;
  • “Energy Taxation in China and Competition Law Constraints” in Marta Villar Ezcurra (ed.), State Aids, Taxation and the Energy Sector (Spain: Thomson Reuters Aranzadi, 2017) 357-374;
  • “Will China’s Outward Initiatives Impact on China’s Tax Law System?” in Lutz-Christian Wolff, Chao Xi and Jenny Chan (eds.), Legal Dimensions of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (Wolters Kluwer (Law & Business), 2016) 275-303;
  • “A Historical Account of Taxes on Goods and Services in the Transition to Post-Socialist China” in Peter Harris and Dominic de Cogan (eds.), Studies in The History of Tax Law (Volume 7) (Cambridge: Hart Publishing, 2015) 393-420;
  • “Features of Hong Kong Tax Law and The Application of GAAR in Combatting Tax Avoidance in Hong Kong” in Zhengwen Shi (ed.), China Tax Law Review (Volume 2) (Beijing: China Taxation Press, 2014) 215-244 (in Chinese);
  • “Land Tax without Land and Land without Land Tax: A History of Land Tax in China” in John Tiley (ed.), Studies in The History of Tax Law (Volume 6) (Cambridge: Hart Publishing, 2013) 523-556;
  • “Environmental Taxation in China: the Greening of an Emerging Economy” in Janet E. Milne and Mikael S. Andersen (eds.), Handbook of Research on Environmental Taxation (UK: Edward Elgar, 2012) 303-320;
  • “Hong Kong” in Michael Lang (et al.) (eds.), Tax Rules in Non-Tax Agreements (The Netherlands: IBFD, 2012) 403-425 (with Richard Krever);
  • “Development and Practice of the Hong Kong Income Tax Law: Anxiety behind Success” in Wei Xiong (ed.), Tax Law and Case Review (Volume 3) (Beijing: Law Press China, 2012) (Taipei: Yuanzhao Publishing, 2012) 17-34;
  • “China’s Taxation System in a Constitutional Perspective” in Hualing Fu and Guobin Zhu (eds.), Constitutional Rights and Constitutional Polity: Studies of Contemporary Constitutional Issues in China (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2011) 317-338 (in Chinese);
  • “Environmental Taxation in China: The Case of Transport Fuel Taxation” in Richard Cullen, Jefferson VanderWolk and Yan Xu (eds.), Green Taxation in East Asia (UK; Edward Elgar, 2011) 28-66;
  • “China’s VAT Experience” in Tax Analysts, The VAT Reader: What a Federal Consumption Tax Would Mean for America (Arlington, VA: Tax Analysts, 2011) 319-333;
  • “Mediation and Tax Administrative Reconsideration in PRC” in Xin Xu (ed.), Chinese Experience on Mediation (Volume 5 of the Journal of Justice) (Xiamen: Xiamen University Press, 2010) 109-120
Research Grants
  • Principle Investigator, “Taxation and Development: Case Study of China” (reference no.: 24607815), Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC) ECS, 2016-2018, HK$598,016 (fully funded);
  • Principle Investigator, “Tax Reform, the Rule of Law and Representative Government”, Fulbright-RGC Hong Kong Senior Research Scholar Award Program, 2014-2015, HK$496,504 (fully funded);
  • Co-investigator, “Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading in China: Insights from the EU’s Experience” (reference no.: 14634116), RGC General Research Fund, 2017-2018, HK$427,992;
  • Co-investigator, “Mitigating Tax Barriers to Trade and Investment between Australia and the People’s Republic of China”, Australian Research Council Grant, 2012-2015, A$198,550;
  • Co-investigator, “Managing the Globalisation of Water Services in a World Affected by Climate Change: Regulatory and Economic Challenges”, WUN Research Development Fund, 2013-2015, HK$546,000;
  • Co-investigator, “Europe-Hong Kong Tax Treaties”, Eurasia Pacific Uninet Research Grant, 2013-2014, HK$114,000