Prof. Yan XU 許炎教授
Assistant Professor 助理教授
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 Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Law and Director of the Centre for Financial Regulation and Economic Development at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.  She joined the Faculty from the University of Hong Kong where she obtained a doctorate degree and conducted research and teaching.  She has held a number of international academic scholarships at institutions which include the University of Cambridge, New York University, the University of New South Wales and the University of Linz.  She was recently granted a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar Award 2014-15 and conducted a research project at Columbia Law School in New York in 2014-2015.  She has published in a range of international journals, presented papers at conferences on five continents, and is often invited to act as an external referee for journals and books.  Her research interests include Comparative Tax Law and Policy, Tax History, Constitutional and Administrative Law. 


  • PhD (University of Hong Kong)
  • MPhil (Wuhan University)
  • LLB (Wuhan University)

Continuing Appointments
  • Research Fellow, Taxation Law and Policy Research Institute, Monash University, Australia
  • Global South Network Fellow, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Switzerland
  • OeAD Scholar, Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research, Austria
Research Interests

  • Comparative Tax Law and Policy
  • Tax History
  • Constitutional and Administrative Law

Awards and Fellowships
  • Fulbright Senior Research Scholar Award 2014-15, Fulbright-RGC Hong Kong Committee, US and Hong Kong
  • Columbia Law School Visiting Scholar 2014-15, , US
  • Cambridge Law School Visiting Fellow, June - July 2014, UK
  • Harvard Law School Institute for Global Law and Policy (IGLP) award, January 2014, US
  • Brown International Advanced Research Institutes Scholarship, Brown University, June 2013, US
  • Abe GreenBaum Fellow 2012, University of New South Wales, Australia
  • OeAD Scholar 2008-09, Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research under the Austrian Federal Government, Austria
  • New York University and Fordham University Visiting Fellow, September-December 2007, US
  • Member of the Editorial Board, Australian GST Journal (Thomson Reuters, Code: 30140664);
  • Member of the Advisory Board, Journal of Philosophy of International Law (ISSN 1746-1863);
  • Member of the Manuscript Reviewer Board, Critical Issues in Environmental Taxation (previously Oxford University Press; currently Edward Elgar)
Research Grants
  • “Taxation and Development: Case Study of China” (Principle Investigator, Research Grants Council - University Grants Committee ECS 2015-16)
  • “Mitigating Tax Barriers to Trade and Investment between Australia and the People’s Republic of China” (Australian Research Council Grant 2012-14; member of the international cooperation group)
  • “Achieving More Equitable Development: the Role of Taxation” (Principle Investigator, Direct Research Grant of the CUHK, 2013-14)
  • “Managing the Globalisation of Water Services in a World Affected by Climate Change: Regulatory and Economic Challenges” (Co-investigator, WUN Research Development Fund 2013-14)
  • “Europe-Hong Kong Tax Treaties” (Co-investigator, Eurasia Pacific Uninet Research Grant, 2013-14)
  • “Enduring Echoes in a Changing Landscape: Lessons from China’s Tax History” (Principle Investigator, Direct Research Grant of the CUHK, 2012-13)
Representative Publications

Journal Articles

  • “Applying VAT to Financial Services: Opportunities for China and Lessons for the World” (Australian Tax Forum, under review) (with Rick Krever);
  • “An Invisible Hand Behind: The Myth of the Chinese Tax System” (British Tax Review, under revision);
  • “Key Questions Regarding Chinese Tax Law” (2014) 76 Tax Notes International 12, 1111;
  • “Chinese Cooperatives and Environmental Social Responsibility” (2014) 47 Journal of the Chinese Economy 4, 63-80 (with Bill Butcher);
  • “The Application of General Anti-tax Avoidance Rules in Hong Kong” (2013) 4 International Taxation in China 18-23 (in Chinese);
  • “China’s Turnover Taxation in the pre-VAT Period: 1949-1993” (2012) 1 World Journal of VAT/GST Law 2, 149-157;
  • “Addressing the Hidden Cost of Automobile Use in China: The Potential Role of Taxation” (2011) 26 Australian Tax Forum 4, 693-718;
  • “China’s ‘Stir Fry’ of Environmentally Related Taxes and Charges: Too Many Cooks at Work” (2011) 23 Journal of Environmental Law 2, 255-283;
  • “Green Taxation in China: A Possible Consolidated Transport Fuel Tax to Promote Clean Air” (2010) 21 Fordham Environmental Law Review 2, 295-343;
  • “Reforming Value Added Tax in Mainland China: A Comparison with the EU” (2010) 20 Revenue Law Journal 1, 96-126;
  • “The Impact of the Global Financial Crisis on Broadly Based Indirect Taxation: A Chinese Case Study” (2010) 8 eJournal of Tax Research 2, 188-214 (with Andrew Halkyard);
  • “Putting the ‘Value Added’ in China’s VAT” (2010) 58 Tax Notes International 6, 487-497 (lead article);
  • “No Taxation without Representation? China’s Taxation History and Its Political-Legal Development” (2009) 39 Hong Kong Law Journal 2, 515-540;

Edited Book (Contributing Editor)
  • “Green Taxation in East Asia” (Edward Elgar, 2011) (with Richard Cullen and Jefferson VanderWolk)

Book Chapters

  • “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);
  • “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 The VAT Reader (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 (in Chinese);
  • “History of Taxation Law in China” in Yifan Yang (et al.) (eds.), Legal History of the People’s Republic of China (Beijing: Social Sciences Academic Press, 2009) 259-266 (in Chinese);

Notes and Comments

  • “Hong Kong’s Salaries Tax: Anxiety behind Success” China Taxation News, 23 November 2012, Page 5 (lead article);
  • “Salaries Tax in Hong Kong: Generous Tax Allowances without Tax Threshold” Legal Daily, 28 June 2011, Page 12 (reproduced in many news websites including Xinhua News, Sina, China Daily, and Phoenix);
  • “Balancing Out Inflation” South China Morning Post, 14 March 2011, Page A15 (with Richard Cullen);
  • “A Sound System” South China Morning Post, 4 September 2010, Page A11 (with Richard Cullen);
  • “Paid Political Electronic Advertising: The Wisdom of Robust Restrictions” Ming Pao Newspaper,  14 June 2010 (with Richard Cullen)(in Chinese);
  • “Building a Fair Property Regime on the Mainland” South China Morning Post, 19 June 2007 (with Richard Cullen);

Conference Papers and Invited Presentation

  • “The Regulatory Framework of Environmentally Related Tax and Charge System in China” (Columbia University’s Earth Institute, China Sustainability Project Beijing Week, June 28-July 4, 2015) (by invitation);
  • “The Implication of Taxation and Tax Reforms on Government Structures and Legal Principles” (Columbia Law School, April 21, 2015, US);
  • “The Legality and Rationale of Taxation of Non-resident Taxpayers: the Case of China” (Michigan Law School, April 2, 2015, US);
  • “The Divergent Path towards Representative Government and the Rule of Law: the Role of Taxation” (Georgetown Law Centre, March 20, 2015, US);
  • “Enduring Echoes in a Changing Landscape: History of China’s Land Tax” (Western Michigan University Timothy Light Center for Chinese Studies, Keynote Lecture, November 13, 2014, Western Michigan University, US) (by invitation)
  • “Facing the Dilemma: Who Cares about Environmental Taxes” (The 15th Global Conference on Environmental Taxation (GCET), Aarhus University, September 24-26, 2014, Copenhagen, Denmark);
  • “A Historical Account of Taxes on Goods and Services in Post-Socialist China” (Cambridge History of Tax Law Conference 2014, Centre for Tax Law, University of Cambridge Faculty of Law,  June 30-July 1, 2014, Cambridge, UK);
  • “The Impact of International Tax Development on Hong Kong” (National Taiwan University School of Law, May 23, 2014, Taipei, Taiwan) (by invitation);
  • “Tax Development and Institutional Changes” (Harvard Law School Institute for Global Law and Policy, January 3-11, 2014, Doha, Qatar);
  • “Tax Dispute Resolution, Judiciary Independence and Property Rights” (2013 Summer Institute for Law and Economics, University of Chicago Law School, July 16, 2013, Chicago, US);
  • “Achieving More Equitable Development: the Role of Taxation” (Brown International Advanced Research Institute 2013, Brown University, June 17, 2013, Rhode Island, US);
  • “Is a General Anti-tax Avoidance Rule Helpful in Combating Tax Avoidance: the Case of Hong Kong” (Wuhan University School of Law Conference on International Taxation Law and Practice, May 4, 2013, Wuhan, China) (by invitation);
  • “Institutional Evolution and Chinese Tax History” (Australian Commonwealth Treasury, July 26, 2012, Canberra, Australia) (by invitation);
  • “History of China’s Land Tax” (Cambridge History of Tax Law Conference 2012, Centre for Tax Law, University of Cambridge Faculty of Law, July 2-3, 2012, Cambridge, UK);
  • “Tax Rules in Hong Kong’s International Agreements and Their Applications” (Conference on Tax Rules in non-Tax Agreements, The Institute for Austrian and International Tax Law, Vienna University of Economics and Business, July 8-9, 2011, Rust, Austria)