Research Students
Ms. Rachel Xu QIAN (錢旭)
Working toward a PhD in Laws, expected 2019

Xu’s project examines the international governance and regulation of global sanitation and water services. Her PhD research verges on both international investment law and human rights law, with a focus on the interplay between these bodies of law in the context of international arbitration. Xu’s PhD thesis seeks to provide the first exhaustive analysis of international disputes in the increasingly globalized challenges of water resource allocation. The stakes in arriving at a rational and effective normative regime for international water governance are considerable given the potential for high profits, the development of new technologies and the basic need of all human populations for water access. Her objective is to suggest legal developments that might enable states to better manage the privatization of water services.

Xu’s academic publications include “Is It Finally Time for Asia’s Free Trade Agreements? The ASEAN Present and the RCEP Future” (Vol. 9) Asian Journal of International Law (2019); “Challenges of Water Governance (and Privatization) in China” (Vol. 47) Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law (2018); "Trans-Pacific Partnership: A World Trade Revolution?,” APEC Currents (2016). She is also a contributor to Asia Law Portal which is the leading source of information and insights on the practice of law in the vast Asia-Pacific region. Xu is currently working on a new article which critically examines the application of the proportionality principle across two decades of investment disputes.

Qian Xu was the Hong Kong delegate to the 2018 Young Leaders’ Energy Forum which allowed her to foster her research on the impact of climate change on water services regulation. She also was the team leader of CUHK law team at the Tsinghua Moot (April 2017) which achieved a third place. She also co-organized the 2018 Hong Kong Law Research Postgraduate Symposium. Qian Xu has also presented her work at many academic events including the International Water Association (IWA) Annual Conference (2016), Asia FDI Forum II, III and IV (respectively, May 2016, March 2017 and March 2018), and Loyola (University of Chicago) School of Law on conference on “Rule of Law in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda”.

Qian Xu holds a BA from Heilongjiang University (2012), an LLM from CUHK Law (2014), and a post-graduate diploma from the Academy of International Trade and Investment Law (2015). She is an active member of the Asian Academy of International Law (AAIL).

Thesis Topic

The Emerging Global Economic Regime for Water Services, co-supervised by Professors Julien CHAISSE and Anatole BOUTE.

Research Interests
  • International Investment Law
  • World Trade Law
  • International Human Rights Law
  • International Environmental Law
  • International Arbitration
Selected Publications

Journal Articles

  • Xu QIAN, ‘Is It Finally Time for Asia’s Free Trade Agreements? The ASEAN Present and the RCEP Future’ (9)3 Asian Journal of International Law 2019.
  • Xu QIAN, ‘Challenges of Water Governance (and Privatization) in China-Traps, Gaps, and Law’ 47 (1) The Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law 2018.
  • Xu QIAN, ‘Energy Security and Climate Change in East Asia-Trilateral Cooperation: Towards a Sustainable Future’, Asia Law Portal, 2018.
  • Xu QIAN, ‘Trans-Pacific Partnership: A World Trade Revolution?, Australian APEC Study Centre, August 1, 2016 (with Prof. Julien Chaisse and Mr. Dini Sejko).
  • Xu QIAN, ‘Case report, Peru – Additional Duty on Imports of Certain Agricultural Products, Peru v Guatemala, Report of the Appellate Body, WT/DS457/AB/R; ITL 132 (WTO2015), Oxford Reports on International Law, Oxford University Press, 2015.

Book Chapters

  • Xu QIAN, ‘Preventing Divergences from Becoming Disputes: The Elusive EU-China Investment Negotiations’ in Frank Gaenssmantel & Chien-Huei Wu (Eds) Law and Diplomacy in the Management of EU-Asia Trade Disputes (Routledge) forthcoming 2020.
  • Xu QIAN, ‘The EU Factor in Asia Investment Rule-making: Reset or Recalibration?” in Chester Brown and Mahdev Mohan (Eds) Regulation & Investment Disputes: Asian Perspectives (London: Cambridge University Press) 2019 (with Prof. Julien Chaisse).
  • Xu QIAN, ‘The Right to Water: Water Privatization and Consumer Protection in China’ in Fernando Dias Simões (Ed) ‘The Legal Protection of Consumers: Developing a Market Economy in China’ (Routledge) forthcoming 2019.

Conferences/Papers Delivered
  • Xu QIAN, ‘Conceptualizing Access to Justice in International Investment Law-Revisiting Rawls’s Theory of Justice’, Conference on “Rule of Law in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda”, Loyola (University of Chicago) School of Law, February 1-2, 2019.
  • Xu QIAN, ‘Energy Security and Climate Change in East Asia – Jointly Getting on Track for a More Sustainable Future’ 3rd Young Leaders Forum, Japan Tokyo, (21-22 June 2018).
  • Xu QIAN, ‘2018 Hong Kong Law Research Symposium’, Hong Kong (April 2018).
  • Xu QIAN, ‘Asia FDI Forum IV -Special Economic Zones: Issues and Implications for International Law & Policy’, Hong Kong (22-23 March 2018).
  • Xu QIAN, ‘The Application of Positive-Sum Game Theory in International Investment Arbitration: New Paradigms Developed in Water Disputes’, 2017 Consumer Policy in a comparative Perspective: New Challenges in Chinese, European and International law, the University of Macau, Macau (June 2017).
  • Xu QIAN, ‘Human Rights Counterclaim in Water Related Investment Disputes’, 2017 Hong Kong Law Research Symposium, Hong Kong (April 2017).
  • Xu QIAN, ‘Asia FDI Forum III China-European Union Investment Relationships: Towards a New Leadership in Global Investment Governance?’ (March 2017).
  • Xu QIAN, ‘Chinese University of Hong Kong-Kyoto Workshop’, Kyoto University, Kyoto (March 2017).
  • Xu QIAN, ‘Public Concerns in the Era of Water Privatization: Re-Examination of the Investment Arbitral Awards’, 2017 Legal Research Workshop, National Taiwan University, Taiwan (February 2017).
  • Xu QIAN, ‘How Will Climate Change Impact on Water Scarcity: Price Incentive for the Rationalization of Water uses?’, 2016 Adapting to Climate Change: Water, Waste and Local Infrastructure Conference, Lisbon, Portugal (June 2016).
  • Xu QIAN, ‘The Emerging Global Economic Regime for Water Services: Implications, Tensions and the Way-Forward’, 2015 Global South Workshop, Graduate Institute Geneva at Peking University, Beijing (May 2016).
  • Xu QIAN, ‘Asia FDI Forum II China's Three-Prong Investment Strategy: Bilateral, Regional, and Global Tracks’ (May 2016).
  • Xu QIAN, ‘International Investment Arbitration on Water Disputes: Friends or Foes?’, 2016 Hong Kong Law Research Symposium, Hong Kong (April 2016).
  • Xu QIAN, ‘Human right to Water: From Positive Right to General Exception’, 2016 Chinese University of Hong Kong- Kyoto Workshop, Hong Kong (March 2016).
  • Ph.D. in Laws, The Chinese University of Hong Kong 2019 (Expected).
  • Pearl River Delta Academy of International Trade and Investment Law (PRAIA), Scholarship awarded, 2015.
  • Master of Laws in International Economic Law, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2014.
  • Bachelor of Laws, Heilongjiang University, China, 2012.