Founded by Professor Paul Gewirtz in 1999 as the China Law Center, the Paul Tsai China Center is the primary home for activities related to China at Yale Law School. The Center is a unique institution dedicated to helping advance China’s legal reforms, contributing to the development of U.S.–China relations, and increasing understanding of China in the United States.
In interaction with research and teaching at Yale, the Paul Tsai China Center works collaboratively with a broad range of top experts in the Chinese government, universities, and civil society on concrete projects designed to have a positive practical impact. Our Center has an established track record in helping to further a broad range of legal reforms in China. Cooperative projects have focused particularly on issues of judicial reform, administrative and regulatory reform, antidiscrimination, criminal justice, and other aspects of public interest law. Projects involve a range of activities, including workshops and seminars in the United States and China, research visits to Yale and to China, and books or articles by Chinese or U.S. scholars.
The Center’s work also includes a range of efforts on U.S.–China relations more broadly, including analyzing and recommending U.S. government policies and leading dialogues with Chinese counterparts that bring together former senior government officials and top experts from both countries to address a broad range of economic, security, and political issues in the U.S.–China relationship. Areas of focus include multilateral diplomacy with U.S. allies and partners, technology and trade policy, Asia-Pacific regional security issues, and human rights policies, among others. The Center also hosts top Chinese and U.S. scholars and policy practitioners at Yale as guests and visiting scholars who produce original research and interact with the broader Yale community.
In 2016, Yale Law School received an extraordinary gift of $30 million in honor of its distinguished alumnus, the late Dr. Paul C. Tsai, ’54 LL.M , ’57 J.S.D., to support the continuing work of the China Center. This generous gift was given by Paul Tsai’s son, Joseph C. Tsai, Yale College, B.A. ’86; Yale Law School, J.D. ’90. In recognition of this gift, the Center was renamed the Paul Tsai China Center.
The Director of the Paul Tsai China Center is Professor Paul Gewirtz. Prior to establishing the Center in 1999, Professor Gewirtz was on leave from Yale University from 1997–1998 and was a part of President Bill Clinton’s administration, where he served as Special Representative for the Presidential Rule of Law Initiative at the U.S. Department of State. In that post, he developed and led the U.S.–China initiative to cooperate in the legal field that President Clinton and China’s President Jiang Zemin launched at their October 1997 Summit.