Paul Tsai China Center Welcomes Distinguished Speakers for Inaugural Celebration

Joe Tsai
Yale Law School’s Paul Tsai China Center held an Inaugural Celebration on September 29 and 30 in celebration and appreciation of the extraordinary gift recently given to Yale Law School by its distinguished alumnus Joseph C. Tsai, B.A. ’86, J.D. ’90. Mr. Tsai’s gift of $30 million was given in honor of his father, the late Dr. Paul C. Tsai, LL.M ’54, J.S.D. ’57, to support the Center’s continuing work on Chinese legal reform and U.S.-China relations. In recognition of this gift, the Center has been renamed the Paul Tsai China Center.

Yale Law School welcomed its distinguished alumnus Joseph Tsai as the guest of honor for this special two-day celebration, which also included a presentation by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer. The program commenced Thursday, September 29 with a “Conversation with Joseph C. Tsai” beginning at 4:30 PM in Sterling Law Building Room 129. The conversation was moderated by Professor Paul Gewirtz, Potter Stewart Professor of Constitutional Law and Director of the Paul Tsai China Center. It focused on Joe Tsai’s remarkable career and his experience as co-founder and executive vice chairman of Alibaba Group, the world’s largest e-commerce company. Mr. Tsai discussed his experience as a transformational entrepreneur, bridging law and business, taking risks in one’s career, and doing business in China.

The Inaugural Celebration programming resumed at 9:00 AM on Friday, September 30 in Sterling Law Building Room 129, when U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer came to Yale Law School to speak about the importance of international judicial and legal exchanges and his own role in such exchanges, including in China under auspices of the China Center.


From 10:00 AM to 12:15 PM, there were two panels, reflecting the two core areas of the Paul Tsai China Center’s work: one panel on Chinese legal reform and the other panel on U.S.-China relations. The panels featured such distinguished guests as Professor Jerome A. Cohen of NYU Law School, the preeminent American expert on Chinese law; Paul Tsai China Center Senior Fellow Jamie P. Horsley; former U.S. Ambassador to China J. Stapleton Roy; Stephen S. Roach, Senior Fellow of Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs; and Joseph Tsai himself. The panelists situated the wide-ranging work of the Paul Tsai China Center in the dynamic context of contemporary developments in Chinese law and the U.S.-China bilateral relationship.

The Paul Tsai China Center is the primary home for activities related to China at Yale Law School. Founded in 1999, the Center is a unique institution dedicated to helping advance China’s legal reforms, improving U.S.-China relations, and increasing understanding of China in the United States. This Inaugural Celebration, honoring two of Yale Law School’s most extraordinary alumni, Mr. Joseph C. Tsai and his father Dr. Paul C. Tsai, was open to the Yale Law School community. 

Related: “China Center Receives $30 Million Gift in Honor of Dr. Paul Tsai

A screenshot of a webpage showing a schedule of events for the Inaugural Celebration of the Paul Tsai China Center