CUHK Greater China Legal History Seminars 2019

On 11 January 2019, the Faculty of Law of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (“CUHK Law”) hosted the Greater China Legal History Seminar on “The Currency of China Trade in Asia from the 15th Century” by Adjunct Associate Professor Judith Sihombing, attracting more than a hundred participants to attend.

At the seminar, Professor Sihombing introduced the development of various forms of naval trade from and to as well as within Southeast Asia up to the 16th century. Following an introduction on the different countries involved and the commodities they were trading, the seminar explained the different forms of trading, related currency issues as well as the backgrounds and governing regimes. Starting from pure barter trade in the early days, traders later used precious metals (for large amounts) and paper money for payment purposes. Paper money became out of fashion, however, due to oversupply and the related decline in value. A major development took place when Spain managed to produce high value silver coins in Mexico. Spanish dollars became the standard currency in naval trade not only in Southeast Asia, but e.g. also in China thus making China’s purchasing power dependent on the fluctuating silver value.

For more details, watch the seminar video at the CUHK Law website:

Upcoming CPD seminar on 22 February 2019

The next Greater China Legal History Seminar on “Chinese Shipwrecks, Treasure Hunters and the History of Underwater Cultural Heritage Regimes” will be presented by Professor Steven Gallagher at the CUHK Graduate Law Centre on 22 February 2019. The seminar will introduce the history of shipwrecks and salvage, the law of protection and recovery of wrecks in Hong Kong, issues in South East Asia including the great porcelain treasures, as well as China and underwater cultural heritage law. It will conclude by discussing the future for law and policy in China, Hong Kong and South East Asia, with a Q&A session at the end.

The Law Society of Hong Kong has awarded 1.5 CPD points to this seminar. To attend, please register via before 5pm, 21 February.


Professor Judith Sihombing.

Professor Judith Sihombing (middle), with organisers of the Greater China Legal History Seminar Series, Professor Lutz-Christian Wolff (left) and Professor Steven Gallagher (right).

More than a hundred of participants attended the seminar on 11 January 2019.