Different Mediation Traditions: A Comparison Between China and the U.S. – Vol. 16 No. 3-4

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Author: Xiaobing Xu*

Published: July 2007

United States
Dispute Resolution and Litigation


Nothing is permanent but change. – Heraclitus

Shutu Tonggui [reach the same destination via different routes] – Chinese idiom

Mediation is one of the world’s ancient modes of dispute resolution and is believed to be as old as human society itself. It evolved over time and differs from place to place. Today, although mediation is gaining popularity in many parts of the world, it is treated and practiced in a disparate manner. For instance, in the United States, mediation is but one — albeit claimed by some as the most important — of a number of methods of alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”). In contrast, in the People’s Republic of China (the “P.R.C.”), mediation is still percieved by many as the principal, favored means of dispute resolution.

Download Full PDF

*Lecturer of Law, School of Law, Shanghai Jiaotong University. I would like to express my gratitude to my friend and former colleague, George D. Wilson, who has generously provided valuable comments on the drafts of this paper.