My forty years struggle for freedom and justice IV
by Thomas Guoting Guo
Chapter IV Struggling for success franticly
4.1 The opportunities and conflicts live together in anytime and everywhere, and fortunes always love those who have prepared well for them. I have lost three chances to read my Master of law degree for my political dissident faith, but I did not stop studying; I was deprived my right for further studying in British by Judicial Ministry four times, I did not give up struggling; I was even deprived twice the rights to take the TOEFL exams for oversea studying; however, I continually reading and thinking day after night. Because I firmly believe that losing one chance, do not mean lost all; there are more opportunities are waiting for me. If one has real talent and true learning, it always has his or her position in a community or society.
4.2 When I lucky enough entry Jilin University law school in September 1980, my Mentor professor Liu Mingchen's wife, political science professor Ms. Qi Wenfang instructed me that " as an Arts students, you must pay more attention to learn literature, history , and philosophy , then you will have a bright and promising career". Thus, I read through Chinese History and the World History, while reading a number of Euro-American novels, my friend Mr. Liu Xiangping, a graduate-student of psychology science, recommend me to con a dozen philosophy , history of ideas , history of legal and political thought works. Although at very beginning, I hardly understand what I read; soon, reading become my most enjoyful entertainment. This period of extensive reading, lying down a sound literature, history, and philosophy foundation, for my future career and studying.
4.3 I learn English through self-taught. During my school years, I only learn few brain-wash political slogan, such as " Long live chairman Mao!" In May 1977, China change its policy of high-education, allowed boys and girls from " black-five" family taking entry exams for university,which forbidden during ten years " great proletarian cultural revolution" . My elder sister Linqiu bought me a full self-study Mathematics, physics and chemistry books , " English Nine Hundred " and four books written by British for Foreigners "Basic English",the contents are stories of zest for true life. Through self-taught of the Basic English, I success my exams for entry Jilin university Law school in 1980.
4.4 My English lecturer Ms. Mong Dongwei once said on class: "There is no shortcut to master English, but one way you might trying, first read through all grade books ( six grade and about a hundred-fifty books), then, read some leading original novels, finally study legal English. I did study my English according to the instruction, during my first year, I read all grade English books in library, second year, read a number of English novels, including Red and Black; Great Expectations;Tess of the D'urbervilles;Gone with the wing;Madame Bovary;War and Peace and Anna Karenina, and in the third year, I started to read Public International Law, Private International Law, International Environment Law, International Commercial Law, most of them published at the end of 20 century, for at that time, even at law school, there are few modern law books in the library. Through extensive reading, I learn some new discipline and feel so joyful. However, due to my paying little attention to grammar, caused my English even today still full of error. My experience proved that my method to learn English is neither scientific nor efficient.Under Mao's communist party 30 years bloody fool-people's policy, there is few qualify professor and lecturers even in the leading university.
4,5 Due to that "psychiatric" storm just before graduation, led my abnormal thinking capacity, which obtain through years extremely hard working, all gone with the wind. Thus, I bought hundred grade English readings, English novels, and legal works, started from beginning again, read through one book after another. Everyday I got up at 5:30 to run or swim, only at midnight went to bed. Three years later, I successfully passed the entry exams for master of law major in International Maritime Law of Shanghai Maritime University.
4.6 "All beginnings are hard" sound truth. My major in law school is International law, it's purpose of education mainly for preparing foreign diplomatic officers, and universities and scientific instituted lecturers and researchers. My two month study-practice was in Shanghai customs, non-business with lawyer's affair, I almost learn nothing about lawyer practice. Due to come from a small mountain county in west-Fujian, I have none relative or classmates or friends resource for benefits as clients, all these made me puzzle how to develop my attorney's business.
4.7 One day at 2 pm in September 1985, a man run into my office, introduced himself as the salesman of Fujian Ningde regional economic and technical cooperation company.Due to the dispute of import 3000 Nissan air conditioner with a Japanese company, and the local lawyers do not know English, can not handle the case, so he come to Fuzhou, the capital city of Fujian province, to engage a lawyer who know English to handle the case. I just finished the legal English training program for University English teachers, from Shanghai east-China Political and law university. By accident I got the privilege to handle such a real foreign case really made me very excited. First I let him brief introduce his case's key points, after reading through the import contract, bills of lading, invoice, marine insurance policy, I told him our law firm are happy to handle the case. We can bring a lawsuit against the seller for his late delivery and penalty, base on the sale contract, or against the carrier for its tort of issuing advanced bills of lading, base upon the marine cargo carrier contract. Then I report to the Director Mr. Tan Chenzhu, of my analysis of the case, He immediately decided he and me will in charge of the case. This is China first advanced bills of lading foreign lawsuit, which later shake the shipping industry, the legal profession, and the theorists at home and abroad.
4.8 I draft a statement of claim and submit to my boss Mr. Tan Chenzhu, then went to Beijing to investigate the air conditioners domestic and international market price, enquire legal issues experts and scholars in Beijing. Majority scholars thought: Chinese court did not have, but Tokyo District Court in Japan have the jurisdiction, it should be apply Japanese law; Advanced bills of lading does not constitute a tort, but constitute a breach of contract. Because the terms of the bills of lading has selected Japanese law as the applicable law, and any controversy caused by the bill of lading should be heard by Tokyo District Court. Only professor Zhu Zenjie back up my argument that the key issue of the case is whether we can control the property of the defendant. If we can constrain their property, it is possible adopt the jurisdiction of Chinese Court although they are not willing.
4.9 Due to lacking basic knowledge of law and experience of practice lawyer, Mr. Tan amend my drafting statement, change the claim from compensation of economic loss to reject cargo and return payment, and asked the Court "审时度势"(manage time and make sound judgment of the situation). The judge apparently was angry by such lesson-language, so he unceremoniously ruling : dismiss the lawsuit ! The reason is that the litigation claim is not established. Since bring a lawsuit against the carrier, of course does not exist the right of rejection of cargo and return the payment, because the payment is base upon sale contract and pay to seller, not base on marine carriage contract paying to the carrier. As the director of the provincial level foreign economic law firm, Mr. Tan almost know nothing of international commercial law or foreign lawyers business.Thanks to Mao's communist party that utterly rooted out all traditional Chinese law and GMD governmental law. In fact, during 1949 to 1979, China have no law at all, the CCP ruling China through party's policy and red-head documents, which full of arbitrary ridicule rules. It is Mr. Tan's amend my drafting statement of claim and change the litigation claim led the judge ruling dismiss the case. It is proved that Tan almost know nothing of basic common knowledge of international trade law, sale and carriage contract, tort etc, legal relationship. He has no even basic knowledge of law, how can he being the director of a foreign economic law firm, you might suspected whether I am make up a story. Unfortunately, such as layman appointed as the leader to manage professions business is common phenomenon for three decade in mainland China. Even today, still lots of judge who never study law, but through three month training become judges in China.