A bilateral investment treaty (BIT) is relevant for a particular arbitration case only when the case falls within its scope of application. Normally the scope of application of a treaty includes four aspects: subject matter (ratione materiae), covered persons and entities (ratione personae), territorial application, and temporal application. The Chinese BITs are not an exception to this but they do, however, raise some special, perhaps unique, questions. This chapter deals with the four aspects on the scope of application, with special attention to those issues with “Chinese characteristics”. It also deals briefly with the issue of investment admission, which has been left, by and large, within the discretion of the host state.
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