Oracle of Delphi: how China’s judiciary divines the notion of ‘financial security’?

Weiping He, Tao Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


In the past few years, the term financial security has been increasingly referred to by politicians in China’s public discourse. This term was meant to broadly denote national security considerations in relation to financial markets. This article draws on and analyses a recent study of 242 Chinese court decisions undertaken by the authors and explores the nature and the extent of the term ‘financial security’ as used in judicial decisions in China. Our research demonstrates that the judiciary makes frequent use of this term even though it is a term which remains to be defined in legislation and regulation. This article offers a means of categorising the manner in which the term financial security is deployed, which may assist in a better understanding of the Chinese courts’ judgments in the contemporary context as well as in the future. It also offers an account of the thinking and motivation behind legal reasoning that assists in gaining an insight into the use and implications of financial security that appear to underpin these decisions. The adoption of the term financial security, similar to the Greek myth of the Delphic Oracles, is indicative of the role played by the courts in the light of the Chinese political system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-350
Number of pages34
JournalEuropean Business Organization Law Review
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Chinese judiciary
  • Financial regulation
  • Financial security
  • Judiciary interpretation
  • Public policy

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