Answer ... Yes. China is a contracting state to the New York Convention. When acceding to the convention, China made two reservations: the commercial reservation and the reciprocity reservation.
Under the commercial reservation, China limited its recognition and enforcement obligations under the convention to disputes arising from legal relationships that are considered ‘commercial’ under its national law (Article 2 of the Notice of the SPC on Implementing the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards Acceded to by China). The SPC has clarified that ‘commercial’ relationships refer to:
the economic rights and obligations arising from contracts, torts or relevant legal provisions, such as sales of goods, lease of property, project contracting, processing, technology transfer, equity or contractual joint adventure, exploration and development of natural resources, insurance, credit, labor services, agency, consultation services, marine, civil aviation, railway or road passenger and cargo transportation, product liability, environment pollution, marine accidents, and ownership disputes.
Disputes between a foreign investor and the host state government (ie, investor-state disputes) are expressly excluded (id). Accordingly, under current law, Chinese courts are not permitted to enforce investment treaty awards under the New York Convention.
Under the reciprocity reservation, China limited its recognition and enforcement obligations to “arbitral awards made in the territory of another Contracting State” (Article 1 of the Notice of the SPC on Implementing the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards Acceded to by China).
Application of the New York Convention in China was extended to the Special Administration Regions of Hong Kong and Macao in 1997 and 2005, respectively. By virtue of this extension, China’s reservations to the New York Convention were also extended to Hong Kong and Macao.