Temple Law’s
History in China

Temple University has a long history of engagement with China, especially
following China’s opening in the late 1970’s. Of particular significance,
Temple University granted Mr. Deng Xiaoping an honorary Doctor of Law degree
in 1979, beginning a process of cooperation that continues to the present.

Building on this important beginning, China’s President Jiang Zemin met with the President of Temple University in Philadelphia in 1997 and encouraged Sino-US cooperation in legal education. The following year a Temple University delegation headed by then-President Peter Liacouras visited Beijing and was received by President Jiang Zemin in Zhongnanhai, Beijing.

As a result of these high-level exchanges, in 1999 Temple launched a Master of Laws program at the China University of Politics and Law in Beijing, the first foreign degree granting legal education program to be approved by the PRC Ministry of Education and the State Council’s Office of Academic Degrees.


Temple Awards Mr. Deng Xiaoping Honorary Doctor of Law Degree
Temple Visits Beijing
Temple Launches Master of Laws Program
Beijing LL.M. Program Moves to Tsinghua University
Dean Reinstein Awarded China Government Friendship Award
Temple Law School Signs New Cooperation Agreements
Temple-Tsinghua LL.M. Program Celebrates 10th Anniversary
Temple-Tsinghua LL.M. Program Celebrates 15th Anniversary
Temple-Tsinghua LL.M. Program Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Subsequently, in 2001, the Beijing LL.M. program moved to Tsinghua University, one of China’s premier universities, where it has been operating successfully to the present. As of 2023, there are more than 900 program graduates throughout China.

In recognition of his contributions, Robert Reinstein, Vice President of Temple University and Dean of Temple University Beasley School of Law, was awarded the China Government Friendship Award and was received by Premier Zhu Rongji in 2003.

The same year, experts organized by the National Degree and Postgraduate Education Development Center conducted an evaluation of the Temple-Tsinghua LL.M. program. The assessment report stated that the program had achieved remarkable outcomes, including having improved the capacity of legal practitioners in China and having advanced the development of China’s legal system.

In 2008, Temple Law School signed new cooperation agreements with the Supreme People’s Court, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, Tsinghua University, and East China University of Political Science and Law, furthering the reach and influence of Temple Law in China.

The Temple-Tsinghua LL.M. program celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2009. Zhang Jianguo, Deputy Director of the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, JoAnne Eppes, Dean of Temple Law School, and Robert Reinstein, former Vice President of Temple University and former Dean of Temple Law School, participated in the anniversary events.

Another milestone was reached in 2014, when the Temple-Tsinghua LL.M. program celebrated its 15th anniversary. Neil Theobald, President of Temple University, visited Tsinghua University and was received by Xue Qikun, Vice President of Tsinghua University.

In 2019 the Temple-Tsinghua LL.M. program celebrated its 20th anniversary, during which visit Temple University President Richard Englert was received by Tsinghua President Qiu Yong. Temple Law School Dean Emeritus Robert Reinstein and members of Temple University Board of Trustees joined the graduation ceremony and celebratory events.

In 2022, Temple and Tsinghua signed a new five-year agreement to restructure the LLM program as a dual degree program, enabling Tsinghua LLM and Juris Master students to take Temple classes during the second year of their three-year degree, thus obtaining two master’s degrees in three years.