Much work remains to be done in China's transition from rule of personality to rule of law, a top legal economist said yesterday. Speaking at the China-Asia Forum, Professor Dong Fureng said that China had promoted many new laws in recent years, but there was room to improve, both in terms of quality and application. According to Professor Dong, a vice-chairman of the Economic and Finance Committee of the National People's Congress, as many as 115 proposed laws were to be passed by the legislative body in its current session. By the end of May, 61 had been examined and 51 adopted. Professor Dong said legislators often had difficulty striking a balance between a good law and what was practical in reality. Bridging the gap between Chinese legislation and foreign laws was also a problem. He said while lawmakers sometimes took foreign legislation into their consideration, they could not afford to lose sight of China's domestic situation. In addition, striking a balance between different parties was another headache for legislators, he said. 'As a result, it is quite common that we have to compromise,' he said. The result was that some laws turned out to non-binding, or were purely for policy purposes, he added. Perhaps the biggest obstacle, according to the professor, was the application of a law. He said the departments entrusted to implement the laws often turned out to be the ones which broke them. Using a 1993 resolution governing the sales of counterfeit goods as an example, Professor Dong said some departments violated the resolution and oversaw the production and sale of these products. The lack of legal consciousness among the general public and government officials in particular was a key factor behind the poor application of laws in China, Professor Dong said.