in Kuala Lumpur Much work remains to be done in China's transition from the rule of personality to the rule of law, a top legal economist said yesterday. Speaking at the China-Asia Forum, Professor Dong Fureng said that although China had promoted many new laws in recent years, 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 due to be passed by the legislative body in its current session. By the end of May, 61 had been examined and 51 adopted, he said. Professor Dong acknowledged that many laws had been 'held up' because of conflicting opinions, 'even within the NPC'. Bridging the gap between Chinese legislation and foreign laws was also a problem, he said. While lawmakers sometimes took foreign legislation into 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. 'It is quite common that, due to the different opinions and interests of each party, we have to compromise.' The result was that some laws turned out to be non-binding, or were purely for policy purposes. Professor Dong said that sometimes government departments and ministries simply ignored legislation already agreed by the NPC and carried out their own amendments. Perhaps the biggest obstacle, he said, was the application of a law, because the departments entrusted to implement them 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.