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Chinese law firm De Heng is opening an office in Holland this week - making it the first-ever Chinese firm to set up in Europe.
The firm aims to offer multinational companies a seamless service in dealings between the East and West.
Beijing-based De Heng plans further westward expansion in the near future, including an office in London by the end of 2000.
Its clients are mainly Chinese companies hoping to gain listings on European stock exchanges. But it also services large western multinationals, such as COMPAQ.
Guoping Pan, managing director of the new Dutch practice, says: "We are going to open offices all over Europe including England. We will open an office there at the end of 2000. This is just the beginning. We decided to set up in The Hague because it is the centre of EU law, which is the centre of international law.
"We specialise in stock exchange and general company law.
"We are going to be a bridge between China and Europe. Our clients include companies from all over the world. We have key clients such as Chinese firms in Spain."
The firm believes it will also be in a strong position to offer advice on Chinese legal affairs to European companies.
Li Wang, director of De Heng in China, says: "Since the opening of China to the world, trade and investments have grown rapidly. De Heng anticipates a second boom between China and Europe with China's upcoming entry into the World Trade Organisation."
De Heng has offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong. Its practice in The Hague will have five partners.