Comparison of Contract General Conditions between United States and China

Document Type


Publication Date



American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

Source Publication

Journal of Architectural Engineering

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In light of the fact that construction projects are expensive, complex, and time-consuming undertakings, a well-written contract that specifies each participant’s duties and obligations is required. Furthermore, a well-written contract with regard to business practice differences between the United States and China is unquestionably needed by American owners, design firms, and construction companies conducting business in China. In response to this industry need, general conditions of construction contracts commonly used in the United States (AIA-A201) and China (GF-1999-0201) have been analyzed and compared. The findings of this research reveal that the content of subclauses in AIA-A201 and GF-1999-0201 is different in several ways. These differences may have been caused by cultural, historical, geographical, political, and language variations that exist between the American and Chinese construction markets. Understanding these differences could help U.S. companies stay competitive and profitable in China.


Accepted version. Journal of Architectural Engineering, Vol. 16, No. 4 (December 2010): 119-125. DOI. © 2010 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Used with permission.

Yong Bai was affiliated with University of Kansas at the time of publication.

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