China to fund rule of law for B&R disputes

By Zhang Hui Source:Global Times Published: 2018/7/2 22:58:40

China to open database of treaties to B&R public

The Chinese government will fund legal cooperation programs on the Belt and Road initiative to improve the rule of law of countries involved in the initiative, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Monday.

Wang made the remarks at the opening ceremony of the Forum on the Belt and Road Legal Cooperation in Beijing.

Wang also called on countries involved in the Belt and Road initiative to establish a disputes settlement system and service mechanism including arbitration and mediation to deal with disputes in the initiative. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working on setting up a database of treaties and agreements, so that firms and the general public of the Belt and Road countries have access to them, Wang said. 

Xu Hong, Director-General of the Department of Treaty and Law at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, called on the governments to strengthen cooperation in judicial affairs and law enforcement. "We should speed up negotiating treaties on judicial assistance in civil, commercial and criminal matters as well as treaties on extradition," Xu said on the forum.

Bai Ming, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, told the Global Times that some merchants take advantage of foreign loopholes to avoid being punished due to lenient law systems in some Belt and Road countries.

"It's urgent for Belt and Road countries to sign judicial treaties or law agreements to fill the legal vacuum and reduce legal clashes among different countries," Bai said.

Meanwhile, China needs to invite legal experts from the Belt and Road countries to establish an international arbitration center to deal with disputes, and to make sure that commercial disputes can be resolved fairly and transparently, according to Bai.

The State Council has announced plans to set up two international commercial courts to settle and arbitrate cross-border commercial disputes in the Belt and Road initiative.

One court will be established in Shenzhen,  South China's Guangdong Province, which will deal with disputes in the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, and the second court in Xi'an, capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi Province will deal with issues on the Silk Road Economic Belt, the Xinhua News Agency reported on June 27.

Nearly 90 countries and international organizations have signed Belt and Road initiative cooperation agreements with China so far. China has invested a total of $70 billion in the Belt and Road countries, according to Wang.


Posted in: POLITICS

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