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Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui Attends the Meeting Marking the 40th Anniversary of Chinese Society of International Law

2020/11/07

On November 7, 2020, Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui attended the meeting marking the 40th anniversary of Chinese Society of International Law (CSIL) in Beijing, and delivered a speech "Embarking on a New Journey toward the Study and Application of International Law".

At the outset, Luo Zhaohui, on behalf of the Foreign Ministry, extended warm congratulations to the CSIL and international law experts and scholars, and pointed out the CSIL was founded along with the reform and opening up 40 years ago in response to Deng Xiaoping's call for "strengthening the study of international law". Since the introduction of the reform and opening up, China has enhanced its exchanges with the world. In this process, China's international law has developed steadily, and the CSIL has made remarkable achievements:

Over the four decades, the CSIL has maintained national interests, and promoted national development. The CSIL and its experts have contributed their ideas and suggestions from the perspective of international law to major diplomatic work of defending China's sovereignty, security and development interests, including proper settlement of historical problems, such as the return of Hong Kong and Macao to the motherland, border and maritime demarcation, Huguang Railway Bonds Case, solemn representations and compensation claims for American bombing of the Chinese Embassy in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, response to South China Sea arbitration and abusive litigation against China over COVID-19. The CSIL has also provided strong support for China to widely take part in international treaties and mechanisms, deeply integrate into international systems, advance the Belt and Road Initiative, and improve foreign-related legal frameworks.

Over the four decades, the CSIL has helped China build its say and influence in the world. Keeping with international situations, the CSIL has contributed wisdom and proposals to helping China take part in the global governance and make international rules, and transformed China from a "recipient" and a "follower" into a "participant", a "constructor" and even a "forerunner"; it has actively publicized China's concepts and propositions such as the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, and a new model of international relations, demonstrating China's image as a major responsible country; the CSIL has increased exchanges, cooperation, and mutual-learning with other scholars in the world; more and more outstanding Chinese scholars are working at major international law agencies such as the International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the International Law Commission of the United Nations, contributing China's wisdom and power to the development of international law.

Over the four decades, the CSIL has strengthened talent training and capacity-building in international law. Focusing on cultivating, uniting and serving talents, the CSIL has developed the ranks of experts in international law; the international law discipline has witnessed its prosperity with mushrooming colleges, universities and research institutes related to international law; its Chinese-English bilingual academic journal is growing global influence; at the annual academic conference, numerous experts and scholars in international law exchange ideas and insights. Themed with "The Role of International Law in National and Global Governance", the conference this year closely aligns with the international situation, and the strategic plans of the CPC Central Committee. It is believed that bountiful results will be scored.

Luo said, over the four decades, the CSIL has accumulated precious experience that should be absorbed and carried forward. First, ensure the Party's leadership over the work of international law. In the early stage of the reform and opening up, the CPC Central Committee attached great importance to the study of international law. General Secretary Xi Jinping said, "China must apply the rule of law when embracing the world as a major responsible country." The Fourth Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee proposed, "We should strengthen the study and application of international law." The CSIL faithfully implements the strategic plans of the CPC Central Committee on international law, and leverages international law in promoting national development. Second, focus on guaranteeing and facilitating the central tasks of the country. In response to domestic construction and development, the CSIL has improved its work on international law to maintain and expand national interests, and provide legal protection for China's development, playing a significant role in promoting the overall plan for economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological progress and advancing the Four-pronged Strategy. Third, possess a keen awareness of national realities and a global vision. The CSIL not only solves foreign-related law issues in China's development, but also follows the international trends and increases international exchanges, which enriches internal law theories with Chinese charactristics and contributes to the development of contemporary international law.

Luo expressed, amid the once-in-a-century changes, unprecedented pandemic, and China-US competition, the world is witnessing rising de-globalization, unilateralism, and instability and uncertainties. However, respecting international law and maintaining multilateralism still constitute the mainstream of the international community. The international law is playing a more important role in maintaining national interests and improving global governance. Meanwhile, Chinese circle of international law is faced with more challenges and opportunities. The just-concluded Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee proposed, "We should strengthen the building of the foreign-related legal system, and enhance our capability of applying international law." This major strategic deployment, made by the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core in light of keen grasp of the trend of the times and the need of national development, provides an overarching guideline for the work of international law. It is hoped that the CSIL will follow the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, and continue to unite all international law workers to scale new heights in Chinese cause of international law.

First, strengthen theoretical innovation and provide more Chinese proposals for the development of international law. Faced with the non-traditional security challenges brought by global public health crisis such as the COVID-19, we should further study international law and increase international cooperation; responding to headwinds of unilateralism and acts of bullyism, we should provide more public goods in international law, and contribute more Chinese wisdom and practices to global fairness and justice; we should sum up Chinese experience for developing the international law theory with Chinese characteristics; we should leverage the "common language" of international law to interpret and build a community with a shared future for mankind, injecting positive energy for upholding international law and multilateralism.

Second, pool wisdom for major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics in the new era. Troubled with more prominent legal disputes in China's development, we should focus on hotspots such as China-US competition, marine, border and territorial issues, legal assurance for Belt and Road Initiative, as well as emerging fields such as climate change, ocean, outer space, cyberspace, and polar region, providing strong legal support for the major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics in the new era.

Third, increase personnel training and build a world-class talent team. We must have a sense of mission and urgency, and pool nationwide teaching and research resources to cultivate a large number of high-caliber international law talent, and build world-class think tanks to provide stronger wisdom support for China to take part in global governance.

Fourth, increase publicity and education concerning the law. The CSIL, as the only high-end research platform of international law in China, enjoys unique advantages in linking China and the world. Thus, the CSIL shall work hard to make international law more popular and comprehensible for more people, cultivate people's rule of law, and promote rule-based construction.

Finally, Luo added, next year, we will enter into the 14th Five-Year Plan period and march on a new journey toward fully building a modern socialist country. Standing at a new historical starting point, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to support, take part in, guide and serve all the work of the CSIL. We will introduce the research project system and expand exchange forms to make more scientific foreign policies, and enhance our capabilities in study and application of international law, thus contributing to realization of the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation, and the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

This event is co-hosted by China University of Political Science and Law, China Foreign Affairs University, Beijing Institute of Technology, and Beijing Foreign Studies University. Huang Jin, President of the CSIL delivered a speech. Chen Xunqiu, Party Secretary of the China Law Society, and Yang Wanming, Vice President of the Supreme People's Court, also attended and addressed the conference. More than 300 delegates from governments, universities, and other relevant practical departments and research institutes were present at the conference, and more than 500 persons attended the event online.

The CSIL, founded in 1980 and under the leadership of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is a national academic organization registered under the Ministry of Civil Affairs, with its members from international law teaching and research institutions and relevant state organs and practical departments.

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