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The First Session of the Belt and Road Legal Cooperation Research and Training Program Opens in Beijing

2019/10/14

On October 14, 2019, the opening ceremony of the first session of the Belt and Road Legal Cooperation Research and Training Program was held at the Blue Hall of the Foreign Ministry. Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui attended and addressed the function. The opening ceremony was presided over by Director-General of the Department of Treaty and Law of the Foreign Ministry Jia Guide, and attended by Vice President of China Foreign Affairs University Sun Jisheng.

Luo Zhaohui expressed, since President Xi Jinping put forward the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative six years ago, the Belt and Road Initiative has produced fruitful achievements, gained greater support and benefited a growing number of countries. In April this year, the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was successfully held, marking the new stage of the high-quality construction of the Belt and Road Initiative. The Chinese side is actively working on the network of relevant treaties, reinforcing legal exchanges, and building a cooperation platform with relevant countries along the Belt and Road. Such efforts will provide more solid and institutional safeguard for Belt and Road cooperation and make the Belt and Road a road of rule of law.

Luo Zhaohui stressed, since ancient times, expansion, colony and aggression has never been in the genes of the Chinese. Through the ancient Silk Road, the Chinese brought trade, peace and prosperity to other countries rather than opium, colony and war. The so-called "China threat" intentionally invented by some certain countries are groundless. And China should not be accused of "new colonialism".

Luo Zhaohui proposed the following for the students. The first is to strengthen exchanges and mutual learning and carry forward the Silk Road spirit. The ancient Silk Road is featured by exchanges among civilizations as well as mutual learning. From the perspective of rule of law, countries along the Belt and Road follow different legal systems such as continental legal system, common law system and Islamic law system with diversified law traditions and cultures. As all parties have insightful views about the Belt and Road legal cooperation and issues regarding international law, it is hoped that all trainees will strengthen exchanges through the training program, share good practices and enhance mutual understanding and trust.

The second is to improve capacity and promote coordination of rules. Countries in the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative are mostly developing countries, therefore they eagerly expect to enhance their own capability and participate in international governance. We hope all trainees will take the training program as an opportunity to study the legal issues in the Belt and Road cooperation in an in-depth way. Joint efforts should be made to improve capacity, deepen the "soft connectivity" of laws and rules in such areas as trade, investment, finance, taxation, transportation and environmental protection, and build a compatible highway of rules, so as to ensure a stable legal framework for the Belt and Road cooperation.

The third is to adhere to multilateralism and safeguard fairness and justice. Today's world is facing increasing instabilities and uncertainties with unilateralism, hegemonism and protectionism on the rise. A country is so good at flip-flops and withdrawals, wantonly ignites trade wars and adopts maximum pressure. Amid the complex circumstances, the international community should make more efforts to safeguard multilateralism, uphold the international system centered on the United Nations (UN) and the international order underpinned by international law, give play to the role of stabilizer of international law in international relations, and push together the rule of law in international relations.

Luo Zhaohui stressed, the Belt and Road Initiative is an important component of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, and also a major practice platform for mutual learning, common development and advancement of the building of a community with a shared future for mankind for China and the world under the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy. The Chinese side will continue to take Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy as guidance, uphold the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, pursue an open, green and clean concept, endeavor to realize the goal of high standard, people-centered and sustainable development, and promote the high-quality of the Belt and Road cooperation. The Chinese side will forge a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation, build a community with a shared future for mankind and build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity..

Officials for the Belt and Road legal affairs from over 20 countries including Pakistan, Belarus, Egypt, Turkey, Serbia, Madagascar, Ethiopia, Malaysia and Sri Lanka, officials of relevant embassies in China, officials of the National People's Congress and National Development and Reform Commission and teachers and students of China Foreign Affairs University were present at the opening ceremony. The training program was proposed by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the opening ceremony of the first Forum on the Belt and Road Legal Cooperation in July, 2018, and was included in the List of Deliverables of the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in April this year. The training program is hosted by the Foreign Ministry and organized by China Foreign Affairs University, and its courses covers China's practice of international law, China's judicial system, international trade law and Belt and Road legal cooperation. The 11-day training program will be held from October 14 to 25 in Beijing and Xi'an.

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