Experts Discuss China's Practice of Rule of Law in China

On August 30th, the “Symposium on China’s Practice of International Law” hosted by the Institute of International Law of Wuhan University was held in Wuhan. Nine international law experts from five universities in China delivered keynote speeches on China’s international rule of law practice, trade war between China and the United States and other issues.


Shen Zhuanghai, Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee of Wuhan University, delivered a speech. He said that the theme of this Symposium focuses on China and the international rule of law, which has a special significance at present. In recent years, anti-globalization, populist trends, and unilateralism have become more and more popular in Western countries. On the other hand, relevant Western countries, especially the United States, continue to accuse China of not complying with international rules, failing to fulfill its obligations under the World Trade Organization, and being the destroyer of the international legal order. Therefore, we need to distinguish whether China complies with international rules and whether the US’s unilateral practice conforms to international rules.


The theme of the first session of the Symposium is “China Contribution to the International Rule of Law”. Professor Zhang Hui, Deputy Director of the Institute of International Law of Wuhan University, made a special report. Zhang Hui believes that since the founding of New China, especially since the start of reform and opening up, China has made its own unique contribution to promoting the rule of law development of the international community. China has actively participated in and promoted the development of international legislation in a democratic, fair and reasonable direction, and promoted universal security at the global and regional levels by actively participating in international peacekeeping operations. At the same time, China has creatively and peacefully resolved the Hong Kong and Macao issue and other international disputes, and made important contributions to maintaining international and regional peace, security, stability, and the realization of the internationalrule of law.


The theme of the second session is " inspection of China's WTO obligations".

Professor Kong Qingjiang, Dean of the School of International Law at China University of Political Science and Law, pointed out in his report entitled "Inspection of China's Compliance of WTO Rules", since China's accession to the WTO, it has fulfilled all the provisions and obligation under the WTO Protocol and the WTO Agreement.


Professor Qi Tong of the Institute of International Law of Wuhan University also believes that China has fulfilled its international obligation in the investment field. In the report entitled “Inspection of China's International Commitments in the Field of Investment”, Professor Qi Tong pointed out that taking the service industry as an example, China has widely opened its service market to the outside world.


Professor Nie Jianqiang, Deputy Director of the Institute of International Law at Wuhan University, pointed out in his report entitled "Inspection of China's International Commitments in the Field of Intellectual Property Protection" that there is no evidence of compulsory transfer of technology in China. The Chinese government has no policy or practice of forcing technology transfer of foreign-invested enterprises.


In the report entitled "Analysis of the Implementation of China's WTO Dispute Settlement", Professor Zuo Haicong, Vice President of the China Law Society WTO Law Research Institute and professor of the School of Law of the University of International Business and Economics, stressed that China is a model for implementing WTO rulings. Since China's accession to the WTO to August 21, 2018, there have been 43 cases as defendant, 11 of which have faced unfavorable rulings in the implementation of the WTO. China has implemented these rulings. When it comes to the reasons for China's implementation of the WTO's unfavorable rulings, Zuo Haicong believes that first, China has a fine tradition of abiding by international commitments and obligations; second, China has fewer violations of WTO rules, and its pressure to enforce unfavorable rulings is relatively small; Third, in terms of execution motives, China considers national interests, but more on fulfilling its international obligations and maintaining its international reputation.


Professor He Xiaoyong from the School of Law of East China University of Political Science and Law pointed out in the report entitled "The Conformity of China's Industrial Subsidy Policy and WTO", the main obligation of China under the WTO framework on subsidies stems from the "Agreement on Countervailing Measures in the WTO". China has cancelled export subsidies and import substitution subsidies when it entered the WTO. The United States accused China of implementing “prohibited subsidies” and “import subsidies” in the past. These issues have been resolved through consultations before entering the WTO dispute settlement mechanism.

The theme of the third session is “International Law Analysis of Unilateral Trade Measures in Sino-US Trade Friction”.

Professor Zhang Qinglin, Dean of the School of Law of Shanghai University of International Business and Economics, delivered a report entitled “the United States has no legal basis for determining China as a “currency manipulator”. He believes that the United States accuses China of being a "currency manipulator" without any basis. The “currency manipulator” can only be determined by the IMF in accordance with the Fund Agreement and related decisions. The IMF’s supervisor of the RMB exchange rate arrangement has never come to the conclusion of “manipulation” or “fundamental imbalance”.


Professor Huang Zhixiong, Deputy Dean of the School of Law of Wuhan University, pointed out in the report entitled "Illegality of unilateral trade measures of the United States". It is illegal for the United States to provoke and upgrade trade wars. The 232 measures adopted by the United States are nominally aimed at products, not targeting a specific country, but the implementation process has exempted many countries and almost made China the only restricted country. These practices clearly violate the WTO MFN principle.

Professor Xiao Yongping, Director of the Institute of International Law at Wuhan University, said in his report entitled " the international law basis for China’s insistence of ‘unwilling to fight, not afraid to fight, and has to fight’ strategy, "unwilling to fight" reflects China's good wish to insist on the principle of international law featuring cooperation and mutual benefit and safeguard the multilateral trading system; "not afraid to fight" highlights China's basic stance against international illegal activities and the promotion of new international relations; "has to fight when necessary" reflects China's strategic choice to safeguard its core interests and the overall interests of international community in accordance with international law.


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