The President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, visited Finland on April 4-6, 2017. During the visit, several agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoU) were signed in the fields of investment and commerce, innovation, and technology. Among the agreements, a MoU signed between the Universities Finland (UNIFI), a co-operational organisation for Finnish universities, and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), an important Chinese think tank which trains researchers and is also involved in drafting laws for the People’s Republic of China, was especially significant from the Center’s perspective. The MoU aims to strengthen cooperation between CASS and Finnish Universities, enabling further bilateral agreements between Finnish universities and CASS, and its 35 institutions. The enduring cooperation between CASS and the China Law Center from its creation in 2013 has been unique, and is a significant achievement not only in Finland, but in the whole of Europe.
The China Law Center, together with the University of Helsinki, had the great pleasure to host the CASS delegation at the facilities of the UH Faculty of Law. The President of the University of Helsinki, Prof. Jukka Kola, the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Prof. Kimmo Nuotio, and the Director of the China Law Center, Prof. Ulla Liukkunen received the President of CASS, Prof. Wang Weiguang, with his delegation on April 5, 2017. The CASS delegation also included Mr. Fang Jun, Dr. Wang Lei, Prof. Chen Su, Prof. Huang Qunhui, and Ms. Shi Xuehua.
Both sides emphasized the strong history of collaboration between CASS, the UH and the China Law Center. In presenting the Center’s activities, Prof. Liukkunen introduced the numerous successful projects and publications that have resulted from the cooperation between the two institutions and their researchers, including a project that was jointly led by Prof. Liukkunen and Prof. Chen Su, Deputy Director General of the Institute of Law. The resulting publication has been a forerunner in its field. Prof. Liukkunen also introduced the volume “China and ILO Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work,” (eds Ulla Liukkunen and Chen Yifeng) which, after its publication, became a best-seller Kluwer title in the field of law. Prof. Chen Su, a long-time research partner of the China Law Center, reinforced the significance of CASS-China Law Center cooperation by noting the long history of cooperation. Prof. Su also emphasized the importance of having so many aspects included in the joint publications. He reminded that the rule of law has developed rapidly in China, and advice from international scholars has been welcomed.
In addition to acknowledging past achievements, the discussion focused on the prospects of deepening cooperation, including widening the scope to new fields, and expanding towards more international cooperation through the China Law Center. Especially Nordic cooperation was discussed, and the good potential of the Finnish China Law Center to deepen Nordic collaboration was noted. The importance of continuing existing modes of cooperation and the great prospects of further strengthening cooperation were emphasized, both with the China Law Center and the University of Helsinki.
Author: Cristina Juola