Prof. Kimmo Nuotio giving guest lecture on Methodology of Criminal Law Theory: Art, Politics or Science? at PKU Law School

On 29 October 2022, Professor Kimmo NuotioBoard Member of the Finnish China Law Center held a guest lecture on Methodology of Criminal Law Theory: Art, Politics or Science? as part of the PKU Law School Distinguished Global Faculty Lecture series. The lecture discussed the role of the general doctrines of penal liability in the criminal law theorising.

In 2021, Professor Nuotio published the edited volume “Methodology of Criminal Law Theory: Art, Politics or Science?”  together with Professor Shin Matsuzawa. In his presentation, Professor Nuotio told the story behind this book and introduced some ideas that had come up in the different chapters. One debate concerns the issues was whether we should abandon a normativist approach and move towards a more realist and even causalist understanding of law as the Scandinavian Realists suggested a few decades ago.

He especially discussed the different paths of development as regards the conceptual understanding of the crime, which is a summary of the understanding of the comprehensive system of the different prerequisites of penal liability. He also made some remarks on this search for a concept of crime in a comparative setting.

The German doctrine stands for many as the most progressive and as the ideal model which has been discussed or even copied in many countries. But can it be copied? Professor Nuotio commented on the discussion from a Finnish point of view. The Finnish story tells that a long-term German influence was interrupted after the World War II, and when the connections were built again in the 1980’s, this did not lead to a transfer and direct adoption of German ideas, but rather to a birth of a genuine Finnish doctrine which is related to the German one but which is more pragmatic.  In the Finnish case the development of the national doctrines was linked to the need to modernise the outdated text-books as well as the need to be able to serve the legislature which was about to reform the so-called general part of the Penal Code. German criminal law theory was not he only source of inspiration, since also Swedish and other Nordic law was relevant and served as a point of reference. Also the case law of the Supreme Court of Finland played a role since the doctrine had to be compatible with it as well.

In Finland a legal reform of the general part of the Penal Code was completed in 2004. The provisions on penal liability are more detailed and comprehensive than the original ones included in the general part of the Penal Code of 1889, thus serving the interests of legal certainty as suggested by the criminal law principle of legality. The criminal law principle of legality itself had become listed as one of the fundamental rights of the individual in the Finnish constitution.

Why and How Do We Study Chinese Law in Our Times

On 8 September, the Finnish China Law Center held an informal meeting between Björn Ahl, Professor and Chair of Chinese Legal Culture at the University of Cologne and students and researched at the Faculty of Law. This talk was titled as ‘Why and How Do We Study Chinese Law in Our Times’.

The talk highlighted various topics relevant to the students interested in Chinese law: current challenges, the features of Chinese legal system, and many aspects of academic cooperation between Western universities and China. Not least due to China’s zero-Covid strategy, the loss of physical access to Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan has caused damage to academic world. Practitioners and scholars have lost a way to discuss and conduct interviews with each other and the access to primary sources has been limited or made more difficult as a result. In the long run, this isolation might even lead to the lack of interest in the subject by younger researchers if longer stays are not possible.

However, the talk also shined some light on possible career prospects that remain for European students of Chinese law. China and developments of Chinese law will be influential for Europe as well, and despite the current challenges, Chinese markets remain as the most attractive in terms of long-term growth. This indicates why there is an urgent need of expertise on Chinese law in Europe.

Cooperation will not be easy. Academic freedom is limited in China and censorship of research publications is constantly taking place. Demand for cooperation still exists and some speculate Singapore’s development into a center of Chinese law research. For Europe, however, the most crucial thing remains to be the co-ordination of teaching and research of academic institutions in Europe. In any event, cooperation continues to be desired.

The blogpost was written by the Center’s intern, Samppa Penttinen.

Online Seminar: The Social Credit System in China

On 17 November 2022, the Finnish China Law Center will hold an online seminar on the topic of ‘The Social Credit System in China ‘. The event is part of the Center’s new mini seminar series on topical issues of Chinese law.

The speakers include Björn Ahl, Professor and Chair of Chinese Legal Culture at the University of Cologne and President of the European China Law Studies Association, and Marianne von Blomberg, Research Associate at the Chair of Chinese Legal Culture, University of Cologne. The event will discuss the legality of social credit in China and reputational regulation through the social credit system.

The seminar programme can be found here.

The event is free and open to all. Zoom link for the event will be sent to registered participants.

We kindly ask you to register by 15 November by completing the following electronic form: 

Background of the presentations

Debating the Legality of Social Credit in China – A Review of Chinese Legal Scholarship

Though there is a vast amount of critical English language literature on the Chinese social credit system (社会信用体系, ‘SCS’) that implies violations of legal principles and rights of private actors, Chinese legal scholarship that analyses the legality of SCS practices has so far not been a focal point of the international literature investigating the SCS. The presentation attempts to fill this gap and demonstrates that the Chinese legal debate is resolutely critical of certain aspects of the SCS. Further, the legal debate provides substantial input to SCS development and to related future legal reforms. In some cases, legal discussions even go beyond doctrinal legality analysis as they identify an emerging data-driven mode of behavioural regulation that may supersede, set aside or replace the law.

Reputational Regulation through the Social Credit System

China’s Social Credit System (SCS) formalizes reputational regulation, thereby challenging traditional remedial paths. The SCS adds trust assessments and their dissemination to the regulatory repertoire of Chinese state agencies across all realms. This use of adverse publicity, however, entails the loss of the agency’s control over the scope and intensity of the punishment as the punitive action is realized by information recipients, rather than the agency itself. However, traditional legal controls are not fit for shaming. Legal remedies for social credit shaming measures are regularly denied, as their position in the law is unclear. Other existing remedial channels likewise do not consider the particularities of shame sanctions such as irreversibility. Social credit reputational regulation might best be controlled by formulating an agency practice that retains the control over the scope of punishment.

About the speakers

Björn Ahl is Professor and Chair of Chinese Legal Culture at the University of Cologne. Currently, he is a Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Law of Helsinki University. His research in Chinese law focuses on constitutional development, in particular on judicial reforms and rights litigation. Chinese practice of public international law, comparative law, legal transfers and legal culture, which are related to Greater China and Chinese legal development are further areas of his research. He is President of the European China Law Studies Association. He received a Ph.D. in Law from Heidelberg University and studied law and Chinese language at the University of Heidelberg and the University of Nanjing. 

Marianne von Blomberg is a Research Associate and PhD candidate at the Chair of Chinese Legal Culture where she explores how the evolving Social Credit Systems strengthen, transform, and challenge the law. Her current research focuses on reputational sanctions in social credit systems and social credit’s genealogy. In her dissertation, she observes the case of China’s Social Credit System to unearth how trust assessment systems in both governance and the market affect the functioning and role of traditional legalities. Marianne holds an LL.M degree from Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, a BA in Communication and Cultural Studies from Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen and previously spent a year at the Law School of City University of Hong Kong as a visiting researcher.

Understanding Law with Chinese Characteristics

On 16 September 2022, the Finnish China Law Center hosted a hybrid seminar on the topic of ‘Understanding Law with Chinese Characteristics’. This event was part of the Center’s mini seminar series on topical issues of Chinese law.

On the left: Professor Ronald Brown, 16 September 2022

The seminar consisted of two presentations. The first was by Ronald Brown, Law Professor at the University of Hawai’i Law School and was titled as ‘Chinese Labor Practices, Treaties, Uyghurs, and CAI: Keeping Promises’. In his presentation, Professor Brown was speculating whether Chinese labor policies have shifted towards international standards or is it just that China is changing without change. The presentation examined the latter by calling attention to China’s many reservations of its signed and ratified international agreements.

The debate on Uyghurs have hampered China’s relationship with the West in the recent years. This issue was also raised in the presentation by Professor Brown who pointed out the different language used by the two sides: the West accuses China of ‘genocide’ while China constantly refers to the re-education camps which are needed in the thought-reform of the Uyghurs. The EU-China CAI might be pending, but the US’ new 2022 Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act and EU countries’ Due Diligence laws were brought up as new legislation to watch for. Professor Brown concluded his presentation with recent comments by the UN Human Rights Committee that, for China, made an unfavorable assessment of the situation.


From left to right: Professor Martin Lavička, Professor Julie Yu-Wen Chen and Professor Ulla Liukkunen, Director of the Finnish China Law Center, Helsinki, 16 September 2022

The second presentation of the day was presented by Martin Lavička, Assistant Professor at Department of Asian Studies at Palacky University Olomouc, and Julie Yu-Wen Chen, Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Helsinki. The duo discussed the topic of ‘Recent Developments of the Rule of Law with Chinese Characteristics’. Like Professor Brown, this presentation was also opened with a rationale on China’s international law standards before moving onto the on-going discussion about rule of law in China.

The core of the presentation focused on the development of religious freedoms under Xi Jinping. The assessment included a look on the recent administrative measures which, in summary, imply growing control of the party-state. Religious groups are set to function in accordance with the CCP’s ideologies. Assistant Professor Lavička and Professor Chen noted that this process started long before Xi and is set to continue in these times when the CCP’s tolerance to any contesting ideologies is becoming lesser. The duo concluded the presentation by an observation that the convergence of law-in-practice and law-in-books, considering China’s recent developments, may not always be a good thing.

The blogpost was written by the Center’s intern, Samppa Penttinen.

International Law in Chinese Courts

On Tuesday 6 September 2022, Björn Ahl, Professor and Chair of Chinese Legal Culture at the University of Cologne and President of the European China Law Studies Association, gave a guest lecture at the Finnish China Law Center. The topic of his presentation was ‘International Law in Chinese Courts’.

Professor Björn Ahl, Helsinki, 6 September 2022

The lecture discussed Chinese law and legal scholarship on the domestic effects of international law, application of international law by Chinese courts, Chinese courts’ interpretation of international law and domestic law and Chinese courts’ participation in international norm-making.

The Chinese Constitution does not stipulate the effects of international law within the domestic legal system. However, ordinary legislation and judicial interpretations of the Supreme People’s Court include enabling clauses that mandate the direct application of international law under certain conditions . However, in recent years, provisions that refer to international law were removed from legislation which signals that international treaties have become less relevant for domestic courts. General observations of Chinese scholarship shows that domestic courts display a conservative attitude towards international law and often hesitate to apply treaty provisions.

Professor Ahl went on to examine application of international law by Chinese courts especially in case of IP, human rights, double taxation avoidance  and diplomatic and consular treaties, as well as their interpretation of international law. He observed that domestic courts have developed a consistent practice of directly applying over 30 international treaties to disputes about IP, international trade, maritime commerce and international air and rail transport as well as judicial assistance in civil and criminal matters. Chinese courts increasingly rely on the principle of consistent interpretation. However, courts in general do not apply international treaties that constrain executive organs of the State.

Concerning Chinese courts’ participation in international norm-making, Professor Ahl noted that overall party-state  policy encourages Chinese state organs to participate actively in the formulation of international norms and to strengthen discourse power and influence in international legal affairs. Domestic court decisions may have the effect of confirming rules of international law or give them a novel interpretation that may trigger protest or acquiescence by other states. Only if domestic court decisions are noticed, persuasive and endorsed by other states, courts, international organizations or codifying bodies, they may exercise certain influence on the complex processes of the development of international law.

Doctoral defence: Equality in law ensures the fulfillment of fundamental rights in China, Pia Eskelinen, 9 September 2022

M.Sc. (Admin.) Pia Eskelinen will present her dissertation on the legal status of women in China, especially regarding land rights in rural areas, for public review on 9 September 2022 at 12:00. The The public examination will take place at University of Turku, Calonia 1.

The public examination can also be followed remotely at

Docent Anja Lahtinen (University of Helsinki) will serve as opponent and Dean Johanna Niemi (University of Helsinki Faculty of Law) as the custos. The event will be held in Finnish.


In recent years, Chinese society has progressively begun to be defined by Confucian values and society’s interference with media freedom. This has also affected the working /operational environment of Chinese women. In her doctoral thesis, Eskelinen examines the legal status of rural Chinese women and women’s legal position in Chinese society. The thesis shows that the application of legislation in China has become more unequal, with women and their basic rights being placed in a more disadvantageous position.

Eskelinen uncovers what the legal status of rural Chinese women is in relation to land rights. Alongside this question, Eskelinen considers and examines more in general, the question of women’s legal status and the equal status of women in Chinese society and how President Xi Jinping’s political discourse has affected the status of women in China.

News concerning the Chinese rural women often goes unnoticed due to bigger news. News related to the economy and dissidents is important and must be made visible. Eskelinen, however, states that rural Chinese women form a large individual group whose contribution to China’s economic and social development often goes unmentioned.

“The everyday life of ordinary women forms an integral part of China’s gross national product and well-being”, Eskelinen points out.

President Xi Jinping’s impact on the state of China’s gender equality

In recent years, under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, China has returned to a society where Confucian values ​​increasingly determine how society works. In addition to this, society’s interference with media freedom, for example, has alarmingly increased. According to Eskelinen’s doctoral research, the turning point was in 2016. At that time, President Xi gave a speech in which he emphasized that Confucian values ​​are engraved in the hearts of Chinese people.

“After the speech, China began to move back to a more patriarchal society and women’s operating environment narrowed. It was considered that a women’s place is to take care of the family”, Eskelinen says.

In addition to this, women’s organizations in different regions started offering different courses to women, which focused on how to be good wives and daughters. Eskelinen regards the most worrisome is that the application of legislation has become more unequal, as it places women and their basic rights at a disadvantage.

Women’s appreciation and problems from the point of view of equality

Eskelinen wants to highlight the appreciation of women and the problems in equality, because women’s role and contribution to the well-being of different countries are often ignored. Finland is no exception.

In Finland, the “Lotta’s” contribution to the war effort has been downplayed, and a solution to the wage gap in female-dominated fields has still not been found. “It’s easy to appeal to the lack of money”, Eskelinen reminds.

According to Eskelinen, however, it is important to see beyond the money, attitudes and structures.

“It is not enough, for example, to light buildings in blue in honor of nurses. The idea is beautiful, but it only creates an illusionary appreciation, not a real one”, Eskelinen reflects.

Eskelinen hopes that societies from China to Finland would pay more attention to ordinary people and ordinary women and give them real value.

Contact information:
Pia Eskelinen
050 323 7296

The blogpost was written by the Center’s intern, Annette Rapo.

Hybrid Seminar: Understanding Laws with Chinese Characteristics

On 16 September 2022, the Finnish China Law Center will hold a hybrid seminar on the topic of ‘Understanding Laws with Chinese Characteristics’. The event is part of the Center’s new mini seminar series on topical issues of Chinese law.

The speakers include Ronald Brown, Law Professor at the University of Hawai’i Law School,  Martin Lavička, Assistant Professor at Department of Asian Studies at Palacky University Olomouc, and Julie Yu-Wen Chen, Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Helsinki. Professor Brown will present on Chinese Labor Practices, Treaties, Uyghurs, and CAI. While Professor Lavička and Professor Chen will discuss Recent Development of the Rule of Law with Chinese Characteristics.

The seminar programme can be found here.

The event is free and open to all audiences. You can attend the seminar via Zoom or in person at Room P668, 6th floor of the Porthania Building (Faculty of Law), University of Helsinki, Yliopistonkatu 3.

We kindly ask you to register by 13 September by completing the following electronic form:

Background of the presentations

Chinese Labor Practices, Treaties, Uyghurs, and CAI: Keeping Promises

As China becomes a growing global economic power, it also is seen to be increasingly embracing international standards. Yet, some argue that China is changing without change, and that it is old wine in a new bottle as the new contains the same “Chinese characteristics,” as before. These “characteristics” include China’s legal-political and CCP-dominated “rule BY Law system. Xi Jinping said, “the law in China should embody the excellence of traditional Chinese legal culture and draw lessons from beneficial legal achievements from abroad.” China’s plan is to “gradually form a unique legal tradition, which will not only absorb modern Western traditions, but also incorporate classical Chinese traditions.

This presentation traces the highlights of the modern evolution of China’s Socialist legal system in its domestic law and more recently in its international agreements in the context of labor laws and adherence to international standards. What is observable is while China signs and often ratifies some international standards, it often reserves the right to adhere to domestic law in its implementation, which tends to undercut the international standard. For example, China has not signed the ILO Convention for free association and collective bargaining, largely because China allows only one national union, and while signed UN Covenants may require it, China reserves the right to defer to domestic law.

Perhaps the issue comes to the forefront with the pending EU-China CAI which contains obligations to strive to end forced labor, e.g., with the Uyghurs. China recently ratified ILO Conventions to end forced labor. How will China implement this obligation? Will past practice produce the same old wine?

Recent Development of the Rule of Law with Chinese Characteristics: Evidence from New Measures in Governing Religions in China

This article joins the current scholarly discussion on China’s attempt to replace some of the international legal norms with their own version, or the so-called laws “with Chinese characteristics.” This results in part from China’s increasing self-confidence in world politics, and is in part due to the impotence of international law enforcement mechanisms to make states comply with universal human rights. We examine five newly adopted measures governing religions in China to show this trend. Our review does not just highlight how these new religion laws could significantly impact religious communities in China. More importantly, we show how the Chinese state’s redefinition of religious rights differs from existing international legal standards, weakens international human rights protection mechanisms and further threatens their universality.

About the speakers

Ronald Brown is a Law Professor at the University of Hawai’i Law School. He has worked as an attorney for U.S. Government, continues as a labor arbitrator, and served as the University’s Director of the Center for Chinese Studies. Professor Brown teaches labor and employment law, and international labor law on China and Asia, and has lectured throughout China and Asia. He has taught at Beijing University Law School and currently serves as an Editorial Board Member on the Hague Institute for Global Justice, International Labor Rights Case Law Journal.  He has authored numerous articles and published several books on China and Asia and served as a Consultant with the World Bank on China. As a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar, he taught at both Peking University Law School and Tsinghua University Law School. Recent publications have looked at China’s FTAs and BRI in Europe and South

Julie Yu-Wen Chen is Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Helsinki in Finland. Chen serves as one of the Editors of the Journal of Chinese Political Science (Springer, SSCI). Formerly, Chen was chair of Nordic Association of China Studies (NACS) and Editor-in-Chief of Asian Ethnicity (Taylor & Francis). Chen’s research and teaching are multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary spanning cross Political Sciences, ethnic studies, sociology and Chinese studies.

Martin Lavička is Assistant Professor at the Department of Asian Studies, Palacký University Olomouc, Czech Republic, where he teaches modern Chinese history and Chinese politics. He is also Junior Researcher in the Sinophone Borderlands Project focusing on the PRC’s ethnic policies and laws.

Professor Eva Pils on China’s impact on international human rights law

On 15 June 2022, Professor Eva Pils from King’s College London delivered a guest lecture on the topic of “China’s challenge to international human rights law: a case of synergic corrosion”.

The lecture commenced with the case of Cao Shunli (1962-2014), a Chinese human rights activist arrested by Beijing in 2013 and subsequently died in a military hospital. Another incident mentioned in the prologue is the recent visit to China of Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, who was then criticized for failing to speak for Uyghurs in Xinjiang. The two cases shown that, while UN principles were still referred to as international standards by domestic human right advocate, China is yielding increasing influence on international human rights law domestically and via international organizations.

Professor Pils presented China’s challenges to human rights law in five aspects. She first pointed out that the human rights violations of China within its borders have transnational impacts. Examples include the prevention of Cao Shunli and suppressed Xinjiang Uyghurs from reaching international audience, and also the suspected export of forced labour to other countries.

The second challenge concerns the suppression of facts by intimidation and ‘drowning out’ of criticism. The suppressive actions by China were not only domestic but also extended to affect international researchers working on the Xinjiang issue (e.g. Zenz, Smith Finley, Jerden). China’s denials of human rights violations, avoidance of international accountability mechanisms, and soliciting support from other countries exemplified the international challenge.

Thirdly, Professor Pils talked about China’s discursive strategies to deflect human right criticism. In the Xinjiang case, Beijing claimed the re-education camps were to develop detainees’ vocational skills for economic development. Another common argument by China is national security and anti-terrorism.

At the global level, China is propagating its system as liberal and democratic to propose an alternative governance model in Chinese style, giving rise to the fourth challenge. Xi Jinping suggested the idea of ‘shared future for mankind’ and that the world should be ruled by “Ritual propriety” in substitution of the existing universal human right principles.

The fifth challenge is external to China. The withdrawal of populist or nationalistic state actors from international law institutions posed threats to the binding force of international law and legal norms. For instance, the US quitting UN Human Rights Council, UNRWA, WHO was a sign turning against legal institutions.

After conceptualising the synergic corrosive effects among China and other would-be autocrats in liberal democracies, Professor Pils concluded that we need to reaffirm human rights indivisibility and buttress civil and political rights to defend international human rights law.

This blog post was written by the Center’s intern, Lam Kam To Kuinton.


Call for Papers: 16th Annual Conference of the European China Law Studies Association

The Centre would like to inform its readers of the 16th Annual Conference of the European China Law Studies Association (ECLS) which will take place during 21- 23 September 2022.

The Conference will be hosted and organized by hosted and organized by the Danish National Research Foundation’s Centre of Excellence for International Courts (iCourts), Study Hub for International Economic Law and Development (SHIELD) and Centre for Private Governance (CEPRI), Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen.

Since the ECLS’s main objective is to encourage comparative and interdisciplinary research on Chinese law, the conference will be a platform for scholars and professionals to exchange ideas about Chinese law and initiate research collaboration. Although there is no strict specification on the choice of topic, the organizers especially welcome submissions that concern the following themes:

  • Legal Issues of EU-China Relations
  • China in the International Legal Order
  • China’s New Structure of Party and State
  • Extraterritorial Jurisdiction of Chinese Law
  • China’s Legal Culture, Legal Traditions and Comparative Law
  • International Courts and Tribunals and the Rule of Law in
  • China’s Belt and Road Initiative and Global Economic Governance
  • China and the Inbound and Outbound Foreign Investments: Forms of Regulation, Special Economic Zones, Investment Screening
  • Global Circular Supply Chains and Regulations in China
  • Cyber Security, Data Privacy and Personal Information Protection
  • Artificial Intelligence and Ethics, Big Data and Intellectual Property Law
  • China’s Civil Code, Corporate and Securities law
  • China’s Climate Change and Biodiversity Conservation Law in Global Context
  • Chinese and Comparative Labor Law
  • New developments in China’s Judicial Reforms and Autonomy of the Legal Profession

Call for papers:

The ECLS welcomes the submission of paper abstracts and panel proposals. Both abstracts (max. 300 words) and proposals for panel sessions (max. 1000 words) should include the title of the paper or panel; name, institution, and email address of the author(s); and up to five keywords.

Abstracts and proposals from young researchers (PhD candidates, MA students, etc.) are welcomed as well. Young scholars’ sessions will be organized as roundtables to be moderated by senior researchers.

Proposals should be submitted online; the submission form can be found here: All proposals will be subject to peer-review by the organizing committee. The deadline for submissions of abstracts and panel proposals is 20 June 2022, and the deadline for submission of full papers (max. 8000 words) is 8 September 2022.

Further information regarding the call for papers can be found at

All questions about submissions can be addressed to Dr. Wen Xiang (

Standard Essential Patents in China

The IPR University Center organized an online Seminar on “Standard Essential Patents in China” on 23 March 2022, in collaboration with the Finnish China Law Center. The speakers include Jin Haijun, Professor at Renmin Law School; Richard Vary from Bird & Bird; Ruben Schellingerhout, from the European Commission and Eeva Hakoranta, Executive Vice President at InterDigital Inc.

The Seminar opened with a presentation by Professor Jin Haijun on the topic of “SEP/FRAND disputes in China.” He expounded SEP/FRAND disputes from the perspective of China courts, which granted anti-suit injunctions (ASI) in four major IP cases, upon which the EU requested information. After addressing legal issues concerning SEP/FRAND, jurisdictional territories, and ASI, he raised several implications for IP management towards new harmonization in global SEP dispute solutions.

In the next part of the Seminar, Richard Vary gave a presentation on “The UK approach on the resolution of FRAND disputes and its relationship with China”. The presentation consists of a detailed explanation of the English patent trial system and a comparison of the valuation approaches used in the UK and China. He also suggested improved metrics for portfolio strength, including citation analysis, contribution counting, third party essentially studies and jurisdiction weighted patent counting.

Following up next was the presentation on “Anti-suit injunctions in the EU perspectives” by Ruben Schellingerhout, who stressed that patents have brought great importance in many industries. He clearly listed the competition guidelines, judgments and cases in relation to the developments in anti-suit injunctions, particularly in China. He also drew attention to the difficulties in relation to retrieving decisions in China despite the presence of a legal basis for WTO’s request for consultations.

The last part of the seminar was concluded by Eeva Hakoranta, on the topic of “SEP and FRAND – Globally and in China.” She emphasized the recognition of a rule-based system under the new world order, especially when we all have been living in a globalization era, who are able to actually share well-being with less developed countries to a very great extent. China, as one of the beneficiaries of globalization should also submit to the same set of rules.

This blog post was written by the Center’s interns, Li Tsz Yau Dorothy and Lam Kam To Kuinton.

Chinese Perspectives on Public International Law

On 15 March 2022, the Finnish China Law Center organized the online mini seminar titled ‘Chinese Perspectives on Public International Law’. The speakers were Yifeng Chen, Associate Professor at Peking University Law School and Björn Ahl, Professor and Chair of Chinese Legal Culture at the University of Cologne.

The seminar began with Professor Yifeng Chen’s presentation on “Conceiving Infrastructures as Governance: China and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)” which highlighted the implications of BRI infrastructure projects on regional and international governance. Professor Chen noted that infrastructures such as ports, special economic zones, highways, railways, and airports are heavily invested in since they are important in terms of connection, integration, as well as circulation of goods, knowledge, and power. Infrastructures are embedded in social arrangement and economic life. Thus, it is a strong embodiment of China’s standards and politics. He further explained the economic, political and social influences of the BRI infrastructure projects on host states and communities affected by the projects as well as their role in the establishment of a multilateral governance blueprint. 

In his presentation on “Chinese Positions on Global Constitutionalism, Community of Common Destiny for Mankind and the Future of International Law”, Professor Björn Ahl emphasized that global constitutionalism is not only a hermeneutic device for understanding new developments in international law, but also represents a political agenda that argues for the further constitutionalization of international law. In a similar vein, the Chinese concept of a community of common destiny for mankind provides ideas for forward-looking political action to shape international law. He went on to discuss Chinese legal discourses and government statements that relate to elements of global constitutionalism and the community of common destiny to identify the values and structures of the future international legal order envisaged by China.  

Professor Björn Ahl (left) and Professor Yifeng Chen (right), 15 March 2022