Chair of the session, Professor Jukka Mähönen, 23 October 2020

The China Law Week 2020 closed with a session on “Reform and Emerging issues in Chinese Private Law and the Court System”. It was chaired by Jukka Mähönen, Professor of Cooperative Law at the University of Helsinki and Professor of Law at the University of Oslo.


Professor Jin Haijun speaking on “Legal Reform and the New Chinese Civil Code: An Introduction”, 23 October 2020

In the first presentation, Professor Jin Haijun from Renmin University gave a brief insight into the Chinese newly made civil law codification. The new Chinese Civil Code was adopted in May 2020 and will be effective from the beginning of next year. Even though the Civil Code is new, Professor Haijun emphasized that most parts of its legislation are not new. For instance, already existing corporative law was basically incorporated in the new civil code. According to Professor Haijun, intellectual property rules were a hot topic during the drafting of the code. Professor Juha Karhu from the University of Lapland commented on the presentation by mentioning for example the way that the code was built putting together different pieces.

Professor Juha Karhu speaking on “Nordic Perspective on the New Chinese Civil Code”, 23 October 2020

Professor Karhu then proceeded with his presentation on the Nordic perspective on the new Chinese Civil Code. Some civil codes of the modern time were discussed, and their economic, political, and cultural background were explored to see why and how the codes were born. The presenter talked about the French Civil Code, the German “Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch”, the situation in the US, and the Chinese Civil Code 2020. Notably, the Chinese Civil Code is based on the economic rise with the opening-up policy and the socialist market economy. The Code also shows Chinese characteristics. It is inspired by various legal systems, but the systematic nature is based on the endemic questions in China.

Dr. Kangle Zhang speaking on “Emerging Issues in Chinese Finance & Business Law”, 23 October 2020

The third presentation was given by Dr. Kangle Zhang from Peking University Law School about emerging issues in Chinese finance & business law. In Dr. Zhang’s opinion, China is moving towards financial liberalization. There is a trend of providing necessary capital and offering the customers better returns than bank deposits. The establishment of Shanghai pilot free trade zone helps ease legal burden for trading and financial purposes.


Dr. Wei Qian speaking on “Do Positive Disability Policies Promote Social Inclusion of the Disabilities in China?”, 23 October 2020

The fourth presentation was held by Dr. Wei Qian from the China University of Labour Relations, School of Labour Relations and Human Resources. The pandemic raised a number of issues where the group of disabled elderly people were particularly affected. Local governments in China were fast to enact new policy, and set disabled people, as well as children and elderly people as priority groups that will receive special attention in any big crisis. Dr. Qian talked about how disability policies in China promote the social inclusion of disabled people and how the policies changed under the current Covid-19 situation.

Professor Björn Ahl speaking on “Chinese Court Reforms and their Impact on Decision Making”, 23 October 2020

The last presentation of the day and the China Law Week was held by Björn Ahl, Professor and Chair of Chinese Legal Culture at the University of Cologne. He outlined the Chinese court reforms and their impact on decision making. According to Professor Ahl, there has been a contradiction in the reform dynamics between law and the political context within the judicial reform in China. This reform can be seen from a political context where there has been an enhanced dominant party state with violations of human rights. On the other hand, reform of the legal institutions has taken place where judges enjoy more autonomy in decision making to an extent that they never have been.


With 19 chairs and speakers from 7 countries and over 70 participants from 15 countries, the China Law Week 2020 had connected people with interest in Chinese law and legal culture from all over the world. Offering presentations and discussions on a broad spectrum of topics, the event had provided a valuable opportunity to learn more about the latest developments in the world of Chinese law.

The Finnish China Law Center would like to thanks the chairs, speakers, and participants conference for having made the China Law Week 2020 a resounding success. We hope to see you again in the Nordic China Law Week 2021!


The Center would like to thank our interns, Elias Jakala, Anwar Al-Hamidi, Anqi Xiang, Annette Rapo, and Johanna Fähnrich for contributing text for this article.

China Minor Programme at the University of Lapland

In today’s post, the Finnish China Law Centre will be introducing a minor programme offered at the University of Lapland, titled “China: Domestic, Global and Arctic Trajectories”. Spearheaded by Professor Matti Nojonen, the programme adopts an interdisciplinary approach when considering the relationship between domestic driving forces within China, its visions of globalisation as well as its escalating engagement in the Arctic Regions. Upon completion of the course, students will be expected to be equipped with the proficiency of meta-cognitive skills in conceptualizing the distinctive Chinese domestic realities. Through that, it is expected that students will have a better proficiency when interacting with Chinese companies and institutions in the global and regional context, particularly that of the Arctic region.

This minor programme has a scope of 25 ECTS credits, where the following six courses, each granting 5 ECTS credits upon completion are being offered.

1. Chinese Culture and History 

The course offers a critical and pluralist view on the history and culture of China, which encompasses the intersectionalities underlying the continuity and discontinuity of institutions, virtues and culture on a meta-level, and how that continues to affect nation building in modern China.

2. China’s Political System and China as a Global Actor

The course discusses the recent development of China which allows its ascension from a global actor to great power through a political lens by analyzing the role of the Party and other institutions. It seeks to provide the perspective where the Arctic as a region is not immune to the ambition of China’s strategy and policies which is driven by both economic and political actors.

3. China – Business and State

This course aims to explore the issues influencing the economic development, business practices and strategic behavior of China. A critical examination of how traditional culture shapes market and business behavior is undertaken. This courses also seeks to analyse the growing Chinese economic activities and presence in the Arctic region from both state-endorsed and private involvements through investments and tourism.

4. Chinese Society – China and Media

The course provides a multidimensional analysis of the role and forms of media and how that shapes interactions in daily life. The role of “parallel” media companies is studied in relation to their connection with the Party and censorship machine in China. Furthermore, the demography of social media users is given attention in highlighting the dynamics between freedom of speech and censorship.

5. Legal Culture and Legal System in Chinese Society

The course focuses on the question of a Chinese understanding of the rule of law through a historical and theoretical lens. Furthermore, a contextual approach is taken whereby each year a particular sector of legal development in China will be studied in detail through the intersectionality of culture, institutions and politics.

6. Chinese Language 

The course aims to provide students with the basic knowledge of Chinese language and related cultural issues.

The course welcomes the participation of all degree and exchange students at the University of Lapland and Open University. The courses run throughout the academic year. Therefore, students will have the flexibility of taking individual modules from the programme or participate in the entire minor programme. The flexibility of the course is also extended to students from other disciplines where there are no pre-requisites that are required for their participation in the course.

The language of instruction for all modules and materials used in the programme is in English. The studies employ a wide variety of pedagogical approaches in the forms of lectures, seminars, movies and media analyses, related literature as well as a flipped-classroom approach, encouraging engagement beyond the chalk-and-talk settings. Aware of the virtue of partnership, the university often invites guest researchers from partner universities to deliver guest lectures to complement the learning of the students.

The programme has been running for four years now and has attracted 535 students.

More information on the course can be found at the University of Lapland’s website and weboodi.

This blog post was written by the Center’s intern, Mr. Kelvin Choo Wei Cheng. Kelvin is a undergraduate student at the University of Warwick, and an exchange student at University of Helsinki for the autumn and spring terms 2019-2020.



Globalization has brought about situations where which different bodies of law become increasingly intertwined beyond traditional borders. Legal experts and scholars are now required to examine the content of national, international, European, and transnational laws when they apply norms.

In order to deliver the most practical knowledge and insight into the increasing globalization of law and legal thinking, University of Helsinki, a member institution of the Finnish China Law Center, sets up a new master’s programme called Global Governance Law (GGL).

The two-year long research-oriented Master’s programme offers series of lectures, seminars and interactive tutorials built by internationally distinguished experts in their fields. It is designed to provide solid foundation and skills to prepare students for expert duties in public administration, international organizations, NGO, law firms, corporate legal departments, and legal academia. During their study, programme participants will be able to specialize in key fields of law are of particular interest to them such as Global Governance Law, Public International Law, European Union Law, Global Administrative Law, Human Rights Law, International Institutions, Finance and the Environment, and Business and Company Law.

“The Master’s programme also provides the opportunity to study Chinese law, rarely on offer in faculties of law”, said Päivi Leino-Sandberg, Professor of Transnational European Law and Director of GGL.  The Director of the Finnish China Law Center, Professor Ulla Liukkunen is in charge of the Chinese law stream of GGL which provides courses on the following subjects:

  • Chinese legal system: history and presence
  • Business and Company law: governing economics
  • China in international organisations – transnational governance
  • Corporate social responsibility and fundamental labour rights in China

Students can also engage in Chinese law research activities through the Center with our strong connections with top Chinese universities.

The application period for the programme begins on 03 Dec 2019 at 08.00 (UTC+2), and ends on 10 Jan 2020 at 15.00 (UTC+2). For information about the application process and how to apply, please visit the programme website.


Teaching staff of the Master’s Programme in Global Governance Law: Jaakko Husa (on the left), Heikki Pihlajamäki, Päivi Leino-Sandberg, Ida Koivisto, Sakari Melander and Marianna Muravyeva. Photo credit: Mika Federley.


Seminar on Chinese IP Law and China and Global Governance Hosted by University of Lapland

On 12 November, the University of Lapland, in collaboration with the IPR University Center, hosted a seminar focusing on Chinese intellectual property law and China’s role in global governance.

The seminar, titled ‘Ongoing Reforms in Chinese and European Legal Frameworks’, was sponsored by the IPR University Center Association. The University of Lapland is one of the six Finnish institutions of the IPR University Center and a member of the Finnish China Law Center.

The event was free and open to the public, and was of interest to a variety of audiences including lawyers,  the business sector (including startups and entrepreneurs), students and scholars, as well as to the legislature and policymakers.

Event speakers included Professor Li Mingde, Director of the Intellectual Property Center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a key Chinese partner of the Finnish China Law Center.

Professor Li Mingde of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (Photo credit:

Other key speakers included Sheng Hongsheng, Professor of Public International Law at Shanghai University of Political Sciences and Law and Director of the OBOR Judicial Research Institute at the the Supreme People’s Court.

Professor Matti Nojonen, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Finnish China Law Center, also spoke.

Registration for the event was not compulsory. For those students who wished to gain 2 ECTS upon the attendance of the whole event, the event organized requested registration by 8 November.

The full program and list of speakers, as well as details on student registration, was available on the website of the University of Lapland.

University of Lapland (Photo credit: University of Lapland).

About the conference:

According to the latest figures from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), China filed the most patents of any country worldwide in 2015, with Chinese companies registering more than 1.3 million patents, in 2017, an increase of 14.2% per year since 2015. China’s rise as an economy focused on high-quality development, is a substantially significant economic event.

The expanding range of China’s economic interactions has provoked the most recent attention to China as an emerging superpower. China’s economic successes are impressive enough and deserve attention; they reflect China’s late entry into the international community, in organs such as UN and World Bank. Therefore, it is of vital importance to understand China’s role in the international legal system and to examining possible alterations in China’s foreign policy principles, laws and practices.

The seminar focused on different points:

  • Discussion of the ongoing reforms in these Chinese legal landscapes and contextualize and compare them to the ongoing reforms that are occurring in the European legal systems.
  • As Beijing has announced it will take more active role in international affairs, will the China’s traditional conventional role and approach to international law change?

Aalto University to Host Finland-China Business and Investment Summit, 15-16 October

Aalto University, one of the 10 member institutions of the Finnish Center of Chinese Law and Chinese Legal Culture, will host the Finland-China Business and Investment Summit on 15-16 October.

The Summit will be held in the Aalto University School of Business located at Runneberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki and is being co-organized by the Finnish Chinese Business Council and China Tekway Oy.

The event organizers have requested registration by 5 October. Details on how to register, a list of speakers and contact information for those seeking further information can be found in the program of the event.

Facade of the Aalto University School of Business. Credit: Aalto University

Background to the Finland-China Business and Investment Summit

According to the event organizers, China’s belt and road initiative presents increased opportunities for Chinese firms to do business in Finland and Finnish firms to do business in China – the world’s second largest economy and a rapidly growing market. As the closest point in Europe to China – with direct flights to seven cities in China, and with complementary skills – Finland is an ideal place for Chinese firms to start their business in Europe. The Second Finland-China Business and Investment Forum will help you grasp the opportunities this creates.

Based on the success of last year, the Finnish Chinese Business Council, China Tekway Oy and Aalto University School of Business will organize this year’s event with support of the Parliament of Finland, Chinese Embassy to Finland, Business Finland, the Federation of Finnish Enterprises and City of Helsinki.

Delegations of executives and investors from China and many leading executives of Finnish companies are expected to attend the event which will include a business forum and opportunities to take part in industry-focused face-to-face match-making to explore opportunities for concrete business cooperation.

The summit will be held in the morning of 15 October at the Aalto University School of Business. Match-making forums for companies will be arranged in the afternoon. The forums will focus on different industries:

1. Bioeconomy, Energy and Cleantech (Room C331)
2. IT, Networks and Digitalisation (Room A306)
3. Health and Wellbeing (Room A307)
4. Tourism, Sports, Education, and Other (Room A308)

Seminar: Reform of state-owned enterprises and party-business relations in China: 10 April 2018

On Tuesday 10 April 2018, Professor Kjeld Erik Brødsgaard (柏思德) of the Department of International Economics and Management and Director of the China Studies Program at Copenhagen Business School, hosted a seminar on:

State-Owned Enterprise Reform and Party-Business Relations in China

Chinese business groups have grown into huge enterprises with significant economic and political clout. As a result of institutional reform, corporate restructuring, and listings in China and abroad, these business groups, especially within the energy sector, have become so big, profitable and well-connected that they are challenging the authority of the central government. Yet, increasingly, business leaders are appointed to government positions as ministers or provincial governors.

What is the mechanism of this elite circulation and how does it impact the power relations between Party-state- business in China as well as the likelihood of fundamental state-owned enteprise (SOE) reform?

The seminar advanced the notion of ‘fragmented integration’ to characterize the evolving relationship between business groups and the Party-state.

The seminar also argued that in order to abolish vested interests and interest politics, reform of the role, function, and organization of Chinese business groups is necessary.

The event was organized by the the Confucius Institute at the University of Helsinki.

More information about the seminar can be found on the website of the University of Helsinki Chinese Studies.

Date and time: 10: 15 – 11:45, 10 April 2018

Venue: Unioninkatu 35, SH 114, University of Helsinki

About the speaker

Professor Kjeld Erik Brødsgaard, Department of International Economics and Management and Director of the China Studies Program, Copenhagen Business School

Professor Brødsgaard is the author or editor of 30 books, most recently Chinese Politics as Fragmented Authoritarianism: Earthquakes, Energy and Environment (2016); From Accelerated Accumulation to Socialist Market Economy in China: Economic Discourse and Development From 1953 to the Present (2017) and Critical Readings on the Chinese Communist Party, 4 vols. (2017).

Professor Brødsgaard has held visiting research appointments in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and the USA. He is, among others, member of the International Advisory Board of the East Asian Institute, National University of Singapore; member of the Board of Sino-Danish University Centre for Education and Research, and member of the Board of Directors, the Danish-Chinese Business Forum. He is also a Non-resident Professor at the Institute of Public Policy, South China University of Technology; an Honorary Research Fellow at the Research Centre for Contemporary China, School of Government, Peking University.