Finnish China Law Center’s Role in the Sino-Finnish Joint Action Plan (2019-2023)

The Finnish China Law Center has been recognized in a Joint Action Plan to promote the bilateral relationship between China and Finland, published by Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Chinese President Xi Jinping during President Niinistö’s state visit to China on 13 – 16 January 2019.

The Joint Action Plan between China and Finland on Promoting the Future-oriented New-type Cooperative Partnership 2019-2023 focuses on strengthening practical cooperation across ‘important fields of political and economic relations, sustainable development, connectivity and social equality’, the document’s preamble provides.

According to the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Plan ‘aims to make the cooperation between the countries more results-oriented and effective‘.

The Finnish China Law Center’s role is aimed at deepening bilateral research and education cooperation between China and Finland on sustainability issues, including ‘corporate social responsibility, sustainable business practices, labour law, environmental law, Arctic-related laws and other fields of mutual interest’, according to the Plan.

The Plan notes that the this aim will be achieved through joint research projects, annual Sino-Finnish Comparative Law Seminars jointly organised by the Center and the CASS Institute of Law, China Law Workshops organised by the Center, joint publications, guest academic lectures and other initiatives.

Professor Yifeng Chen, Associate Professor and Assistant Dean (International) of Peking University Law School, says the Plan is ‘a testimony to how quickly the Finnish China Law Center has established itself over the years of its operation’.

‘The Center is an important platform for intellectual exchange between legal scholars in Finland and China, and increasingly the Nordic region as a whole’.

Professor Chen, also Docent of International Law in the University of Helsinki, was visiting Finland to give a guest lecture in the Finnish China Law Center at the time the Plan was released.

Director of the Finnish China Law Center, Professor Ulla Liukkunen, said the Center’s role in the Joint Action Plan came at a time when across the Nordic region, and Europe more generally, there was growing interest in understanding the Chinese legal system and in promoting deeper knowledge of what could be called the ‘Nordic legal model’ in China.

More information on past and ongoing China law-related education and research initiatives undertaken by the Center and its 10 member institutions can be found on the Center’s blog and in its publication Report on its First Four Years (2013-2016).

Front page of the Joint Action Plan between China and Finland. Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and President Xi Jinping published the Plan to promote a bilateral partnership between the two countries during President Niinistö’s state visit to China in January 2019. Source: https://um.fi.

 

 

Robots and Human Rights, Policies and Ethical Standards Discussed at Conference Hosted by University of Turku

Could there be robot rights comparable to the rights of humans?

What policies and ethical standards currently exist?

These pressing questions and others were addressed during the conference Robot and AI ethics: Dialogue between Europe and East Asia, held at the University of Turku between 12:00 – 16:00 on 22 November 2018. The event was free and open to the public to attend.

The University of Turku is a member institution of the Finnish China Law Center.

Background to the conference

According to the event organizers, East Asian countries are among the most advanced in the utilization of robots and the development of AI. Robots are already deeply embedded in the Japanese society, South Korea’s industry is the most robotized in the world, and China aims to become an AI super power by 2030.​

Robots and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are rapidly transforming our societies. While robotics is quickly advancing, discussions on fundamental ethical issues, laws and policies lag seriously behind (and are far from being solved). These issues range from end-of-life decisions taken by engineers to defining human-robot relationships. While there has been an emerging literature on ethical challenges of robots and AI, little comparative research has been done on European and East Asian perspectives in this debate. ​

The aim of this event was to bring together scholars and practitioners from East Asia and Europe to discuss general perspectives and attitudes towards robots and AI as well as ethical aspects. The focus was on technology that already has practical applications, and thus is affecting our societies the most, like self-driving cars and care robots.

The event organizers were the Centre for East Asian Studies in cooperation with the discipline of Philosophy, the Faculty of Science and Engineering of the University of Turku and the Turku AI Society.

For more information

Please contact University lecturer Sabine Burghart at sabine.burghart[at]utu.fi or University lecturer Outi Luova at outi.luova[at]utu.fi.

Kimmo Nuotio Appointed Member of Peking University Law School Global Faculty

Finnish legal scholar Kimmo Nuotio has been appointed a member of Peking University (PKU) Law School’s new Global Faculty.

The Global Faculty consists of 20 invited international members and is the first of its kind in China, and was established with the aim of furthering the internationalization of the activities of PKU Law School.

The appointment was made public at the Global Faculty Inaugural Ceremony held as part of PKU Law School’s International Day 2018 on 19 October 2018.

Nuotio, professor of criminal law at the University of Helsinki and chair of the board of the Finnish China Law Center, also participated in other activities at PKU Law School’s annual international day event.

Peking University ranks in the top 30 universities worldwide, according to the Times Higher Education’s rankings data for 2018, and is a strategic partner of the University of Helsinki.

The Finnish China Law Center has worked closely with Peking University on a range of initiatives and research collaborations, including a number of Academy of Finland-funded projects, details of which can be found in the Finnish China Law Center: Report on its First Four Years.

PKU Law School Global Faculty Inaugural Ceremony, 19 October 2018. Professor Kimmo Nuotio, a member of the Global Faculty, is seated far left in photo. (Photo credit: PKU Law School).

 

 

Peking University Law School International Day 2018

The Faculty of Law of the University of Helsinki, based in one of the 10 member institutions of the Finnish China Law Center, participated in Peking University (PKU) Law School’s International Day on 19 October 2018.

The University of Helsinki was represented at the event by Kimmo Nuotio, professor of criminal law and chair of the board of the Finnish China Law Center and currently visiting professor at the Center for Ethics of the University of Toronto.

Professor Nuotio represented the Faculty of Law at a number of events, including the Global Law School Fair and Global Faculty Inaugural Ceremony, during which his appointment as a member of PKU Law School’s Global Faculty was announced publicly.

PKU Law School’s Global Faculty consists of 20 invited international members and is the first of its kind in China, and was established with the aim of furthering the internationalization of the activities of the PKU Law School. Peking University ranks in the top 30 universities worldwide, according to the Times Higher Education’s rankings data for 2018.

Since 2015, Peking University has been a strategic partner of the University of Helsinki. The Finnish China Law Center has worked closely with Peking University on a range of initiatives and research collaborations, including a number of Academy of Finland-funded projects, details of which can be found in the Finnish China Law Center: Report on its First Four Years.

Professor Nuotio’s visit to PKU Law School coincided with a visit to the University of Helsinki by a senior delegation from Peking University, lead by Vice President Tian Gang, between 19 – 22 October.

Participants at Peking University Law School’s Annual Open Day 2018 (Picture credit: Peking University Law School).

 

Peking University Vice President Visits University of Helsinki, Discusses Latest Developments in Legal Education and Research Cooperation

In a further sign of the strong and growing academic ties between the two institutions, a senior delegation from Peking University, lead by Vice President Tian Gang, has visited the University of Helsinki.

The visiting delegation included five other senior scholars and officials from the university and took place between 19 – 22 October. Peking University is consistently ranked as one of the best and most reputable higher education and research institutions globally.

The visit proved a valuable opportunity for the visiting delegation to deepen its knowledge of the University of Helsinki’s cutting-edge interdisciplinary education and research initiatives, including in the legal field, and to discuss mutual internationalization efforts.

Since 2015, Peking University has been a strategic partner of the University of Helsinki, which is one of the 10 member institutions of the Finnish China Law Center. Earlier this year, the University of Helsinki awarded Peking University a silver medal in honour of its 120th anniversary.

During the visit, the Peking University delegation met with Professor Jari Niemelä, Rector of the University of Helsinki, as well as with Vice Rector Hanna Snellman, deans of various faculties, Dr Anna-Maria Salmi, Head of Development of International Affairs, and other senior scholars from the University of Helsinki.

During a visit to the University of Helsinki, Peking University Vice President Tian Gang (pictured fourth from left) and other members of the visiting delegation met with University of Helsinki Rector Jari Niemelä (center of picture), Vice Rector Hanna Snellman (pictured third from left), Director of the Finnish China Law Center Ulla Liukkunen (pictured fourth from right in front row) and other senior scholars from the University of Helsinki.

Professor Ulla Liukkunen, Director of the Finnish China Law Center and Board Member of the European China Law Studies Association 欧洲中国法研究协会, also met with the delegation and senior University of Helsinki leaders to discuss topical issues in legal education and research cooperation.

During her presentation, Professor Liukkunen noted that the Finnish China Law Center had for many years received strong input to developing its core activities from the Peking University Law School, which has worked together with the Finnish China Law Center and its member institutions on many research projects, as well as co-organized a number of international academic conferences, seminars and other events.

Professor Liukkunen also underscored her personal gratitude to friends and colleagues in Peking University Law School, including Professor Zhang Shouwen, Professor Ye Jingyi, Professor Li Ming, Professor Liang Genlin, Associate Professor Su Jiang, Assistant Professor Yan Tian and many others whose contributions have led to strong Sino-Finnish cooperation across different fields of law.

In addition, Professor Liukkunen noted that Professor Chen Yifeng of Peking University continues to play a key role in forging strong strategic legal research and education relationship between the universities, and increasingly China and the Nordic countries more broadly.

Details of the extensive legal education and research outcomes between the University of Helsinki and Peking University, including a number of Academy of Finland-funded projects, can be found in the Finnish China Law Center: Report on its First Four Years, published in 2017.

 

CASS LAW INSTITUTE, FACULTY OF LAW OF THE UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI AND FINNISH CHINA LAW CENTER PLAN TO DEEPEN RESEARCH COLLABORATION

On 20 September 2018, Professor Pia Letto-Vanamo, Dean of the Faculty of Law of the University of Helsinki and Professor Ulla Liukkunen, Director of the Finnish China Law Center met with Professor Chen Su, Director of the Institute of Law of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, to discuss plans to advance collaboration.

During the meeting, Professor Chen said he was proud of the existing collaboration and expressed CASS Law Institute’s wish to continue to deepen collaboration with ongoing facilitation and coordination carried out by the Finnish China Law Center.

Professor Chen also noted that he was pleased with the outcomes of joint research collaboration, especially labour law research and associated publications.

Professor Letto-Vanamo and Professor Chen approved further collaboration on research and publications. They also agreed to begin preparations for the co-organization of next year’s (10th) joint comparative law seminar.

Pictured (left to right): Dr Yihong Zhang (University of Helsinki); Professor Ulla Liukkunen (University of Helsinki); Professor Pia Letto-Vanamo (University of Helsinki); Professor Chen Su (CASS); Professor Ditlev Tamm (University of Copenhagen); Professor Mo Jihong (CASS); and Professor Xie Zengyi (CASS). Photo credit: CASS.

(Thanks to Dr Yihong Zhang of the Faculty of Law of the University of Helsinki for contributing text for this article).

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)

Mid-Autumn Festival Message from the Finnish China Law Center

The Finnish Center of Chinese Law and Chinese Legal Culture, an umbrella organization of 10 Finnish member institutions with global partners in the Nordic region, China and beyond, conveys its warmest wishes for this year’s Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋节).

‘It was a pleasure to be in China in the lead-up to this important holiday period’, Director of the Finnish China Law Center, Professor Ulla Liukkunen, says.

‘The success of the 9th Sino-Finnish Comparative Law Seminar, hosted by the Institute of Law of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) in Beijing on 20 – 21 September, was no doubt in part due to the event’s auspicious timing’.

This year’s comparative law seminar with the CASS Institute of Law was doubly auspicious because it had, for the first time, broader Nordic representation.

In addition to participants from Finnish China Law Center member institutions the University of Eastern Finland, University of Turku, Hanken School of Economics, Lappeenranta University of Technology, University of Helsinki and the Center itself, the Nordic delegation also included scholars from universities in Denmark and Sweden.

‘It was a pleasure to welcome esteemed colleagues from Lund University, Professor Mia Rönnmar, Dean of the Faculty of Law, Professor Xavier Groussot, Pro Dean of the Faculty of Law, and Associate Senior Lecturer Ana Nordberg to speak at and contribute to this important annual academic conference’, Professor Liukkunen says.

The Nordic delegation also included Professor Ditlev Tamm and Assistant Professor Wen Xiang from the Faculty of Law of the University of Copenhagen, both of whom gave presentations during the seminar.

‘On behalf of the Finnish China Law Center and its member institutions, I hope our friends and colleagues in China – and throughout the world – enjoyed a rewarding holiday period with friends, family and their loved ones’, says Professor Liukkunen.

Photo credit: www.China.org.cn

Book launch of ‘Normative Readings of the Belt and Road Initiative: Road to New Paradigms’ (Springer 2018)

On 29 August 2018, the Finnish China Law Center and the Faculty of Law of the University of Helsinki hosted the launch of the new book, Normative Readings of the Belt and Road Initiative: Road to New Paradigms (Springer 2018).

The book, edited by University of Helsinki scholars Professor Kimmo Nuotio and Doctoral Candidate Kangle Zhang, is an international collaboration with Chinese scholars.

Professor Shan Wenhua, Dean of the School of Law and founding Director of the Silk Road Institute for International and Comparative Law (SRIICL) at Xi’an Jiaotong University, also co-edited the publication.

Front cover of the new publication (picture courtesy of Springer).

The event was hosted by the Dean of the Faculty of Law of the University of Helsinki, Professor Pia Letto-Vanamo.

An overview of the book and its main themes was given by one of the editors, Professor Kimmo Nuotio.

Comments on the new book were provided by Professor Ditlev Tamm (University of Copenhagen) and Associate Professor Chen Yifeng (Peking University), who is also Docent in the Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki.

The event was free and open to the public.

About the new book

The edited volume of 12 chapters provides normative readings on China’s foreign affairs ‘master plan’ and signature policy of Chinese President Xi Jinping, the ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative.

According to Professor Kimmo Nuotio, co-editor and author of the book’s epilogue, the publication is an international effort that aims to shed light on under-explored non-trade normative aspects of China’s epic global infrastructure project, as well as the initiative’s socio-legal implications.

‘The book focuses on aspects of the so-called ‘New Silk Road’ Initiative that we thought deserved more attention, such as issues relating to culture and legal philosophy, environmental law and protection, social responsibility, and the rule of law, judiciary and the role of lawyers’, Professor Nuotio says.

Sino-Finnish Seminar on Food Regulation in the Digital Age

On 28 August 2018, the Sino-Finnish Seminar on Food Regulation in the Digital Age was held in Helsinki. 

The event, organized by the University of Eastern Finland, a member institution of the Finnish China Law Center, in conjunction with Guangzhou University and Finfood – Finnish Food Information (Ruokatieto Yhdistys ry), was free and open to the public. 

Opening remarks were delivered by Dr Harriet Lonka of the University of Eastern Finland and Tiina Lampisjärvi, Executive Director of the Finfood – Finnish Food Information.

A keynote was delivered by Dr Xiao Pinghui.

Dr Xiao is a senior lecturer at Guangzhou University Law School and a researcher (Sam Walton Scholar) affiliated to the Law School at the Center for Coordination and Innovation of Food Safety Governance of Renmin University of China. Since 2017 he has served as an officially accredited mentor of the National Food Safety Law Publicity Program launched by China Food and Drug Administration.

Dr Xiao Pinghui (Guangzhou University) will deliver a keynote address at the seminar. Photo supplied.

Another keynote was given by Professor Katja Weckström Lindroos.

Professor Weckström Lindroos is Professor of Commercial Law at UEF Law School, University of Eastern Finland. She specializes in intellectual property and international trade law with an emphasis on regulating emerging markets.

Professor Weckström Lindroos of UEF Law School. Photo supplied.

The full program for the seminar can be accessed here.

 

China’s Arctic Policy – The ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative and the Nordic Countries

On 22 August 2018, the Finnish China Law Center, in collaboration with the Faculty of Law of the University of Helsinki, hosted a guest lecture titled ‘China’s Arctic Policy – The ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative and the Nordic Countries’.

The lecture was delivered by Egill Thor Nielsson, Executive Secretary of the China-Nordic Arctic Research Center (CNARC), Visiting Scholar at the Polar Research Institute of China (PRIC) and Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (SIIS), and Affiliated Researcher at the Institute of International Affairs, University of Iceland.

The event was free and open to the public.

Background 

China published its first Arctic Policy White Paper in January 2018 following years of preparation, including an introduction of a proposed ‘Polar Silk Road’. Prior to this, China joined the Arctic Council as an observer in 2013 and included the Arctic region in its Vision for Maritime Cooperation under the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative in June 2017.

What does it mean that China’s so-called ‘Belt and Road’ initiative has entered the Arctic region? How is this likely to affect potential Arctic investment and trade and influence legal developments?

This lecture will focus on China’s Arctic engagement, cooperation with the Nordic countries (including through the platform provided by CNARC), and its impact on Arctic developments in an evolving world order.

The event will be of interest to researchers, policy-makers, civil servants and those from civil society, as well as business people with an interest in both the Arctic region and in China’s overseas activities.

Egill Thor Nielsson, Executive Secretary of the China-Nordic Arctic Research Center, will speak in the Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki, on 22 August 2018. Photograph supplied.