International and comparative child protection research is in great demand in China, as the country continues to develop its child welfare policies and child protection practices.

The Sino-Finnish Center for Child Protection Research, led by Professor Zhao Fang, Director of the Department of Social Work in Fudan University, is well-placed to provide high-level expertise and experience needed to meet this increasing demand.

The Center is a joint project between Fudan University and the University of Eastern Finland, a member institution of the Finnish China Law Center.

The Center’s main goal is to promote interdisciplinary research and education in the fields of child welfare and child protection, says Associate Professor Suvianna Hakalehto.

A child law and education law scholar, Professor Hakalehto is a member of the Scientific Committee of the Center and one of her forthcoming projects with the Center concerns the position of migrant children in China.

The project will also involve Professor Juha Hämäläinen, also of the University of Eastern Finland, and Professor Yuan Ren, Deputy Director of the Institute of Population Research at the University of Fudan.

‘Contemporary Chinese welfare ideology and policies aim at negotiating and merging the traditional family concept and beliefs expressing a hundred years’ development and the modern civilization of late’, Professor Hakalehto says.

‘In research concerning the rights of children, and the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, it is important to pay attention to cultural aspects’.

‘For me, learning about the Chinese legal system and the country’s child protection paradigm has been personally enriching and professionally rewarding’, says Professor Hakalehto. ‘I hope to contribute to the Chinese discussion about the legal position of children’.

During her visit in October 2017 to the Center, Professor Hakalehto met Professor Lu Zhian, a Professor of Law at the Fudan University School of Law.

One of China’s leading scholars in the field, Professor Zhian invited Professor Hakalehto to Fudan University in 2018 to lecture on human rights in the school environment.


(Left to right) Professor Juha Hämäläinen, Professor Suvianna Hakalehto and Professor Lu Zhian

‘This is a great opportunity, and I look forward to another exciting visit to China and to learning more about the Chinese legal system and Chinese cultural generally’, Professor Hakalehto says.


On 29 November 2017, the Faculty of Law at the University of Helsinki, a member institution of the Finnish China Law Center, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Beihang University School of Law (China).

The signing paves the way for cooperation on legal research and education between the two institutions, and opens the door to collaboration between Beihang University and the other nine members of the Finnish China Law Center.

A six-person delegation from Beihang University, headed by Professor Long Weiqiu, Dean of the Law School, visited Helsinki to sign the MOU and discuss future collaboration.

The delegation was hosted in the University of Helsinki by Professor Ulla Liukkunen, Director of the Finnish Center of Chinese Law and Chinese Legal Culture.

The collaboration is already bearing fruit, with the announcement by Beihang University Law School that it is establishing a Nordic Law Center, a move supported by outgoing Dean of the Faculty of Law, Professor Kimmo Nuotio, and incoming Dean, Professor Pia Letto-Vanamo.

Given the Center’s role in supporting China law-related initiatives across the Nordic countries, the establishment of relations with Beihang University Law School and creation of the Nordic Law Center opens up new avenues across the region for China law and comparative law activities.

Professor Kimmo Nuotio, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Helsinki, and Professor Long Weiqiu, Dean of the Beihang University Law School, signing an MOU at the University of Helsinki on 29 November 2017.

Beihang University Law School houses a number of specialty units concerning areas of potential Sino-Nordic collaboration, including:

  • Internet Information Security & Rule of Law Research Center
  • Law and Technology Development Center
  • IP Law and Law of Science and Technology Institute
  • Space Law Institute
  • Aviation Law Institute
  • Spectrum Law and Standard Research Center
  • Insurance Law Institute
  • Scientific Evidence Law & Experiments Research Center

Another institution of the Law School is the Research Base of Beijing Technology Innovation Center (Beijing Social Science Base).


Asianet online courses


The application period to apply for online courses in Spring 2018 offered through Finnish University Network for Asian Studies / Asianet, based in Finnish China Law Center member institution, University of Turku, ended on 24 November.


Within the course application courses were listed in two categories.

1. Asian Programme and Mini Minor

You can study BASIC COURSES offered in the Asian Programme such as Business in East and Southeast Asia or Contemporary East Asia. In the Asian Programme you have the possibility to do a 25 ECTS minor subject. These BASIC COURSES are also used as the foundation for the Mini Minor (10 ECTS to complete the minor), which lets you concentrate in more depth on one thematic aspect such as business or society.

Read more about the Asian Programme
and the Mini Minor

2. Master’s Level Courses

If you want to take individual courses you can apply for the various Master’s Level Courses offered by Asianet. This includes courses such as Introduction to Mongolian Politics and Society or Business Environment in Japan and South Korea. This spring we have two brand new courses: China-US relations – Asian Security and Chinese Working Places Cultures.

Read more about our Master’s Level Courses here:

Who Can Apply?

Students from Asianet member universities may take these courses for free. This includes Aalto University, the universities of Helsinki, Jyväskylä, Tampere, Turku, and Vaasa, and Åbo Akademi.

A student from a University of Applied Sciences may also apply if their university agrees to cover the course fees, or if the student is willing to cover the course fees themself.

Other individuals including students from non-member universities can apply to Asianet courses as independent self-paying students.

Read more about applying to Asianet courses from each relevant programme page.

Further information

If you have any questions about these studies, please contact Ulla Morelli, University of Turku (e-mail:

Finnish China Law Center hosts seminar ‘Juvenile Offenders in China and Finland’ with Senior Chinese Judges from Yunnan Province

On 21 November 2017, the Finnish Center of Chinese Law and Chinese Legal Culture, with member institutions the University of Helsinki (Faculty of Law) and the Finnish Institute of Criminology and Legal Policy, hosted a bilateral legal seminar with six senior judges from the Chinese province of Yunnan. Yunnan is situated in the south of China and has a population of roughly 50 million.

The theme for the seminar was ‘Juvenile Offenders in China and Finland’.

The Chinese delegation was headed by Mr. Li Xuesong, Vice President of the High People’s Court of Yunnan Province. Mr Lu Xiaokun, Chief Judge of the High People’s Court of Yunnan Province, was also a member of the delegation.

The Finnish speakers in the bilateral seminar were Dean Kimmo Nuotio, Professor of Criminal Law and the University of Helsinki, Professor Ulla Liukkunen, Director of the Finnish China Law Center, and Professor Tapio Lappi-Seppälä, Director of the Finnish Institute of Criminology and Legal Policy. Other contributors included Professor Sakari Melander and Dr Yihong Zhang, among other academics present from the University of Helsinki. Both the University of Helsinki and the Finnish Institute of Criminology and Legal Policy are member institutions of the Finnish China Law Center.


Professor Tapio Lappi-Seppälä, Professor and Director of the Finnish Institute of Criminology and Legal Policy, and Board Member of the Finnish Center of Chinese Law and Chinese Legal Culture, speaking with Professor Kimmo Nuotio on ‘Juvenile Offenders in Finland: General Situation, Trial Proceedings, Rights Protection and Best Interests of the Child Principle’ on 21 November 2017 in the Law Faculty of the University of Helsinki.

During his presentation, Vice President Li underscored that the treatment of children and the centrality of the ‘best interests of the child’ principle are paramount. ‘Governments everywhere’, he said, ‘should take care of children and strive to create better conditions, including educational opportunities, to promote the healthy development of youth’. Vice President Li also emphasized that the treatment of juvenile offenders by the criminal justice system was an issue the Yunnan legal system takes very seriously. Yunnan province has advanced the protection of children in its criminal justice system in a number of ways. ‘For example’, Vice President Li said, ‘we are strengthening judicial institutions and training judges to better deal with juvenile justice issues…and constantly innovating to improve the treatment of children in the court system’.

A notable initiative by the Yunnan judicial system was collaboration with the Save the Children charity to ensure the protection of juvenile offenders and promote judicial diversion through inter-departmental cooperation and the establishment of a community support system. Begun in the Panlong District Court, this international cooperation spread throughout Yunnan province and then beyond. ‘After a long period of practice and exploration, this project became known as the ‘Panlong Mode’ and has had a great impact within the whole of China’, Vice President Li told participants. Overall, Yunnan province was experiencing a decrease in the total number of criminals, the total number of juvenile offenders, and the proportion of juvenile offenders.

Professors Nuotio and Lappi-Seppälä noted that while there were differences between the Chinese and Finnish approaches to juvenile offenders, the similarities in terms of underlying principles and many aspects of the treatment of juveniles in court were notable.

During his presentation, Lappi-Seppälä gave an overview of the ‘Nordic’ model of the treatment of juvenile offenders, noting that the state criminal justice system operates independently alongside municipal child protection services, with the primary emphasis in dealing with juvenile crime lying with child welfare and social services.

Professor Lappi-Seppälä noted that the criminal justice system and child welfare institutions operated under different principles. ‘Child welfare interventions are undertaken under the principle of the ‘best interests of the child’, Professor Lappi-Seppälä observed. ‘All such interventions are supportive and criminal acts have little or no formal role. In contrast, on the ‘criminal justice side’, specific penalties applicable to juveniles are restricted – but now expanding – and the general structure is as follows: diversion, fines, community alternatives, and the finally, custody’.

During their presentation, Professors Nuotio and Lappi-Seppälä shared a number of statistics about juvenile offenders in Finland. Of particular interest to the Chinese judges was the fact that at present, there are only five children aged 15-17 in custody in Finland, a figure so low that it also surprised those more familiar with Finland’s legal system.



Professor Ulla Liukkunen, speaking at the ‘Juvenile Delinquency in China and Finland’ seminar in the Law Faculty of the University of Helsinki on 21 November 2017.

During its visit to Finland, the delegation of judges will also visit the Finnish Ministry of Justice and the District Court of Helsinki.

The importance of the visit to Finland by senior judges should not be underestimated. The delegation visited Finland to learn from its experience because of Finland’s, and more generally the Nordic region’s, international reputation in reducing the total number and proportion of juvenile offenders, and to reducing to virtually zero the number of children in custody. As Professor Nuotio noted, the population of Yunnan province, at close to 50 million, was around double that of the all the Nordic countries together. Given the size of Yunnan province, even a small change in judicial practice, therefore, would affect the lives of a great many children.


Organizers and participants of the bilateral seminar on ‘Juvenile Delinquency in China and Finland’ (left to right): Stuart Mooney (Finnish China Law Center / University of Helsinki); Li Kunbin (High People’s Court of Yunnan); Lu Xiaokun (High People’s Court of Yunnan Province); Professor Tapio Lappi-Seppälä (Finnish Institute of Criminology and Legal Policy); Li Xuesong (High People’s Court of Yunnan Province); Professor Kimmo Nuotio (University of Helsinki); Yin Dekun (Pu’er Intermediate People’s Court); Yihong Zhang (University of Helsinki); Chen Chang (Yuxi Intermediate People’s Court); Zhu Chongfang (Chuxiong Intermediate People’s Court). Absent: Professor Ulla Liukkunen, Director of the Finnish Center of Chinese Law and Chinese Legal Culture.


Following the seminar, the judges were given a tour of the China Center Collection, housed in the University of Helsinki’s main library, Kaisa-talo. Special thanks to librarians Leena Huovinen and Eeva Henriksson for giving the tour and for their efforts in supporting the growing collection of publications in the Collection on Chinese law and legal culture.


Mr. Li Xuesong, Vice President of the High People’s Court of Yunnan Province, with other members of the judicial delegation visiting Finland from China, touring the China Law Center collection in the University of Helsinki’s main library.


Director of the Finnish China Law Center, Professor Ulla Liukkunen, Elected as Member of the Board of Directors of the European China Law Studies Association

The Director of the Finnish Center of Chinese Law and Chinese Legal Culture, Professor Ulla Liukkunen, has been elected as a Member of the Board of Directors of the European China Law Studies Association (欧洲中国法研究协会).

The European China Law Studies Association (ECLS) was founded in 2006. Since then, it has grown into an important global forum for scholars and practitioners engaged in Chinese law research and education.

ECLS has over 300 members from across the world who are dedicated to ECLS’s goal of advancing comparative and interdisciplinary research on Chinese law.

The election of Professor Liukkunen is recognition of the efforts of the Finnish China Law Center and its ten member institutions, as detailed in the Center’s recent Report, in advancing China law research and education in Finland and the Nordic countries.

Professor Liukkunen joins a small group of internationally-renowned China law scholars on the Board of Directors.

The other members of the Board of Directors are: Professor Dr. Björn Ahl, University of Cologne (President), Professor Stéphanie Balme, Sciences Po (Vice President), Professor Xi Chao, Chinese University of Hong Kong (Treasurer), Dr Rogier Creemers, Oxford University, and Professor Ronald Brown, University of Hawai’i.

Professor Ulla Liukkunen speaking at the Rule of Law Forum (Chinese Academy of Social Science, Beijing, November 2016).

A key initiative of the ECLS is its annual conference, which brings together leading scholars from Europe, China and other regions to exchange knowledge and experience on Chinese law. These conferences also serve as an important platform for research collaboration. The 2017 conference was held in Leiden and focused on helping young scholars improve their international careers and develop their methodological skill set when researching Chinese law.

Questions about the activities of the ECLS can be directed at the Finnish China Law Center (stuart.mooney (at) or to the ECLS itself.


The Confucius Center at the University of Helsinki is calling for submissions to present at the Helsinki Conference on Chinese Model of Governance to be held on 20 March 2018 at the University of Helsinki, Finland.

Scholars are invited to revisit discussions of the Chinese model of governance and articulate the old and new features of Xi Jinping’s model of governance. Most current research on the China model debates whether there is such model, and the characteristics and essences of the model if it exists. This conference welcomes critical empirical case studies of various manifestations of the Chinese model of governance, ranging from local governance, local election, civil society to economic policies.

Keynote speakers to the conference are Oscar Almén, Uppsala University, Sweden, and Zhongyuan Wang from Fudan University, China.

Submissions to present at the conference are requested by 1 November 2017.

Please the title of your proposed presentation, an abstract (150 words), brief biographical information and contact details to the Director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Helsinki, Professor Julie Chen, at julie.chen (at)

8th Sino-Finnish Comparative Law Seminar a ‘tremendous success’

On 28-29 August 2017, the Finnish Center of Chinese Law and Chinese Legal Culture organized the 8th Sino-Finnish Bilateral Seminar on Comparative Law. The seminar is held annually and its location alternates between China and Finland. This year the seminar was hosted by two of the Finnish China Law Center’s member institutions, the University of Helsinki and University of Tampere.

CASS Law delegation in Finland

The value of the seminar as a vehicle for meaningful legal collaboration and comparative law exchange was underscored by the visit of six academics from a leading Chinese research and education institution, the Chinese Academy of Social Science (CASS) Institute of Law. These distinguished academics included the Director of the Institute of Law, Professor Li Lin, and Professor Xie Zengyi.

Both of these well-respected academics have had long connections with the Finnish China Law Center. The seminar also brought together researchers from universities across Finland, including active representation and participation from most of the Center’s 10 member institutions.

Professor Li Lin, Director of the CASS Institute of Law, at the opening of the bilateral seminar

Strengthening Finnish – and Nordic – bilateral cooperation 

According to Professor Li Lin, this year’s seminar was a ‘tremendous success’. A sentiment repeated throughout the seminar was the importance of further deepening legal education and research collaboration between not just Finland and China, but China and other Nordic countries.

As was underscored by Professor Li Lin, Professor Kimmo Nuotio, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Helsinki, and Professor Ulla Liukkunen, Director of the Finnish China Law Center, the long and rich historical relationship between Finland and China provides fertile ground in which deepening cooperation can flourish.

The importance of strengthening bilateral legal education and research between Finland and China transcends the historical connections linking the two countries.

Professor Li Lin highlighted four key areas of mutual concern. First, there is significant alignment between China’s values and ideas and the concept of solidarity in the Nordic context. Second, there is overlap between the goals of China and Finland’s social security systems, with China seeking to actively learn from the Nordic welfare model. Third, environmental rights are an area of mutual concern, with China transitioning towards ‘Green China’ and emphasizing the importance of having an ‘ecological civilization’. And fourth, the rule of law, human rights and judicial cooperation are areas of joint interest.

While China’s legal system has changed significantly in these respects, there ‘still remains much to be done’, Professor Li Lin said.

Seminar co-organizer Professor Jukka Viljanen from the University of Tampere echoed these thoughts. He observed that it is important that we recognize Finland and China face common issues, which can be fruitfully approached from a comparative law perspective.

(Left to right) Professor Ulla Liukkunen, Director of the Finnish China Law Center; Professor Li Lin, Director of the CASS Institute of Law; and Professor Kimmo Nuotio, Chair of the Board of the Finnish China Law Center and Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki.

The seminar tradition is not simply a unique opportunity for the robust exchange of views on areas of mutual concern. Rather, it has also been a practical forum that may result in new bilateral research projects, like the one on law and gender, as Professor Liukkunen underscored.

In China, the bilateral seminars and resulting collaboration impacted on policy-making. Professor Li Lin noted that ‘the exchange of knowledge, experience and expertise have manifested themselves in reports that have influenced Chinese decision makers’.

‘So while this is an academic platform’, Professor Li Lin said, ‘it has a practical impact on development of rule of law in China and its modernization. It has a real impact’.

Among other concrete proposals for expanding the relationship between CASS and the member institutions of the Finnish China Law Center, Professor Li Lin said CASS’s new university provides an additional ‘platform to further expand our cooperation’.

Thematic areas of the seminar

This year’s seminar covered four legal fields. Focusing on such a multidimensional spectrum of issues provided rich opportunities for comparative assessments. Comparisons were made not just between Finnish and Chinese law and legal practice, but with the Nordic legal model more broadly.

The first legal field to be discussed was child law. This involved presentations by Associate Professor Suvianna Hakalehto from the University of Eastern Finland and Professor Xie Zengyi from the CASS Institute of Law. University Lecturer Dr. Niina Mäntylä, from the University of Vaasa, added comments and stimulated a lively discussion on children’s rights at school and China’s ‘Two Child Policy’.

Professor Jukka Viljanen from the University of Tampere, co-organizer of the conference, giving his presentation on the environmental right in the Finnish constitution

The second thematic area covered was transport law. Professor Ellen Eftestöl-Wilhelmsson from the University of Helsinki spoke on the role of environmental information in promoting a sustainable transport industry. Associate Professor Li Zhong from the CASS Institute of Law gave an overview of developments in Chinese transport law in China. Lastly, Professor Lena Sisula-Tulokas adroitly drew out common themes, parallels and challenges facing both Finland and the Nordic countries.

A third thematic area analyzed was public procurement. University Lecturer Dr Kristian Siikavirta shared his knowledge of the European and Finnish public procurement systems and how they work based on his research at the University of Vaasa.

Associate Professor Wang Xiaomei presented her impressively data-driven research undertaken in the CASS Institute of Law into transparency in public procurement in China. In her comments, Post-Doctoral Researcher Dr. Zhang Yihong, based in the University of Helsinki, identified broader political/legal implications of the presentations and highlighted areas of further research.

Environmental law was the final area to be discussed. This was clearly a field of significant mutual interest. Professor Antti Belinskij, based at the University of Eastern Finland, discussed international Water Conventions and Finnish-Russian cooperation. Professor Li Honglei from the CASS Institute of Law spoke on judicial review of environmental impact assessment decision-making in China. In summing up, Dr Yulia Yamineva drew upon her experience as a Senior Researcher in the University of Eastern Finland and provided comments drawing together both comparative and international law dimensions.

Other presentations on environmental law were given by Professor Jukka Viljanen, who enlightened listeners on the environmental right in the Finnish constitution. Professor Viljanen’s talk provided a departure point for another visiting CASS Institute of Law researcher, Associate Professor Jin Shanming, to reflect on the constitutional protection of environmental rights in China. University Teacher Heta Heiskanen from the University of Tampere then highlighted how international human rights obligations contribute to environmental rights in Finland. Finally, Post-Doctoral Researcher Sanna Kopra from the University of Lapland identified key comparative law insights that formed the basis of a subject of lively discussion among participants on environmental rights in China and Finland.

Upcoming book publication

Reflecting the high quality of speeches and discussions over the two days, presentations given during the seminar will form the basis for chapters in an upcoming book to be published by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Concluding thoughts

Professor Ulla Liukkunen delivering remarks at the closing ceremony, highlighting the importance of comparative law collaboration and scholarship

The annual bilateral seminars play an important role in building legal research and education links between Finland and China. With such positive outcomes, this year’s seminar paves the way for future opportunities for Finnish and Chinese universities and research institutions to collaborate.

As Professor Liukkunen emphasized in her closing remarks, the seminar again highlighted the relevance of comparative law including the growing significance of the Nordic model in Chinese policy and academic circles.

‘We make comparisons’, Professor Liukkunen concluded. ‘We must realize that what appear to be similar can in fact be different. We need to have tools and equip ourselves to deal with obstacles and challenges in this undertaking, for which this seminar is a unique setting’.

Next year’s bilateral comparative law seminar will be held in China.


Associate Professor Li Zhong, CASS Institute of Law, with Professor Pia Letto-Vanamo, University of Helsinki, inspecting the China Law Center Collection in the main University of Helsinki library

Visit to Finnish China Law Center by Professor Lin Ka, Zhejiang University

On 7 September the Finnish China Law Center welcomed a visiting group from Zhejiang University, China. The group was headed by Lin Ka, Professor Social Policy and Social Work, and the group’s visit to the Finnish China Law Center was hosted by its Director, Professor Ulla Liukkunen.

This visit was something of a homecoming for Professor Lin, who lived in Finland and worked as a Doctoral Researcher (1994-1999) and Research Fellow (1999-2002) in one of the Finnish China Law Center’s member institutions, the University of Tampere. Later, Professor Lin worked as a Senior Researcher (2003-2006) in the University of Turku, another of the Center’s member institutions.

Professor Liukkunen, Director of the Finnish China Law Center, with Professor Lin, Zhejiang University

During the group’s visit, Professors Lin and Liukkunen discussed a wide range of legal topics including the value of conducting comparative law between China and the Nordic states, recent developments in Chinese labour and social security law, and the increased interest in Chinese academic and policy circles about the Nordic welfare model.

Professors Liukkunen and Lin also discussed concrete ways to strengthen the relationship between Zhejiang University and the Finnish China Law Center and its member institutions.

In recognition of the delegation’s visit, Professor Liukkunen presented gifts of two publications made as a result of the Finnish China Law Center’s work: Ulla Liukkunen and Chen Yifeng (eds), ‘China and ILO Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work’ (Kluwer Law International 2014) and Ulla Liukkunen and Chen Yifeng (eds), ‘Fundamental Labour Rights in China – Legal Implementation and Cultural Logic’ (Springer 2016).

Professor Lin with visiting students, Zhejiang University outside the Law Faculty, University of Helsinki

Zhejiang University, one of China’s leading research and education institutions, has relationships with a number of Finnish China Law Center member institutions. These include a mobility agreement between the Zhejiang University School of Management and the Hanken School of Economics and an institutional partnership with the University of Turku. More information about Zhejiang University’s relationship with the Center’s member institutions can be found in the Center’s recent report.

During its visit, the delegation was also hosted by the University of Helsinki’s Confucius Institute and its Director, Professor Julie Yu-Wen Chen.



On 21 August 2017, the Finnish China Law Center hosted a guest lecture by Professor Xi Chao, Vice-Dean and Vice Chancellor’s Outstanding Fellow of the Faculty of Law, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

The lecture, titled ‘Biased Securities Regulators? Evidence from China’, was introduced by Professor Ulla Liukkunen, Director of the Finnish China Law Center.

Prof. Xi Chao, Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Law at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, discussing his research on Chinese securities regulators.

In his presentation, Prof. Xi discussed the much-debated question of whether securities regulators are sensitive to considerations that extend beyond the ‘mere merits’ of a case. While this question has received attention in the United States, little is known about the determinants of enforcement actions taken by regulators of Chinese securities markets.

Why is this important? Among other reasons, because the Chinese securities market is the second largest in the world.

During a stimulating presentation and discussion, Prof. Xi discussed his empirical research that involved manually collecting a new dataset on all so-called ‘disclosed’ securities enforcement actions, both formal and informal, taken against securities violations by Chinese securities regulators between 1998 -2016.

Prof. Xi’s research demonstrates that larger Chinese firms, those controlled by the state, those that are more politically embedded, and firms that cooperate more closely with securities regulators, are less likely to be targeted by regulatory enforcement actions. In addition, when these types of firms are targeted, they are more likely to fare better.

On the other hand, Prof. Xi’s research revealed what he considered a ‘counter-intuitive finding’: that closer personal bonds between people working in Chinese firms and securities regulators are likely to reduce the severity of enforcement actions, but are unlikely to minimize the likelihood of being targeted in the first place.

During his visit to Finland, Professor Chao also taught in the University of Helsinki Summer School Course, ‘Law and Society in China‘, coordinated and taught by the Finnish China Law Center’s postdoctoral researcher Dr. Yihong Zhang.

Book launch on the role of Finland and China in Arctic Law and Governance!

In 2014, the Northern Institute of Environmental and Minority Law (NIEM, Arctic Centre) at the University of Lapland initiated a project to study and compare Arctic Law and Governance in Finland and in China, in cooperation with researchers from Wuhan University, China. The project identified similarities and differences between the positions of Finland (as an EU Member State) and China on Arctic law and governance.

In February 2017, a book titled Arctic Law and Governance: The Role of China and Finland was published as a result of the project. The book compares Finnish and Chinese legal and policy stances in specific policy areas of relevance for the Arctic, including maritime sovereignty, scientific research, marine protected areas, the Svalbard Treaty and Arctic Council co-operation. The book offers general conclusions on Finnish and Chinese approaches to Arctic governance and international law, as well as new theoretical insights on Arctic governance. “As an observer of Arctic Council, China shall play a greater and more responsible role in protecting the Arctic and promoting cooperation with Arctic countries,” Qin Tianbao, main Chinese partner of the Project and editor of the newly published book, concludes.

Mr. Qin is a Luojia Professor of Law, Director of the Research Institute of Environmental Law, Professor of the China Institute of Boundary and Ocean Studies and the European Studies Centre at Wuhan University, and Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Chinese Journal of Environmental Law. “One of my research fields is Arctic law and policy. Considering the esteemed reputation of our Finnish colleagues and our existing cooperation, we reached agreement to conduct comparative study.” Mr. Qin is planning to continue conducting comparative research between China and Finland in the future as well, in the field of marine environmental issues in the Arctic. “This project was very successful, and we hope to continue such cooperation.”

Timo Koivurova is the Principal Investigator for the project, is a Research Professor and the Director of the Arctic Centre of University of Lapland, Finland. We ask him about the key findings of the project. “China, while a global great power, is not a principle actor in the Arctic region specifically. At the same time, actors like Finland play above (and more than) their global weight in Arctic governance. As a consequence, a variety of Arctic-focused cooperative linkages have been established between small Nordic states and the global great power. China and Finland appear in fact to share a number of perspectives on Arctic affairs, despite asymmetry in country’s positions and different pathways to their interests in the Arctic region and Arctic cooperation. That includes interest in Arctic economic development, consequences of climate change in the Arctic, as well as countries’ Arctic expertise. In terms of political rhetoric, the discourses on economic possibilities and environmental vulnerability are visible in both countries. In turn, China and EU (and Finland) may diverge on the conservation of marine biodiversity in Arctic high seas.”

Mr. Koivurova has specialized in various aspects of international law applicable in the Arctic and Antarctic region. His research work addresses the interplay between different levels of environmental law, legal status of indigenous peoples, law of the sea in the Arctic waters, integrated maritime policy in the EU, the role of law in mitigating/adapting to climate change, the function and role of the Arctic Council in view of its future challenges and the possibilities for an Arctic treaty. He has been involved as an expert in several international processes globally and in the Arctic region and has published on the above-mentioned topics extensively. This newly-published book adds one more to the list. We had a privilege to interview Mr. Koivurova about the highlights and main findings of the project. Read the full interview here.

The book, “Arctic Law and Governance: The Role of China and Finland,” edited by Timo Koivurova, Qin Tianbao, Sébastien Duyck and Tapio Nykänen, is available for purchase on the publisher’s website.

Author: Cristina D. Juola