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.
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’.
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.
He says the publication was 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’.
‘Given the scale and importance of the ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative, we also felt it necessary that the book generate critical insights into how the project could or should develop and be better regulated’, Professor Nuotio says.
The book was also edited by Professor Shan Wenhua, one of China’s leading scholars on the ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative.
Professor Shan is founding 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.
Doctoral Researcher Zhang Kangle of the Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki, also co-edited the publication and authored a chapter on the relationship between China’s new financial institutions and the country’s global strategy.
Dr Guilherme Vasconcelos Vilaca, also of the Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki, contributed a chapter on ‘Strengthening the Cultural and Normative Foundations of the Belt and Road Initiative: The Colombo Plan, Yan Xuetong and Chinese Ancient Thought’.
To mark the end of Nordic China Law Week 2018 (17 – 23 April), Aalto University and the Finnish China Law Center hosted a half-day seminar on ‘What People Management Practices Work Best in China Today? Cultural and Legal Perspectives’.
The event, held during the 40th anniversary of China’s ‘Reform and Opening Up’ reforms, brought together academics from management and legal backgrounds, as well as Peter Vesterbacka, one of Finland’s leading entrepreneurs and business figures, to provide interdisciplinary insights and explore developments in contemporary people management practices in China.
Presentations and ensuing discussions were had against a backdrop in which China is the second largest country in the world in terms of GDP and in light of ever-increasing entry of Finnish firms into the Chinese market.
A challenge facing Finnish firms, whether it be a smaller startup or larger multinational corporation, is that there are legal and cultural differences between Finland and China. These differences mean that many Finnish people and firms find it challenging to understand what management practices work best in China.
The event highlighted how, as China’s economy continues to grow and diversify, new opportunities and challenges are emerging.
During her presentation on fundamental labour rights and corporate social responsibility in China, Professor Ulla Liukkunen, Director of the Finnish Center of Chinese Law, outlined various legal considerations, including a range of Chinese labor laws based on international standards, that affect how businesses operating in China manage their workforce.
The event concluded with a panel discussion on ‘The Future of People Management in China: Educational, Political, Economic and Legal Considerations’, featuring all the seminar’s presenters.
Following the seminar was reception and networking event, during which Mr Vesterbacka and the other presenters discussed the themes of the event in more detail with participants.
The seminar was one of many events organized during Nordic China Law Week 2018 (17 – 23 April 2018), with others including:
As was the case with the first Workshop, the event was attended by a diverse range of people. The over 80 registered attendees of more than 10 nationalities included university scholars, think tank researchers, diplomats, students, lawyers, those working in business (ranging from large multinational corporations to startups), entrepreneurs and government representatives.
Professor Julie Yu-Wen Chen, Professor of Chinese Studies and Director of Confucius Institute at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Helsinki, discussed the relationship between culture and research involving contemporary China.
Professor Matti Nojonen (University of Lapland), Deputy Chair of the Finnish China Law Center, drew upon his experience in China and ongoing research when talking about the ‘Intersections of Economics, Business and the Law in China: Implications for Legal Research’.
Another well-received presentation at the Workshop was given by Post-doctoral Researcher Dr Yihong Zhang (University of Helsinki), who drew upon her academic background and experience as a corporate lawyer in China when speaking on the China’s Company law regime.
The Workshop ended with Rector’s Reception hosted by Dean Letto-Vanamo, which provided an excellent opportunity for speakers and participants to network and have in-depth discussions about the themes covered during the Workshop.
NEWDAY is a training program that addresses current global challenges in a unique social setting. The program emphasizes cultural understanding and cross-cultural communication with classroom teaching, lectures, discussions, socializing, workshops, and excursions, and features lectures by prominent scholars, journalists, and thinkers as well as debates and dialogue between students and teachers on the burning issues of our time.
The main themes of the 2018 include gender and society; media and activism; and climate crisis and environmental degradation.
The Workshop will provide an overview of how to approach Chinese legal research and comparative law research involving China.
The event will be of benefit to students, researchers and practitioners who are interested in Chinese law and the Chinese legal system, and provide an excellent opportunity for participants to meet and network with others who are working with, or interested in, Chinese law and legal culture.
‘We will continue to widen and deepen our international relationships in the upcoming year, during which we have planned an exciting array of events and activities on Chinese law and legal culture in Finland and China’.
ELSA is an international, independent, non-political and non-profit organisation run by and for students and recent graduates interested in achieving academic and personal excellence in addition to their legal or law-related studies at university.
Dean Letto-Vanamo is a legal historian and comparative lawyer specialized in European legal history, history of European integration, Nordic legal culture(s) and transnational law, with a strong interest in Chinese law and Chinese legal culture.
During her opening speech at the event, Dean Letto-Vanamo delineated the history of comparative law and Chinese legal education and scholarship in Finland, and underscored the increasing importance of understanding Nordic law not just in its European context, but from the global perspective, including in comparison with Chinese law.
Professor Liukkunen spoke about the Finnish China Law Center’s role in facilitating and promoting China law and comparative law research, and about the increasing Nordic-wide approach to Chinese legal education and research. During her presentation, Professor Liukkunen also drew upon her research in Chinese law and comparative law involving China, and highlighted the importance of taking local conditions and culture into consideration when conducting comparative research with Chinese law.
Dr Zhang, who lectures at the University of Helsinki and is responsible for its popular annual summer school program in Chinese law, drew upon her academic and professional experience in China when discussing the Chinese legal system in a comparative context, including its foundations, sources of law, the way law is applied and enforced, and current legal ‘hot topics’ in China.
A short discussion followed Dr Zhang’s presentation, during which time students asked questions about China’s criminal justice system and the rule of law in China.
The Center strongly encourages students – and anyone else – interested in Chinese law and legal culture to follow its blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Questions about Chinese law can be directed to the Coordinator of the Center, Stuart Mooney, at stuart.mooney (@) helsinki.fi.
The Joel Toivola Foundation is an independent Finnish foundation supporting Finnish academic studies on China.
The Foundation awards grants for talented young scholars in the fields of humanities and social science research on China, as well as for Finnish students’ Chinese linguistic studies in China.
The last deadline for applying for grants, including Research Fellowship and travel funds, closed on 15 February 2018 at 16:00.
Further information on the grants and detailed application instructions can be found on the Foundation’s website.
For further information on the Joel Toivola Foundation, please contact Foundation’s Executive Director, Mr. Mikko Eskola at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Joel Toivola
According to the website of the Joel Toivola Foundation, Ambassador Joel Toivola (1915-1999) worked for the Finnish Foreign Service in several important posts for more than three decades. He is especially remembered as a great friend of China and throughout his career encouraged relations between Finland and the People’s Republic of China. Mr. Toivola served as the Ambassador of Finland to Beijing from 1961 to 1967.
The event’s keynote speech was given by Jean-Philippe Béja of the Centre national de la recherche scientifique & Centre de recherches internationales, who spoke on ‘Liu Xiaobo’s Legacy: Life in Truth, the Magic Weapon Against Post-Totalitarian Lie’.
Other speakers included Hermann Aubié (Aston University), who spoke on ‘Unlearning Enmity and Hatred: Listening to Liu Xiaobo’s Voice of Conscience by Revisiting his Struggle for Human Dignity and a Future Free China’ and Fu Hualing (University of Hong Kong), who spoke about public interest lawyering in China.
Professor Panu Minkkinen of the University of Helsinki spoke about the significance of human rights in the context of critical legal theory, after which Eva Pils (King’s College, London) discussed ‘China’s Dual State And Its ‘Enemies’ Under Xi Jinping’.
Professor Jan Klabbers of the University of Helsinki discussed ethical leadership, drawing upon his research on virtue ethics, and Post-Doctoral Researcher Guilherme Vasconcelos Vilaça’s (University of Helsinki) talk covered values and China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’.