Between 3 – 6 December 2023, UNIDROIT undertook a series of meetings and events in Beijing. It was the Institute’s first visit to the capital city of the People’s Republic of China since 2019.
On Monday 4 December, UNIDROIT visited the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) to undertake meetings with senior officials from the Treaty and Law Department. On Tuesday 5 December, UNIDROIT visited the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) to meet with senior officials from the Department of Legal Affairs, including Deputy Director Zheng Wei, Deputy Director General Shen Peilan and Division of Legal Cooperation Vice Director Yang Zhaoying. The constructive meeting allowed UNIDROIT and the CCPIT to discuss the use of UNIDROIT instruments to facilitate both inbound and outbound trade and investment in China.
UNIDROIT delegation visit to the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade
UNIDROIT also undertook meetings with international institutions in Beijing, including the Asian Bank for Infrastructure and Development (AIIB). On 5 December, a UNIDROIT delegation visited the AIIB Headquarters to meet with members of the Legal Department. During the visit, UNIDROIT Secretary-General Ignacio Tirado and Senior Legal Officer William Brydie-Watson delivered a presentation as part of the AIIB’s Law and Development Information Series on Strengthening AIIB-UNIDROIT Cooperation to Support Legal Reform, Facilitate Access to Credit, and Build Sustainable Infrastructure. The presentation focused on how UNIDROIT’s instruments in the field of Access to Credit (with a particular focus on the Luxembourg Rail Protocol and Mining, Agriculture and Construction (MAC) Protocol to the Cape Town Convention) support the work of the AIIB in its four priority areas of green infrastructure, connectivity and regional cooperation, technology-enabled infrastructure and private capital mobilization.
In relation to academic cooperation, UNIDROIT visited three university campuses while in Beijing. On 4 December, UNIDROIT Secretary-General Ignacio Tirado and Senior Legal Officer William Brydie-Watson visited the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE). Secretary of the CPC Committee of UIBE HUANG Baoyin met with the high-level UNIDROIT delegation to discuss additional cooperative initiatives under the UNIDROIT – UIBE Cooperation MOU, signed in 2017 (the first such agreement ever negotiated with an academic institution in China). Over the last six years, the UNIDROIT – UIBE Cooperation MOU has facilitated many activities, including a 2019 international legal conference on UNIDROIT instruments in Beijing and the selection of a number of UIBE scholars and interns to undertake research and study at the UNIDROIT Headquarters in Rome. UIBE Vice President HONG Junjie, Director of UIBE International Office LI Xiaomeng, Dean of Law School MEI Xiaying, Vice Dean of Law School GONG Hongliu and UNIDROIT Correspondent for China JI Wenhua, attended the meeting. The UNIDROIT delegation subsequently visited UIBE Law School and delivered a lecture to law faculty staff and students on UNIDROIT’s legislative and non-legislative work. The lecture was organized and chaired by Professor Ji Wenhua. Dean of UIBE Law School Mei Xiaying delivered welcome remarks and expressed the willingness for further cooperation with UNIDROIT.
UNIDROIT delegation delivers a lecture to UIBE faculty and students in Beijing
|UNIDROIT Secretary-General Ignacio Tirado meetings with UIBE Vice President HONG Junjie in Beijing
Also on 4 December, UNIDROIT visited the Renmin University of China (RUC). Facilitated by UNIDROIT Governing Council member Professor Jingxia Shi, UNIDROIT met with RUC Vice President WANG Yi and the RUC Law School Dean HUANG Wenyi to discuss new avenues of cooperation. The campus visit also allowed the Secretary-General to sign a new UNIDROIT – RUC Cooperation MOU with the RUC Vice President (the fifth such academic cooperation agreement signed with an academic institution in China). Following the signing ceremony, RUC invited the Secretary-General to deliver a presentation to the law faculty on the role of UNIDROIT in harmonising international private law to support economic growth and development. Following the Secretary-General’s lecture, UNIDROIT Scholarship, Internship and Research Programme (USIRP) Coordinator Laura Tikanvaara and Senior Legal Officer William Brydie-Watson presented on the UNIDROIT’s non-legislative activities, with a particular focus on the USIRP Programme. The presentations were then commented on by RUC Professor DING XIANG-SHUN and Professor SHI Jingxia.
Finally, on 5 December, UNIDROIT visited the China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL). Facilitated by CUPL Professor Shuai Guo (seconded to UNIDROIT as a legal expert), the campus visit allowed the UNIDROIT delegation to tour CUPL’s library facilities. During the visit, the delegation met with CUPL President MA Huaide, Dean of the School of International Law KONG Qingjiang, Director of the Office of International Cooperation and Exchange (OICE) LI Juqian, OICE Deputy Director TANG Yan and OICE Section Chief for Global Partnerships and Exchange SHU Dangyi. In a further effort to strengthen academic ties with Chinese academia, the UNIDROIT Secretary-General and the CUPL President signed a UNIDROIT – CUPL Cooperation MOU (the sixth and most recent academic cooperation agreement signed with an academic institution in China). The Dean of the CUPL School of Law then invited the Secretary-General Ignacio Tirado, Senior Legal Officer William Brydie-Watson and the UNIDROIT Scholarship, Internship and Research Programme Coordinator Laura Tikanvaara to deliver a lecture to CUPL law students, introducing the Institute’s origins, mandate, methodology, main instruments, current work programme, as well as the work of the UNIDROIT Academy.
UNDROIT delegation visits the China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL)
UNIDROIT Secretary-General Ignacio Tirado and CUPL President MA Huiade sign Cooperation MOU