Remarks by Commissioner Xie Feng at 2nd Belt and Road Conference by Hong Kong Law Society

Add Wings of Law and Technology to Belt and Road

Remarks by Commissioner Xie Feng at 2nd Belt and Road Conference by Hong Kong Law Society

28 May 2018, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center


Honorable Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Secretary Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah,

President Melissa K. Pang,

Distinguished Guests,

Dear Friends,

Good morning.

It gives me great pleasure to attend today’s Conference and join friends from the legal communities across the globe. On behalf of the Commissioner’s Office of the Chinese Foreign Ministry in the Hong Kong SAR, I wish to extend warm congratulations to the opening of the Conference.

This is the second Belt and Road Conference organized by the Law Society of Hong Kong, which is attracting more participants and exerting a growing international influence. The Conference focuses on development, which is the calling of our times, and has a strong commitment to win-win cooperation. This year’s theme “The ABC to Building a Smart Belt and Road: Law and Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and Cloud” cannot be more relevant. Discussions on Belt and Road, legal safeguards and technological development will help us promote international legal cooperation and social development, and realize a win-win outcome.

The Belt and Road presents a new platform of international cooperation to meet challenges and achieve common prosperity. Peace, cooperation, openness, integration, reform and innovation have become the irresistible trend of our times. The practice of zero-sum game, unilateralism and trade bullying receive no support. There will be no winners out of trade war, which would only undermine the world economic order, and harm the collective and long-term interests of the international community. Openness and cooperation remains the sole right choice.

China proposes that all nations join hands to build a community of shared future for mankind. We will develop ourselves by opening wider. We will further ease market access, strictly protect all types of property rights, enhance alignment to international rules and build a world-class business environment. We will promote mutually beneficial cooperation with all countries and share development opportunities together.

Over the past five years, we proposed and developed the Belt and Road initiative with other countries through joint consultation and contribution. This initiative has met with peoples’ aspiration for common development and prosperity, and met the needs of all countries to address world economic risks and challenges. It has received positive response from over 140 countries and regions. At the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in early September, another 28 African countries and the African Union signed the MOU with China on jointly developing the Belt and Road, marking a new wave of participation in support of this initiative. The Belt and Road is becoming an open and inclusive international cooperation platform and a popular public good that China presented to the world.

The legal safeguard is the basic infrastructure indispensible to this initiative, as the Belt and Road must be developed in a transparent and clean environment under the rule of law. Rules and the rule of law are essential for the Belt and Road to go global. They are also the safety valve against uncertainties and challenges. At the same time, the Belt and Road provides new pathway and new drive for implementing the rule of law in the world. The Conference today will facilitate exchanges and cooperation on emerging legal issues concerning the Belt and Road. It will add new substance to the international rule of law, promote legal cooperation, and ensure the steady and long-term development of the Belt and Road.

Technological innovation serves as important driving force for the Belt and Road, as it has always been for economic and social development. At present, the new round of tech revolution and industrial transformation represented by artificial intelligence, blockchain, clouding and big data is gaining momentum. This offers major opportunities to the participating countries to the Belt and Road, in particular the emerging market economies and developing nations, to achieve new heights. While promoting the welfare of mankind, technologies will also give a strong boost to the development of law, and will profoundly expand subjects for legal research, enhance technical safeguards, create new legal service models, and promote legal cooperation. The legal communities could make big accomplishments by embracing technological innovation and serving the Belt and Road.

Distinguished Guests,

Dear Friends,

As a major hub on the Belt and Road, Hong Kong is playing a more and more important role. The current SAR Government under the leadership of Chief Executive Carrie Lam is bringing into full play the city’s advantage, and has committed to taking up new roles as “promoter” and “facilitator”. HK is the only region in China with a common law system. It is well known for the convergence of eastern and western cultures, well-correlated legal standards, and an independent and full-fledged judicial system. The city has ranked among the top in the world for its rule of law, and is one of the most favorable places for arbitration. International legal institutions such as the UN Commission on International Trade Law, Hague Conference on Private International Law and Permanent Court of Arbitration have all established their presence in HK, fully demonstrating their confidence and support to HK as a legal service and dispute settlement center in the Asia-Pacific. The legal communities in HK have been active in hosting events, like today’s conference, and setting up online platforms for dispute settlement with up-to-date technology. All this shows the unique strength and role of HK in promoting the Belt and Road legal cooperation.

Distinguished Guests,

Dear Friends,

I hope that through our discussions on the related legal issues, the Conference today will add wings of law and technology to the Belt and Road, so as to help develop it into a road of peace, prosperity, openness, innovation and cultural advancement. The Chinese Central Government and the Commissioner’s Office of the Foreign Ministry will, as always, support HK in leveraging on its strength and promote win-win cooperation among all parties. Let’s work together to build a community of shared future, and create a better tomorrow for mankind.

I wish the Conference a complete success.

Thank you.

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