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Standardization of legal education by China along the “Belt and Road” countries and opportunities for Pakistan

By Ammar Younas

China Pakistan Economic Corridor has become a very important project for both, Pakistan and China as It was launched as the flagship project of Belt and Road Initiative. CPEC is going to be a regional game changer. This project is not only connecting China with the Arabian sea through Pakistan but will connect whole South Asia with Central Asia, Middle East and East Africa. This project is enhancing the prospects of economic and human development through broader connecting.

During his visit t0 Pakistan in 2006, Former President Hu Jintao singed the Pak- China Free Trade Agreement. On July 5, 2013, Pakistan and China signed the CPEC initiative agreement. This $46 billion initiative will link Pakistan’s Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea and Kashghar in Xinjiang, northwest of China.

Besides economic relations, both actors are engaged in diverse realm of intensified bilateral relations. Since the beginning of Pakistan-China economic cooperation, there was a strong demand from both sides to enhance personalized connections among the people of both countries. People of China and Pakistan has demonstrated brotherly relations and government of both countries supported each other in difficult times. In context of cultural exchange, several cultural exchange agreements have been singed by both countries. Many important treaties of friendship, cooperation and good neighboring relations has also been singed. Cultural elites, writers and intellectuals from both countries are regularly visiting each other to ensure peace, cooperation and harmony within the region. To intensify people to people contacts, both China and Pakistan have been engaged in efforts to promote educational and scholars exchanges from different domains of academia. China has taken critical steps to enhance academic collaborations among students of both countries. China has offered thousands of scholarships to Pakistani students through China Scholarship Council. Pakistan is now one of the biggest recipients of Chinese government scholarships.

Law plays a crucial role for the progression of business activities of one country in another. China realized this at an early stage. Chinese legal system is Civil Law System whereas Pakistan follows the Common Law System. It was the demand of the Belt and Road Initiative to familiarize legal scholars with the legal system of each other’s countries. Thus, the No. 1 university of China and the Alma Mater of president Xi Jinping, Tsinghua University designed  a program in Chinese Law which is offered exclusively to foreign law students and legal professionals.

Tsinghua’s Program in Chinese Law is the first formal legal educational program at the graduate level in China which was started by Professor Wang Chenguang. With the desire for wide-spread accessibility, this Program does not only provide all courses and materials in English, but also provides a  unique opportunity to get insight views of Chinese legal system and Chinese society through close contacts with Chinese students, legal professionals and locals. Such an experience is aimed to provide foreign students a first-hand experience with China’s rich cultural heritage. Up till now, 2 Pakistani students have got admission into this program.

On 9thof September, Tsinghua University held the Gala Opening Ceremony of the New Library of the Tsinghua University School of Law. At the same day, “The First Tsinghua World  Forum  on the  Rule  of  Law” was also hosted  by  Tsinghua University.

Tsinghua had the honor of hosting distinguished guests this day. Dean of Law School, SHEN Weixing thanked all guests to honoring the Tsinghua with their participation in the opening ceremony of Leo KoGuan Building (The Second Law Building). QIU Yong, President of Tsinghua University formally welcomed guests and students to be the part of this remarkable event in the history of legal education in China. LEO Koguan, Chairman of the Leo Koguan Foundation shed light on the spiritual dimensions of “the great everlasting Chinese civilization and Culture”. He called for lightening up the whole world with the eternal Chinese wisdom.In addition to classrooms Leo KoGuan Building has study spaces and a multi-purpose area with huge seating capacity. The building offers attractive facilities for the students of law, offices for the faculty as well as multipurpose basements.

This year’s inaugural “The Tsinghua World Forum on the Rule of Law” forum aimed to provide international scholars and practitioners a global platform to promote rule-of-law dialogues between China and the world, to seek constructive solutions to key challenges related to the global rule-of-law establishment. Influential  administrative  and judicial officials from all over the world, prominent legal scholars of China and abroad, lawyers and deans of schools of law of China and other countries, as well as legal elites, UN risk management experts, national think tank, industry associations, investment banks, well-known entrepreneurs participated in keynote speeches and panel discussions. The major theme of the First Tsinghua World Forum on the Rule of Law was “Global Economic Transition and Construction of the Rule of Law”. The forum was  divided into  three  main sessions:  (1)  regional economic  integration, trade  disputes and  the  construction of  the  rule of  law,  (2) cross-border investment opportunities and legal risk management, (3)     legal solutions/responses to Cyberspace technological advancements. At the same time, a number of Chinese and foreign deans of school of law were invited to join hands to discuss the global legal education.

The forum focused on important issues including developing  the  rule of  law  in the  era  of globalization,  legal solutions to   technological   advancements,   legal  framework   for global  Internet governance,  international  trade system  reforms,  and global anti-terrorism laws and regulations. Influential scholars, government officials, judges, corporate executives, partners of law firm, and investors, etc., discussed a number of topics ranging from legal philosophical aspects of rule of law to Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Cyber Security, Internet Laws, importance of multi-disciplinary education and future of legal education in China and abroad. The forum  will  be  an  annual event  organized  by Tsinghua  Law  School.

In a discussion with Vice Dean of Tsinghua Law School, Professor Cui Guobin and Program Coordinator Ms.Camellia Liu said that it is the responsibility of Chinese universities is to motivate students along the Belt and Road countries to better understand “the Belt and Road Initiative” and to enhance mutual understanding of legal systems and to promote “people to people bond”. They further said that Pakistan is an important strategic partner of China and Chinese Law Schools will always be happy to welcome more and more students from Pakistan. Professor Chen Weizuo of Tsinghua Law School said that the school is very happy to have such talented students from different countries and with rich educational backgrounds.

Recently, Pakistan has become permanent members of Shanghai Corporation Organization, which is a huge step towards regional integration and provides plenty of room for everyone to flex their muscles in the arena of educational diplomacy. With the progress of CPEC and Belt and Road Initiative, the Asian educational landscape is changing. Education remains formally under the sphere of states and has traditionally been resistant towards other country’s involvement. Several recent initiatives from joint policy-making point towards increased standardization as a key element of regional integration in education and higher education. That is one of the reasons that China is concerned about providing quality education to all students coming from Best and Road countries. If we look at the formation of European Union, shadow instruments like soft politics, cultural and educational diplomacy played a leading role in the integration of the region. Moreover, it is the best time for Pakistani students to consider China’s top university for the best education which can equip them for upcoming opportunities coming through Belt and Road Initiative.

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Ammar Younas

Ammar Younas is currently employed with Westminster International University in Tashkent, Uzbekistan as a Senior Lecturer in Commercial Law. He studied Chinese Law as Chinese Government Scholar at Tsinghua University School of Law in Beijing, China. He also holds degrees in Medicine, Jurisprudence, Finance, Political Marketing, International and Comparative Politics and Human Rights from Kyrgyzstan, Italy, and Lebanon. Ammar is interested in Legal Philosophy, Constitutional Law, Human Rights, Tech Law, and Artificial Intelligence.

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