Belt and Road a turning point for arbitration in China?

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As an initiative announced by China’s top policymaking body, the Belt and Road initiative has so far been endorsed by 68 countries and regions. Because these countries and regions differ in economic strength, legal tradition and investment environment, commercial disputes will inevitably occur between trading parties, and so an effective dispute resolution mechanism is needed. With its advantage of transnational enforcement, secured by the New York Convention, international arbitration has the potential of becoming the best dispute resolution of Belt and Road-related issues. If commercial arbitration institutions in China can adopt an open mindset and adapt to international practice, they may play a greater role as the Belt and Road initiative evolves.

The Beijing Arbitration Commission/Beijing International Arbitration Centre (BAC/BIAC) has seized the opportunity arising from the Belt and Road initiative by actively starting a cross-border dispute resolution collaboration and forming an “institutional coalition”. The “One Belt One Road Arbitration Initiative” is a new collaboration between the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration (KLRCA), the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA) and the BAC/BIAC, which was initiated on 9 May 2017.

Lin Zhiwei
Lin Zhiwei

Also, under the guidance of the China Law Society, the BAC/BIAC and Nairobi International Arbitration Centre (NIAC) launched the China-Africa Joint Arbitration Centre (CAJAC) – consisting of the CAJAC Beijing Centre and the CAJAC Nairobi Centre – as an institutional coalition on 27 March 2017. These efforts signified the BAC/BIAC’s attempt to establish sophisticated Belt and Road arbitration theories and practices.

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(This article is adapted from a speech by Lin Zhiwei, secretary-general of the BAC/BIAC at the 7th Greater China Arbitration Forum.)

Lin Zhiwei is the secretary-general of Beijing Arbitration Commission/Beijing International Arbitration Center. BAC/BIAC’s case manager Liu Wenpeng and intern Chen Junyu also contributed to the article

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