Beijing Arbitration Commission

Breakfast Symposium Themed “Dispute Resolution along the Belt and Road: Empirical Study and Practical Solutions from China” Successfully Held

Publish time: 2021-4-20

On April 20, 2021, the Beijing Arbitration Commission / Beijing International Arbitration Center (the BAC) successfully held a breakfast symposium themed Dispute Resolution along the Belt and Road: Empirical Study and Practical Solutions from China. This event was a morning session of the 30th Annual Meeting and Conference of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association (the IPBA), and also the first event of the IPBA in the form of breakfast symposium. It has attracted more than 140 participants.

The breakfast symposium was moderated by Dr. Chen Fuyong, Deputy Secretary General of the BAC. Dr. Chen delivered thanks to the participants for their participation in such an early event, and stressed that in spite of the relaxed environment a breakfast meeting usually has, the content of the symposium was kept professional and precise.

Dr. Chen Fuyong

Mr. Liu Chunhua, Vice Director of the Bureau of Lawyers Work of the Ministry of Justice, delivered an opening address. He shared three points of thoughts. First, arbitration is playing an very important role in dispute resolution along the Belt and Road. Early in 2018, the BAC signed an cooperation agreement with the Belt and Road International Commercial Mediation Center, which is also among the first group of member institutions of the Supreme Peoples Court “One-Stop” Diversified International Commercial Dispute Resolution Platform. Second, lawyers should be further encouraged to provide efficient arbitration related legal services for dispute resolution along the Belt and Road. Lawyers are also expected to be engaged in foreign related commercial arbitration. It is important to guide lawyers to embrace the reform of the existing arbitration system and improve the quality of their services. Lawyers are encouraged to assist enterprises to refine their arbitration agreements and resolve their disputes through arbitration. Lawyers are also expected to strengthen cooperation with their foreign colleagues in countries and regions along the Belt and Road. Third, lawyers are expected to contribute to the cultivation of high-quality arbitration talents. It is encouraged to hold trainings jointly by colleges and law practicing entities, to organize overseas internship for lawyers, to support lawyers to participate in events held by international organizations such as the IPBA and the ICCA, and to further improve foreign related legal services.

Mr. Liu Huachun

The first session of the breakfast symposium was themed Dispute Resolution along the Belt and Road: Empirical Study and Analysis. The Dispute Resolution Report on International Construction Project along the Belt and Road (the Report) was launched during this session, which was a significant part of this event. The Report was authored by a work group of the BAC jointly with China International Contractors Association, the Department of Engineering Management of Tianjin University and external experts in 2020. The Report took the perspective of enterprises, focused on practical issues of engineering dispute resolution along the Belt and Road, such as the features of international engineering, the dispute resolution requirements of enterprises, and the detailed issues of engineering dispute resolution, and was drafted based on investigation and analysis. Mr. Li Zhiyong, Arbitrator of the BAC, General Manager of POWERCHINA International Group Limited, Expert at China International Contractors Association, presented the Report and provided interpretation thereof. He introduced the background of the making of the Report, revealed the investigation data and analysis results, and shared the revelation of the investigation and analysis: China enjoys a huge existing market for its international contracting business, investment business and import-export business, and Chinese enterprises prefer arbitration to resolve their disputes with their Chinese partners at Chinese domestic arbitration institutions, which means a perfect opportunity for Chinese domestic dispute resolution institutions to serve the Belt and Road businesses.

Mr. Li Zhiyong

Thereafter, Mr. Zhang Zhong, Arbitrator of the BAC, General Legal Counsel of Shanghai City Construction Group and Vice-Chairman of Shanghai Association of Enterprise Counsels, Mr. Shi Lei, Partner of Clifford Chance LLP, and Prof. Jiang Huiling, Dean of the Law School of Tongji University, made comments on the Reports.

Session I: Dispute Resolution along the Belt and Road: Empirical Study and Analysis

Mr. Zhang Zhong said that the BAC has made continuous efforts to promote the Chinese arbitration industry and the internationalization of Chinese enterprises. Ever since 2013, the BAC has been launching annual reports on nine industries including construction and engineering, real estate, finance and so forth. So far, the BAC has provided sponsorship for the publication of nine translation works concerning arbitration, and the Beijing Arbitration Quarterly has been published for 115 volumes. These could well evidence the BACs pursuit. The Report launched this time is also a widely-ranged, up-to-date and practical work. It covers various sectors of engineering, such as general contracting, sub-contracting, the builder, construction quality, construction progress, design defects and the like, providing detailed information, over a time span of nearly 5 years. Also, the Report provides not only facts and data, but also solutions, and thus has strong guiding significance for governmental authorities, industrial associations and enterprises.

Mr. Zhang Zhong

Mr. Shi Lei said that one of the points the Report paid close attention to was the goals of the arbitration system reform and improvement. The statistics showed that the main concerns for selecting arbitration are the long time duration and high cost thereof. However, Chinese arbitration institutions represented by the BAC have obvious advantages in the control of procedure and time. He suggested that Chinese arbitration institutions could further develop procedures such as expedited arbitration and early dismissal, and further improve their rules to proceed with the arbitration proceedings in situations where the parties do not cooperate. Another point the Report paid attention to is how Chinese parties could have louder voices in international arbitration. It is shown from statistics that subsequent to the negotiating position, the second influencing factor in this regard is the governing law of contract, which usually is not Chinese law. In fact, however, the governing law of contract is unnecessarily connected with the seat of arbitration, and to promote China as the seat of arbitration is an important measure to raise the voice for China in international arbitration.

Mr. Shi Lei

Prof. Jiang Huiling was pleased with the Chinese arbitration development level as shown from the Report. He pointed out that the Report reflected the fruits of reform and the reality of nowadays development, revealed the fundamental rules of diversified dispute resolution, and predicted the development trends thereof. He expressed his feeling and expectations about the arbitration industry: first, high-ended dispute resolution services such as arbitration should stress on professionalism; second, public-credibility should be emphasized, and the professional competence and ethics of arbitrators should be stressed; and third, arbitration should fully exert its functions in providing efficient and convenient dispute resolution services, and avoid the similarity with litigation.

Prof. Jiang Huiling

The second session of the breakfast symposium was themed Practical Solutions to the Issues over Dispute Resolution under the Belt and Road Initiative. Prof. Chen Li, Deputy Dean and PhD Supervisor of Law School of Fudan University, Mr. Zhang Haoliang, Director of International Case Management & Business Development Division of the BAC, Mr. Chen Fayun, Partner of Grandall Law Firm, were invited to have a panel discussion, who had discussion on impact of regional development on international arbitration, cultivation of international arbitration talents, internationalization of arbitration institutions, and internationalization of arbitration regime.

Session II: Practical Solutions to the Issues over Dispute Resolution under the Belt and Road Initiative

Prof. Chen discussed the cultivation of international arbitration talents based on the internationalization of the Law School of Fudan University. She introduced that the Law School of Fudan University kept the idea of professional, cross-disciplinary and compound cultivation of talents, and had set up international LLM program, professional legal English course, international commercial arbitration law course in English language, English-American Contract Law course in cooperation with arbitration practitioners such as the BAC, so as to build mock arbitration program, and also internship program at international commercial arbitration institutions. She said that the Law School of Fudan University would continue to have explorations and cultivate international legal talents with global view and patriotism , familiarity with foreign laws and rules, and expertise in dealing with foreign related legal issues.

Prof. Chen Li

Mr. Zhang Haoliang introduced the BACs capability of international case management based on the BACs statistics of its international case management, and specifically introduced the BACs efforts in internationalization. In the respect of arbitration service, the BAC pays close attention to the internationalization of its arbitration rules. In particular, the 2019 BAC Arbitration Rules finished the reform of arbitration fees calculation and payment, making it easier for arbitration users to understand and control the costs of their cases. A quarter of arbitrators in the BAC panel of arbitrators are international arbitrators from 25 jurisdictions. In addition, the BAC has harvested a number of international experiences from its practice. For example, the BAC is the first Chinese arbitration institution that applies emergency arbitrator procedure and issues interim measure order that was enforced in another jurisdiction. Procedural orders are widely used in the BACs international cases. Also, the BAC is experienced in the application of foreign languages and foreign laws in its arbitration proceedings. With regard to the internationalization of sources of and parties to arbitration, the key factor is not limited to the parties, lawyers are also playing an important role in attracting parties in disputes along the Belt and Road to have arbitration in China. The internationalization of brand strategy is mainly reflected in the respect to international rules and practice, the internationalization of Chinese experience, the promotion of international development of local legal environment and business environment based on the internationalization of arbitration institutions.

Mr. Zhang Haoliang

Mr. Chen Fayun took a perspective of international arbitrator and foreign related lawyer, and discussed the cultivation of international legal talents. However, as shown by empirical researches, for several domestic arbitration institutions, their main users are Chinese, yet Chinese domestic arbitrators only account for a small proportion, and the times of appointment of Chinese arbitrators are unsuited to the caseloads. The level of Chinese lawyers participation in international arbitration administered by arbitration institutions overseas is still low. In this situation, the cultivation of international legal talents is indeed necessary and workable. Mr. Chen provided detailed suggestions in this respect, such as enhancing lawyers international view from perspectives of culture, concept, thought and value, improving their understanding of laws and rules including contract law, evidence law and dispute resolution procedure law, and also enriching their practical skills and experiences.

Mr. Chen Fayun

At last, Mr. Li Zhiqiang, Chairman of the IPBA and Partner of Jin Mao Partners, gave closing remarks. He extended thanks to the BAC for its organization of such an impressive breakfast symposium, and expressed expectations for further opening of legal service industry and further promotion of international arbitration development.

Mr. Li Zhiqiang

Speakers of the BAC breakfast symposium

The BAC breakfast symposium

Apart from the breakfast symposium, the BAC delegation set up a booth at the 30th IPBA Annual Meeting & Conference, where they had in-depth exchanges with participants of the event, and exhibited the BACs practice in arbitration and efforts in promoting the integrity of international arbitration and Chinese arbitration in standards, practice and theories.

The BAC booth at the 30th IPBA Annual Meeting & Conference

The theme of the 30th IPBA Annual Meeting & Conference was “Rethinking Global Rules – Opportunities and Challenges for the Legal Industry”. The Conference organized in-depth discussions on opportunities and challenges of the legal industry in this new era, the cooperation of Chinese and foreign lawyers under the Belt and Road Initiative, and the resolution of disputes over investment and trade.

Opening ceremony of the 30th IPBA Annual Meeting & Conference

The BAC has been endeavoring to meet business entities requirements for diversified investment dispute resolution mechanism in the new economic environment, to carry out arbitration works under the Belt and Road Initiative, and to further the impact of Chinese arbitration on the world. We sincerely welcome professionals from various industries to continue to pay attention to and participate in events organized by the BAC, and also pay attention to the BACs website and WeChat platform for more information.

Click HERE for the Chinese version of the Report.

Model Arbitration Clause Arbitration Clause
All disputes arising from or in connection with this contract shall be submitted to Beijing Arbitration Commission / Beijing International Arbitration Center for arbitration in accordance with its rules of arbitration. The arbitral award is final and binding upon both parties.
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