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Premier announces exchange and research program

Updated: Apr 13,2015 8:49 PM

Premier Li Keqiang speaks at the opening ceremony of the 54th annual session of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization in Beijing on April 13.

As China seeks more say for developing countries in the setting and shaping of international game rules, it will establish an exchange and research program with the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization.

“Asian and African countries should actively participate in international legislation, to protect the authority and effectiveness of international law,” Premier Li Keqiang said in Beijing at the opening ceremony of the organization’s 54th annual meeting.

“While accelerating the construction of a domestic system under the rule of law, China will make our due contribution to push forward the rule of law in the international community,” Li said.

China has participated in more than 400 multilateral treaties and signed more than 20,000 bilateral treaties, he said.

Du Xinli, a professor of private international law at China University of Political Science and Law, said that China has made relatively more progress than most other developing countries in Asia and Africa in voicing its opinions in creating and shaping international treaties and rules.

“In the realm of international law, currently it is intergovernmental organizations like the United Nations and the World Trade Organization that are leading the show,” Du said. “Most Asian and African countries do not play significant roles in it.”

Premier Li said: “Today, 46 Asian countries and 54 African countries have become member states of the United Nations, accounting for more than half of all UN members. The whole world needs to respect the voices and opinions of Asian and African countries.”

The total volume of economies in Asia and Africa reached $29 trillion last year — 37.5 percent of the world’s overall production. That is 47 times more than the figure in 1970, according to Li.

The Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization, formerly known as the Asian Legal Consultative Committee, was established on Nov 15, 1956.

Aiming to “serve as an advisory body to its member states in the field of international law and as a forum for Asian-African cooperation in legal matters of common concern”, it is considered to be a tangible outcome of the Bandung Conference, held in Indonesia in April 1955, according to the group’s official description.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Bandung Conference, which laid out 10 principles of promoting global peace and cooperation. The meeting in Beijing is part of China’s celebration of the anniversary.

Mehdi Danesh Yazdi, president of the organization’s previous annual meeting, expressed his appreciation for China’s plan to build the exchange program, saying that the organization is willing to contribute to the rule of law in the international community and promote friendship and cooperation between Asia and Africa.