China’s top court throws its weight behind the Belt and Road Initiative

Updated : 2015-08-03

The Supreme People's Court has announced that it will provide all the judicial support needed for China’s Belt and Road Initiative and will work with local courts to see that they deal properly with foreign criminal, civil, commercial and maritime acts, do judicial reviews of international or maritime arbitration, and cases involving free trade zones.

The message comes from Luo Dongchuan, chief judge of the court’s foreign-affairs division, who held a press conference on July 7, to describe in detail the support the court will give the Belt and Road plan.

Luo went on to say that courts need to protect the rights of litigants in dealing with disputes arising from work on the Belt and Road Initiative, and to exercise their jurisdiction rights and that China needs to emphasize judicial cooperation with countries along the Belt and Road development and follow international treaties and conventions. The court also wants lower courts to continue judicial reforms and explore trial methods for dealing with foreign cases.

It is also asking lower courts to improve their services, train their personnel, and increase the use of information technologies and make full use of new media technology for international exchanges and publicity.

The idea of the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road comes from a speech of President Xi Jinping, in 2013, where he said he wanted to revive the old trading routes, and China officially announced the plan on March 28.