Nordic legal model and the Arctic dimension interest the Chinese

The Nordic welfare state and legal model are interesting to Chinese legal experts and political institutions. “Comparative research can reveal what has worked in various contexts and what has not,” says Professor Ulla Liukkunen, who heads the China Law Center. She finds it valuable that Finns are able to share their views and practices on Nordic legal models.

The Finnish Centre of Chinese Law and Chinese Legal Culture, or China Law Centre, functions under the University of Helsinki’s Faculty of Law, and involves eight other Finnish universities as well as the University of Helsinki’s Institute of Criminology and Legal Policy (Krimo). Since its establishment, China Law Center has become the primary channel for cooperation and joint projects with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences CASS. The Center coordinates and supports comparative research into the Chinese legal system in Finnish universities.

The Center’s long-term, strong cooperation with CASS can be seen as significant and exceptional, even on an international scale.

The six-person delegation from CASS visited the Faculty of Law in the beginning of April. The delegation was part of President Xi Jinping’s entourage. President Xi made an official visit to Finland on his way to the United States to meet with President Donald Trump. The visitors and the University hosts exchanged their experiences of the cooperation, and both expressed the desire to continue and enhance the cooperation and to increase its breadth.

 “The Chinese are particularly interested in the Arctic and the Nordic welfare state. Research on employees’ rights and collective labour law as well as related publications were also seen as important,” says Ulla Liukkunen, who received the delegation. Nordic cooperation is seen as an important thing on both sides, and there is much desire to actively enhance it further. Environmental law as well as legal and gender studies are also among key themes.

The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences wants to further promote its activities, and hopes that the Finnish Center of Chinese Law and Chinese Legal Culture will also be further developed.

The cooperation also provides international visibility for projects studying Chinese law conducted by researchers from the University of Helsinki’s Faculty of Law. The Faculty’s curriculum is also incorporating more Chinese law.

Dean Kimmo Nuotio, who has served as the chair of the Center’s steering group from its establishment, has also been involved in developing broader networks, for example the soon-to-launch China Research Forum.