China is establishing frameworks for foreign-related laws and regulations while communicating to the world its rule of law as well as overseas legal services, senior judicial officials said at a news conference on Thursday.
The Ministry of Justice has intensified exchanges with other countries and international organizations, and deepened practical cooperation in combating transnational crimes, providing legal services, facilitating judicial assistance, and overseeing the transfer of sentenced persons, said He Rong, minister of justice.
He emphasized the ministry's role in the implementation of international criminal, civil and commercial judicial assistance treaties. China has signed bilateral judicial assistance treaties with 86 countries and transfer of sentenced persons treaties with 17 countries. The annual processing of international criminal judicial assistance requests averages over 300 cases, and civil and commercial judicial assistance requests exceed 3,000 cases, she said.
Du Yaling, director of the ministry's bureau of international cooperation, highlighted the ministry's active participation in cooperation on multilateral platforms such as the United Nations and its involvement in international judicial assistance.
The ministry has handled 206 criminal judicial assistance requests and over 2,200 civil and commercial judicial assistance requests this year. Additionally, 32 countries have been approved for the transfer of sentenced persons, continuously strengthening mutual judicial trust, she said.
Legal reviews of treaties involving other countries and international organizations have been conducted efficiently, with the review of 16 treaties concluded since last October. Its active participation in major treaty negotiations provided legal guarantees for China's involvement in the formulation of international rules, she said.
The Ministry of Justice has expedited the enhancement of legal services for foreign-related affairs, like urging the construction of international commercial arbitration centers in key locations such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, Hainan and other cities, He said.
Efforts have been made to cultivate and develop commercial mediation organizations, coordinate various foreign-related legal resources, and provide support for Chinese citizens and enterprises in their international endeavors. The Belt and Road International Lawyers Association contributes to building a legal cooperation platform, offering high-quality legal services for international trade, cross-border investment, maritime affairs and other areas, He said.
According to the ministry, Chinese law firms have expanded their presence globally, with 180 branch offices in 35 countries and regions, and over 12,000 foreign-related lawyers. This year, more than 2.5 million foreign-related notary services have been processed nationwide, and notarized documents have been sent to over 180 countries and regions.
Over 3,000 foreign-related arbitration cases have been handled, covering various fields such as finance, construction, contracts, intellectual property and the digital economy, involving more than 100 countries and regions.
Tian Xin, director of the ministry's bureau of lawyers' work, highlighted a 47.5 percent increase in the number of overseas branches of Chinese law firms since 2018. These branches contribute to providing legal services in investment, energy and infrastructure, intellectual property, taxation and other fields, he said.
The ministry has also approved nine domestic arbitration institutions to join the Supreme People's Court's "one-stop" international commercial dispute resolution mechanism, with the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission establishing branches in North America and Europe, said Tian.
The ministry has also shown strong support for foreign law firms in setting up representative offices in China and conducts pilot programs for domestic law firms to hire foreign legal consultants and engage in the mutual dispatch of lawyers between Chinese and foreign law firms, he said.