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Matthias Vanhullebusch attended the International Conference on “Development, Governance and Law in China and India” in India

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NEW DELHI – On 13-14 November 2014, the O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU) jointly organized the International Conference on “Development, Governance and Law in China and India” together with Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s KoGuan Law School and New York University (NYU) Shanghai. The delegation including Prof. Dr. Jeffrey Lehman – Vice-Chancellor of NYU Shanghai – were warmly welcomed by Prof. Dr. Raj Kumar of JGU and hosted at their magnificent new Campus just outside New Delhi in Haryana. Dr. Matthias Vanhullebusch represented the interests of SJTU at this successful gathering of international and regional scholars and practitioners – a number of which were former high-ranking Indian and United Nations officials and ambassadors, including the former Minister of Justice H.E. Bhardwaj who knew personally Jawarhalal Nehru – India’s first Prime Minister after independence.

 

This unique conference shed a comparative light on the challenges which both China and India are facing in their respective jurisdictions. While both countries have a distinctive path with respect to their institutional organization and governmental representation, the instrumentalization of the law as a means to foster economic development both domestically and vis-à-vis foreign states and enterprises will continue to be at the foreground of both nations’ reforms. The respect for rule of law is a precondition to the legitimacy of those in power within both countries. Despite the historical discrepancies in constructing their rule of law, their contemporary implementation is equally constrained within each context. Yet, the commitment of both governments to uphold the respect for the rule of law in the area of communications, environment, urbanisation, intellectual property, foreign direct investment, and the justice apparatus – as examined during the conference – deserves further study from this comparative endeavour.

In this regard, while the rule of law is instrumental to sustaining economic growth, both countries can continue to learn from each other on how to refine and improve its implementation especially towards the most vulnerable in society, including women, children, disabled as well as minorities. Both India and China share a rich tapestry of diverse cultures, religions and ethnic groups whose identity and particular interests ought to be protected. Yet, a long way is ahead for both nations and their peoples to embrace such diversity. It is against this background that also the minor tensions between India and China in the territorial and economic sphere should be rather disregarded and efforts to be joined instead in fostering a deeper understanding of the common challenges domestically and internationally in order to better address their interdependent problems which have accompanied their tremendous economic development. A number of initiatives, including the New Development Bank – also known as the BRICS-Bank – as discussed by Dr. Matthias Vanhullebusch, show determination of both countries to work towards that end.

This call for cooperation – as explained by the distinguished speakers – should not necessarily be restricted to policy makers only but rather further advanced through academic studies and activities jointly conducted by Chinese and Indian universities. This conference is a testimony to strengthen such collaboration between and better comprehend the peoples of both nations. There was a genuine commitment on behalf of the participants to carry forward such efforts. The Indian hosts have also been so kind to show their Chinese friends at the end of the Conference one of their Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal, in Agra – one of the former capitals of the Mughal Empire.