The 2nd China-Singapore Legal and Judicial Roundtable was ceremoniously held in Singapore on August 31st. At the invitation of Sundaresh Menon, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Singapore, Zhou Qiang, Chief Justice and President of the Supreme People’s Court of the People's Republic of China, leading a delegation of the Supreme People's Court of China, attended the conference and delivered speeches at the opening and closing ceremony of the Roundtable.
In his opening keynote speech, Zhou Qiang said that Singapore is one of the countries that actively support and respond to the “the Belt and Road” initiative at an early stage. In recent years, Singapore and China have promoted close exchanges and cooperation in the fields of finance, science and technology, education and culture, which have brought benefits to the people of the two countries and contributed to the peace, stability, prosperity and development of the region.
Zhou Qiang pointed out that the Supreme People’s Court of China and the Supreme Court of Singapore established the China-Singapore Legal and Judicial Roundtable Mechanism last year and successfully held the first conference. This is the fourth regular bilateral cooperation and exchange mechanism between China and Singapore, following the China-Singapore Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation, the Social Governance Forum and the Leadership Forum. It is also the first time that the two countries have set up a platform for cooperation in judicial field, which is of great significance to the development of the relations between the two countries and their judiciaries.
Zhou Qiang pointed out that, with the further implementation of “the Belt and Road” Initiative, China-Singapore trade and personnel exchanges are becoming increasingly close, giving rise also to various cross-border commercial disputes, so that the judiciaries of two countries should strengthen judicial exchanges and cooperation. In this regard, Zhou Qiang put forward three suggestions: first, to further deepen practical cooperation. The focus should be the practical needs of economic and social development and the key and difficult points in judicial exchanges and cooperation. Practical cooperation between the both parties should be deepened in the fields of judicial reform, judicial transparency, information technology used in court, management of court, case studies and so on. Second, to further improve the cooperation mechanism. The China-Singapore Legal and Judicial Roundtable Mechanism should serve to promote the institutionalization and normalization of China-Singapore judicial exchanges and cooperation. Third, to further expand fields of cooperation. Centering on the implementation of “the Belt and Road” initiative, comprehensive and multi-angle exchanges and cooperation should be deepened and enhanced.
In his opening speech, Sundaresh Menon reviewed the history of the amicable relations between China and Singapore, based on which, he said, the two Supreme Courts established the China-Singapore Legal and Judicial Roundtable Mechanism last year, making great progress in promoting judicial cooperation between China and Singapore. The Supreme Court of Singapore is willing to continue to strengthen exchanges with the Supreme People's Court of China, and provide effective judicial service and guarantee for peaceful development of the region and the “the Belt and Road” initiative.
During the conference, parties had in-depth discussions on issues including “court and alternative dispute resolution”, “legal framework supporting ‘the Belt and Road’ initiative”, “technology and the court” and “development of international commercial law”. Both parties introduced in full their experience, actively exchanged their ideas, and reached consensus on a variety of issues in an atmosphere of frankness.
After the successful completion of the agendas, the closing ceremony was held, and Zhou Qiang firstly delivered a speech.
In his speech, Zhou Qiang expressed his appreciation of Singapore’s efforts in organizing the conference. He said that the conference is a high-level judiciary conference held against the background of continuously deepening bilateral cooperation between China and Singapore and further promoting “the Belt and Road” initiative. It is also the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation and the roundtable mechanism reached by the both parties last year. The Supreme People's Court of the People's Republic of China is willing to work with the Supreme Court of Singapore to further strengthen exchanges, deepen cooperation and pursue developments of both parties, in order to make further and greater contributions to the cooperative relationship and well-being of people of the two countries.
Sundaresh Menon thanked Zhou Qiang again for leading the delegation to Singapore to attend the conference in his closing remarks, and pointed out that the conference is a complete success with the joint efforts of both parties. He expected both parties to continue to strengthen exchange, implement the intended cooperation as soon as possible and achieve more constructive results.
Before the conference, Zhou Qiang and Sundaresh Menon had a meeting where they exchanged in-depth views on the cooperation of developing legal infrastructure to facilitate construction of “the Belt and Road”, International Commercial Court, diversified dispute resolution mechanism, enterprise bankruptcy, legal personnel training and the enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters. After the conference, Zhou Qiang and Sundaresh Menon signed Memorandum of Guidance between the Supreme People's Court of the People's Republic of China and the Supreme Court of the Republic of Singapore on the Recognition and Enforcement of Money Judgments in Commercial Cases, which is a symbol showing the bilateral cooperation in civil justice has entered into a substantive phase.
Zhou Qiang and Sundaresh Menon signed the Memorandum of Guidance between the Supreme People's Court of the People's Republic of China and the Supreme Court of the Republic of Singapore on the Recognition and Enforcement of Money Judgments in Commercial Cases
During the conference and the visit, Zhou Qiang met with Teo Chee Hean (Deputy Prime Minister & Coordinating Minister for National Security of Singapore), Lucien Wong (Chief Prosecutor), K. Shanmugam (Minister for Home Affairs & Minister for Law), Indranee Rajah (Minister of the Prime Minister's Office & Secondary Minister of Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Education) and other senior officials in judicial circles, and exchanged in-depth views on the development of domestic judicial organs and the trend of the international judicial cooperation.
During the stay in Singapore, the delegation of the Supreme People’s Court of China visited Singapore’s National Court, Family Court, Singapore International Mediation Center, International Arbitration Center, Maxwell Center for Diversified Dispute Mediation and other institutions.
Hong Xiaoyong, Chinese Ambassador in the Republic of Singapore, accompanied to participate in the above activities. The relevant responsible people in the General Office of the Supreme People’s Court, the Fourth Civil Division, the First Circuit Court, International Commercial Court, Office of Judicial Reform Leading Group, Bureau of International Cooperation, the Information Management Center of the People's Court and Beijing High People's Court participated in the above activities.
*The original text is Chinese and has been translated into English for reference only. If there is any inconsistency or ambiguity between the Chinese version and the English version, the Chinese version shall prevail.