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Protecting Rights and Interests of Cross-border Tourists under LMC丨Expert

By ZHAN CHEN|Dec 21,2022

Chongqing- To deepen the rule of law cooperation, more than 150 experts from China and ASEAN countries gathered in Southwest China's Chongqing to discuss hot topics in the legal community, such as cross-border tourism issues, cultivating global legal talent, and others at the 4th China-ASEAN Legal Cooperation Forum on December 17. 

One of the forum's achievements was the publishing of two books, Legal Practice Guide for Foreign Investment in Cambodia and Legal Practice Guide for Foreign Investment in Vietnam, serving as the first series of legal books on introducing foreign investment in Cambodia and Vietnam. 

The books cover legal systems such as investment access, land, labor employment, and investment dispute settlement, which enables Chinese investors to fully understand the investment environment and investment-related laws and policies in Cambodia and Vietnam.

China-ASEAN Legal Cooperation Forum

The 4th China-ASEAN Legal Cooperation Forum kicked off in Southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality on December 17. (iChongqing/ Wang Yiling)

The relationship between China and ASEAN has established itself as the most successful and dynamic model in the Asia-Pacific region. Legal exchanges and collaboration are essential for China’s relationship with ASEAN. 

Five symposiums were held as part of this year’s forum, which served as an important platform of legal exchange, including an exploration of the cultivation of area legal talents, research on the economic and trade rules of free trade agreements, legal issues involved in the implementation of Lancang-Mekong cooperation mechanism. 

Experts shared their views and understanding of major legal issues in different fields, such as the regional comprehensive economic partnership (RCEP) and the New International Land-sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC), believing that legal cooperation is necessary between China and ASEAN. 

Protection of cross-border tourists under Lancang-Mekong Cooperation

Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC), the first new subregional cooperation mechanism including six countries in a basin, has developed rapidly and achieved notable results, setting a benchmark in regional cooperation.

The LMC places great emphasis on the legal issues of protecting the rights and interests of cross-border tourists, as China is the largest source of tourism among the five Mekong countries. 

China-ASEAN Legal Cooperation Forum

The two books, Legal Practice Guide for Foreign Investment in Cambodia and Legal Practice Guide for Foreign Investment in Vietnam, were published at the forum. (iChongqing/ Wang Yiling)

Despite abundant content on cross-border tourism cooperation, few regulations protect cross-border tourists’ rights and interests, according to Zhao Ying, an associate professor at Southwest University of Political Science and Law’s School of Economic Law. 

As Zhao pointed out, cross-border tourism has complex legal relations involving contractual relations between tourists and tourism service providers and legal relationships with specific service providers, such as catering, accommodation, and entertainment. 

To tackle the issue, we need an information cooperation platform for the rights and interests protection of cross-border tourists, which can integrate content such as consumer dispute resolution methods and agencies, said Zhao.

Through multilateral or bilateral agreements, countries under the LMC can establish judicial and administrative cooperation mechanisms to protect cross-border tourists, focusing on the timely and effective resolution of individual cases. 

Cultivating foreign-related legal talents via Polar Silk Road

Experts say cultivating foreign-related legal talents is crucial for China’s legal education. 

“International students are more willing to come to China and study at Chinese universities as a result of internationalization,” said Wang Huaiyong, a Southwest University of Political Science and Law professor. “This may be the point to improve in the future via cooperation.”

China-ASEAN Legal Cooperation Forum

Experts shared views on legal topics at the 4th China-ASEAN Legal Cooperation Forum. (iChongqing/ Wang Yiling)

As one of the trade links that existed among countries, the Polar Silk Road is a concept mentioned by Professor He Zhipeng, Dean of Jilin University School of Law, which refers to the route from northeastern provinces like Heilongjiang and Jilin northward to Russia and Mongolia, then down to South Korea and beyond.

The Polar Silk Road via the Arctic is widely seen as the third arch of the Belt and Road, adding another sea route to the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean, Africa, the Mediterranean, the South Pacific, and Oceania. China hopes to work with all parties to build the Polar Silk Road by developing Arctic shipping routes.

Under this route, cooperation is highly demanded in countries such as Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, which means that there is an opportunity for the Chinese market in terms of educational cooperation. 

Furthermore, students must adapt to the legal education environment and learn relevant skills when entering college, including legal theory, research, and debate. Another is to provide legal advice because these students will become lawyers in the future, and this can exercise their courtroom argumentation and consultation skills, experts said. 


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