FLJS Research Fellow speaks to Global Times about upcoming 'Silk Road' Summit
Earlier this month, FLJS Research Fellow and Deputy Director of the Oxford University One Belt One Road Programme Dr Ying Yu spoke to the The Global Times UK Bureau about the upcoming First Belt Road Initiative Summit, an international conference to be held in Oxford on 13-14 September to examine China's plans for a new Silk Road.
The event, hosted by the Oxford Law Faculty, provides an international forum where world leading scholars, industry professionals, and policymakers can come together to discuss the most pressing issues concerning OBOR’s present development and its future. In the interview, Dr Yu identified three aspects of OBOR development the summit aims to address: physical infrastructure, legal framework, and its soft dynamic.
“The transmission and exchange of the arts and cultural heritage are much more effective as a method of promoting cross-cultural communication and in overcoming our differences than a mere focus on developing physical infrastructures; this is what we mean by our characterisation of OBOR soft dynamic," says Dr Yu. For example, as the cultural relics and historical remnants of the Old Silk Road make way for curations from the New Silk Road, how do we preserve the ancient artefacts to ensure that they do not disappear with passing time, she asks.
On the legal risks that have been greatly underestimated by some businesses in China that are seeking to expand their operations beyond domestic borders and to export their products and services internationally, Dr Yu comments: “As OBOR involves more than 70 countries and jurisdictions, the success of the initiative depends not only on bilateral agreements but also on multilateral agreements between countries, so as to form a comprehensive legal framework within which these countries can operate.”
One such example is the 2015 United Nations Guidelines on Consumer Protection, for which she represented the International Law Association as an Observer of the Guidelines’ revisions since 2012.
Dr Yu explains that interest in OBOR is finally gaining momentum among governments, corporates, think tanks and NGOs, and academia across Europe, the UK, and India.