|Statement by Ms. Guo Xiaomei, Counsellor and Legal Adviser of the Chinese Mission to the United Nations at the 65th Session of the UN General Assembly on Agenda Item85 "the Rule of Law at the National and International Levels"|
As a hallmark of human civilization and progress, the rule of law represents an important goal for all nations. The first inclusion of the item "The Rule of Law at the National and International Levels" in the agenda of the 61st Session of the General Assembly is of great significance in terms of providing member states with a good platform to carry out exchanges on this question, thus contributing to enhancing mutual understanding and trust among member states, broadening areas of consensus and strengthening the rule of law.
It is the view of Chinese Delegation that the rule of law at international level consists of two core elements, first, the full and faithful implementation of the rules of international law,which is the requirement of rule of law in terms of form, second, the preservation of the overall interests of international community,which represents its value orientation. The advancement of the rule of law in international level entails work involving both the two elements and so efforts in these two aspects will be mutually reinforcing.
The 63rd sessions of the General Assembly decided that at the current session, member states should focus their comments on the sub-item “laws and practices of member states in implementing international law”. The Chinese delegation believes that the discussion of this sub-item will help member states to enhance mutual understanding and draw on each other’s experience, thus facilitating the national implementation of and compliance with international law and promoting the full and faithful implementation of the rules of international law in the end. I would like to take international treaties as an example to give a brief introduction to China’s laws and practices in the implementation of international law.
Since China started its reform and opening-up in 1978, it has acceded to more than 300 multilateral treaties and concluded over 20,000 bilateral agreements and other instruments of a treaty nature. China takes international treaties very seriously and fully honors its treaty obligations. The Chinese government has worked to strengthen the implementation of international law at the national levels by means of adopting specific legislation and amending relevant provisions of our domestic law to align it with our international obligations. For example, China acceded to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations in 1975 and 1979 respectively. Thereafter in 1986, and 1990, in order to implement the above two Conventions,China promulgated corresponding domestic legislation, namely, the Regulations concerning Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities and the Regulations concerning Consular Privileges and Immunities.
In the field of civil and commercial affairs, some international treaties are directly applicable in China by way of being directly invoked in judicial practice or the inclusion in relevant domestic law of explicit provisions which acknowledge the priority application of international treaties over domestic legislation. The General Principles of Civil Law ,the Civil Procedure Law and the Administrative Procedure Law are examples of Chinese legislations that have such provisions.
In addition to implementing international law in the above-mentioned ways, the Chinese government also pays particular attention to incorporating the purposes and principles of international law in our national policies. We base ourselves on principles and take a responsible approach in both our domestic and foreign affairs.
Strengthening the rule of law at the national and international levels is our common objective and responsibility. The Chinese delegation is pleased to note that different bodies within the UN system have carried out a variety of activities in wide-ranging fields aimed at promoting national and international rule of law. We would like to express our appreciation in this regard. China is ready to increase exchanges on this issue with the UN and other Member States, make unremitting efforts to uphold and improve the rule of law and work together with others for the achievement of the goal of the rule of law.
Thank you, Madam Chair.