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One of the most dramatic changes the world has been witnessing in the recent years is the growing willingness of China taking initiative and practicing leadership in global affairs. A most visible demonstration of such a change is the speech delivered by President Xi Jinping in 2017 at the Davos World Economic Forum, in which he robustly defended open trade and global cooperation, against the populist backlash that has reverberated around the world in the past years. Xi’s remarks highlighted China’s potential impact to global development and its changing role in the international system. Indeed, after over 30 years of economic growth averaging about 10%, China has become the second largest economy and is emerging as a major power in search of meaning and purpose of its own in this world of rapid change and grave uncertainty.

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    Xi (2017a).

  2. 2.

    Xi (2017b).

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    Wu (2013).

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    Vision And Actions On Jointly Building Silk Road Economic Belt And 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road (2015).

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    Xi (2017b).

  8. 8.

    Based on the “Silk Road Spirit”, the alliance aims to become a leading international platform for the promotion of international collaboration on legal education and research, to contribute to the enhancement of the rule of law. The alliance was originally formed with 10 law schools from Mainland, 2 from China’s Hong Kong and Taiwan, and 8 foreign law schools, including the Law School of Singapore National University, the Law School of University of New South Wales, Australia, the Law School of University of Helsinki, Finland, the Law School of Delhi University, India, the Law School of People’s Friendship University, Russia, the Law School of FGV University, Brazil, the Law School of Seoul National University, South Korea and the Law School of National University, Kyrgyzstan. It now consists of 23 members from 14 countries and regions, with its most recent annual conference held in Wuhan, China in November 2017. For further details, see Ma (2015) and Wuhan University Law School (2017).

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    Neffe (2016).

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    ChinaDaily (2017); See also He and Geng (2018).


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Correspondence to Wenhua Shan .

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Shan, W. (2018). Introduction. In: Shan, W., Nuotio, K., Zhang, K. (eds) Normative Readings of the Belt and Road Initiative. Springer, Cham.

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