China establishes “One Belt, One Road” Arbitration Court

Chinese enterprises are facing rising contractual disputes as they are increasing investments in the countries along the route of the “One Belt, One Road” Initiative (OBOR Countries). If they failed to provide dispute resolution terms in the contracts, such disputes would be submitted to the jurisdiction where the disputes arise, and this may incur bigger expenses and cause uncertainties to Chinese investors as they are unfamiliar with the languages and legal systems in such jurisdictions. One way to avoid such trouble is to provide in the contract that all disputes shall be submitted to the Chinese jurisdiction. 

To this end, Wuhan Arbitration Commission declared on 26 October 2016 the establishment of “One Belt, One Road” Arbitration Court (OBOR Arbitration Court) and designated Liu Jianqin, the Deputy Managing Director of Wuhan Arbitration Commission, as the President. According to Liu, the OBOR Arbitration Court will govern disputes related to OBOR, formulate arbitration rules to fairly and efficiently settle disputes, and set up a platform to provide legal services, publish information and discuss issues related to the OBOR projects or contracts.  

The OBOR Arbitration Court aims to govern disputes involving Chinese enterprises. As Chinese investments mainly involve infrastructure construction projects, most Arbitrators and Advisory Council members of the OBOR Arbitration Court are experts in engineering and construction areas, with  heads of legal departments of China Railway Corporation, China State Construction Engineering Corporation, Power Construction Corporation of China, China Communications Construction and Sinohydro Corporation as its panel of arbitrators. 

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