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Impression of Deputy-Director Mr. MA Xinmin

Release Time: 2016-07-06      Browse:698

With a briefcase in hand, Mr. MA Xinmin, Deputy-Director from the Treaty & Law Department of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, walked towards the exit of Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport on the afternoon of July 3. It seemed that the delayed flight did not make him fatigue, because his manner was aristocratic, his movements dapper and suave. Actually, this was not the first time that I see Mr. MA. He visited Xiamen University and offered a series of lectures as Lecture Professor of Chen An International Law Development Foundation in April 2016. During the lecture, he introduced the latest developments in the field of international maritime law, and pointed out hot issues of recent years, which was various in content, in-depth of studies, making himself worthy of the praise of "scholar-style officials". Eight pages of notes and 3.5 hours of lecture left me a deep impression of Mr. MA, so that this time, as a volunteer to pick him up from the airport, I could recognize him amongst the crowd at first sight.

8 a.m. of July 4th was the appointed time for guests to meet at the lobby of the hotel, and then we would all leave for Xiamen University to participate in the opening ceremony of the summer program. It was Mr. MA who came to the hall first. He strolled, looked calm, without slightest hurry. It seemed that getting up early is the habit of him for many years. If rigorous and academic is my first impression of Mr. MA, then calm and punctuality must be my second impression of him. In the speech of opening ceremony, Mr. MA proposed that one of the purposes of international law study is to find more supports for the policies of China, in order to make them more acceptable for other countries in the world. Behind this view, we could find that China as a rising country, is playing an active role in integrating into the international community.

After the tea break, Mr. MA presented an opening lecture with a special focus on the coming arbitral award of China and the Philippines in the South China Sea, under the title of “Dispute Settlement Mechanism of the UNCLOS and Annex VII Arbitral Procedure: The Regime and Its Operation”. He analyzed this problem from three aspects, (1) the dispute settlement mechanism of the UNCLOS, (2) the precondition and feature of the Annex VII arbitral procedure, and (3) the willingness of Asian states in applying the compulsory procedures. Based on the UNCLOS, customary law and other sources of international law, the content of this lecture was very coherent; by combining with the actual practice and invoking a lot of data, this lecture was very persuasive, and reflected the solid foundations of international law behind the China’s firm stance in the South China Sea issue.

Mr. Ma flied back to Beijing immediately after the opening ceremony. Through two days of close contact and two wonderful speeches, Mr. Ma has shaped, in my mind, the image of an outstanding diplomat during the peaceful rise of the China. He is as much like a scholar as an official, and is a gentleman with modest, self-disciplined manner. But while dealing with matters in relation to national interest, he is struggling for the due benefits of China with a solid basis on the international law. It is true, according to Mr. Ma, that international law can make China communicate with the international community more fluently, and that the research of international law in China will have a bright future.

Report by ZENG Yingfang, Photo by Zhong-Ding-Wen Studio