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Feb 14, 2018 03:09 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

China’s plan to set up own courts for BRI rows draws flak from partner nations

China is likely to promote these courts modelled on the lines of International Commercial Court in Singapore and the International Finance Centre Courts in Dubai to resolve disputes arising out of BRI.

China’s decision to set up three international courts to deal with the issues and disputes arising out of its multi-billion dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has raised concerns that it could lead to dispute settlement on its unilateral terms and conditions, according to a report published in The Economic Times.

The international courts will be set up under the authority of Supreme People's Court of China and will be based at Beijing, Xi'an and Shenzhen.

The Xi'an court in Northwest China will look into disputes arising out of the Silk Road Economic Belt that connects China, West Asia and Europe. The Shenzhen court would manage issues related to the Maritime Silk Road that connects China, Southeast Asia, Africa and Europe. Beijing will be the headquarters.

China is likely to promote these courts, modeled along the lines of the International Commercial Court in Singapore and the International Finance Centre Courts in Dubai, to resolve disputes arising out of BRI, according to the Chinese media.

However, experts are circumspect that the Chinese government may try to force other sides to accept Chinese mediation and arbitration through its plan to have these three courts rule on all BRI disputes, which may try to override the existing dispute settlement mechanisms that it has with ASEAN countries.

Countries that do not wish to accept arbitration in China may go to the Singapore International Mediation Centre that has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China Chamber of International Commerce Mediation Centre (CCOIC) to resolve BRI cross-border disputes.
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