A doctorat for Xinyi Gong, that was the result after the defense of her PhD ‘A Balanced Way for China’s Inter-Regional Cross-Border Insolvency Cooperation’. This all took place at the University of Leiden, last Tuesday. I acted as her supervisor (promotor).
Earlier on this blog (2016-09-doc8) I explained that her research analyses the rather peculiar situation that the People’s Republic of China is one ‘State’, however within that entity three administrative regions have their own form of sovereignty (Taiwan, Macao, Hong Kong) in such a way that insolvency judgements have to be recognised in the other region where it should have effect. Miss Gong (with a research grant from China Scholarship Council) went a long road in understanding hte system and seeking solutions to establish and/or improve China’s inter-regional cross-border insolvency cooperation.
It is obvious that in the field of cross-border insolvency cooperation, China presents a set of unique questions arising from its ‘one country, two systems’ policy and its historic separation between the Mainland and Taiwan. Against this political background the topic indeed needed further study. Now, some six years after the start of her reserch, with ongoing economic integration efforts in the area, it is not hard to understand the importance of her topic.
In her study Ms Gong has assessed the four domestic insolvency systems and compared their quality with two larger frameworks, from the EU and UNCITRAL. She has been doing so in an independent and thorough way, collecting abundant and most recent materials in the field. Some of her ideas were already tested in peer-reviewed insolvency law journals in the USA and in Europe. She compiled a list of recommendations for gradual future development of systemic cooperation within the Chinese inter-regional context. It is named List of Recommendations to CICIA (China’s Inter-regional Cross-Border Insolvency Arrangement) and, with her permission, it is attached to this blog. See: gong-cicia-2016.pdf
The PhD Commission as well as the Oppostition Commission agreed that CICIA is a commendable contribution to the process of building towards a workable framework of cross-border practice. As supervisor it was allowed to make use of the public opportunity of Ms Gong’s defense, to thank the opponents, professors Yuwen Li (Erasmus Rotterdam) and Josie Shi (China University of International Business and Economics, Beijing), professors Ian Fletcher QC (University College London), Reinout Vriesendorp and Niels Blokker (both University of Leiden) and Dr André Berends (Ministry of Finance, The Hague) and Dr Van der Weide (assistent professor Leiden) for reading and assessing her work and for their oppositions last Tuesday.
I concluded, evidently, with my congratulations with the acquired doctorate and – as I have always done – my call to appreciate a doctoral degree obtained as an honorable award and a well-earned privilege, but thereby never forgetting the obligations it imposes on the young doctor towards science and towards society.