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Professor Zhang Wenguang Interviewed by Xinhua News Agency on the Expansion of the Scope of Application of the Maritime Law to Inland Water Transportation

Since the Amendment to the Maritime Law of the People’s Republic of China (the Exposure Draft) was published by the Ministry of Transportation for soliciting public opinions, several seminars and colloquia have been held to discuss legal issues relating to inland water transportation and inland vessels. Some experts believe that China should expand the scope of application of the Maritime Law to inland water transportation, so as to solve the problems of application of law in judicial practice and promote the healthy and orderly development of inland water transportation. Recently, Professor Zhang Wenguang, an associate research fellow at CASS Institute of International Law and the Deputy Director of the “Belt and Road” Judicial Research Base, pointed out in an interview by the Xinhua News Agency that there are different of opinions in the theoretical and practical circles about whether the amendment to the law should include provisions on inland water transportation and inland vessels, but he himself took an open attitude towards this issue, namely these provisions can be included in the law if they can be sufficiently demonstrated. If so, contracts on domestic inland water cargo transportation should be provided for in a separate chapter: “This is relatively easy to realize from the point of view of legislative technique because the general provisions in each chapter are relatively easy to formulate. Besides, this will ensure that the Chinese legal system of international cargo transportation by sea is consistent with internationally accepted rules of practice and that the competitive power of Chinese shipping enterprises is not be affected.”