The challenge of change for the legal and political systems of Eurasia

The impact of the New Silk Road

by Amandine Cayol (Volume editor) Zhuldyz Sairambaeva (Volume editor) Pierre Chabal (Volume editor)
©2020 Edited Collection 316 Pages


After reflecting On the European and Asian origins of legal and political systems: views from Korea, Kazakhstan and France (2018), the authors address in this book three intertwined issues. First, how systems that were established long ago are challenged by the necessity to adapt to change both in time, rapidly after the end of the cold war, and in space, across the continent of Eurasia and no longer ‘simply’ in their sub-region. Second, how these systems evolve both in a sui generis manner and adopt, each for itself, reforms at the national and sub-regional levels; and also in a reciprocal manner, learn and borrow from each other towards a ‘regional legal order’ in the making. Third, how extra-judicial evolutions, such as the logistical and commercial dynamics of the Belt and Road Initiative(s) appear more and more as the source or the cause of that very change affecting all Eurasian actors and interests. Examined elsewhere from a broad social sciences perspective, in the publication Cross-border exchanges: Eurasian perspectives on logistics and diplomacy (2019), these issues are here systematically analysed by a mix of conceptual and doctrinal perspectives and of textual, jurisprudential and positivist perspectives. Naturally, the challenge within the challenge to ascertain is whether a pan-regional or global legal ‘model’ would be capable of impacting change in general and legal change in particular as part of the ‘post-cold-war 2:’, where the political-military legacy is overcome by and yields to business concerns reaching beyond cautious legal constructions.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Series Page
  • Title Page
  • Copyright Page
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • Citability of the eBook
  • Table of contents
  • Acknowledgements
  • Foreword: The importance of the Chinese mega-project ‘One Belt, One Road’ for the destiny of Eurasia and the world
  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Part I Historical and conceptual approaches to change
  • Introduction
  • Parliament: the challenges of legal and political change in historical perspective1
  • Acculturation, pluralism and legal change in Arab countries
  • Secularism in Muslim Central Asian republics: challenges from religious nationalism as linked to the upheavals of New Silk Roads
  • Development and transformation of the Rule of Law (法治) since ‘Reform and Opening’ in the PR China
  • Development of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) legal order by the practice of the EAEU Court
  • For a better functioning and integration of the European Union1
  • A proposal for the constitutional reform of North Korea
  • Part II The Belt and Road Initiative: changes from Asia to Europe
  • Introduction
  • The Chinese ‘Belt and Road’ and Kazakhstan’s ‘Nurly Zhol’: legal and political aspects of cooperation within two initiatives
  • The ‘Nurly Zhol’ and the ‘One Belt, One Road’ projects: juxtaposition of an idea
  • Theorising regional change especially in the case of the ‘Shanghai cooperation’
  • Kazakhstan-China strategic partnership under the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’1
  • Legal migration regulations of Kazakhstani-Chinese relations: prospects of the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ and the Eurasian Economic Union
  • Reforming Kazakhstan’s migration legislation in the light of the ‘One Belt, One Road’ project
  • Part III Regional and national changes: sectoral cases
  • Introduction
  • Globalisation 2.0?
  • The ‘Most-Favoured-Nation’ principle in recent investment arbitration cases involving some Eurasian countries
  • Legal aspects of trade cooperation in the framework of the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’
  • Why, like other African States, does Mali like China?1
  • The implications for South Korea of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and of the Maritime Economic Cooperation (MEC) in East Asia
  • Part IV The challenges of change in civil law and human aspects
  • Introduction
  • The jurisdiction of national courts in the implementation of prosecution of violations of international humanitarian law
  • The legal challenges of personal data protection
  • The challenges of dematerialisation in law: the example of the ‘apostille’
  • The challenges of change for the legal status of the human body
  • Proposal of an ‘healthcare agent’ as ‘end-of-life’ options in Korea
  • Conclusion
  • Postface
  • List of contributors


Amandine Cayol

Caen Normandie University, Demolombe Institute, Caen, France

Zhuldyz Sairambaeva

al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Almaty, Kazakhstan

Pierre Chabal

Le Havre Normandie University, LexFEIM, France & Europe-Asia Campus of Sciences Po

This book stems from the fourth Kazakh-Franco-Korean Law seminar, held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on 25 and 26 April 2019, made possible by the support of several institutions. Its editors wish to express their sincere appreciation to the Department of International Law of al-Farabi Kazakh National University in Almaty; to the Eurasia Business Association in Korea; to the research Centre LexFEIM (Le Havre) and the Demolombe Institute (Caen) in France; to the InHa University Graduate Law School, Incheon, in Korea; to the Russian Foreign Trade Academy, in Moscow; to the Faculty of Law, Nankai University, Tianjin, in China; and to the Institute for the History of Law (IHD), University of Poitiers, in France.

The growing importance of Asia in academic cooperation and in particular the need for restructuring and renovating the Central Asian systems has led, in recent years, Kazakh and Korean law-colleagues from al-Farabi University (Almaty, Kazakhstan) and InHa University (Incheon, Korea) to reflect with French colleagues on how to conduct joint research. This has led to the holding of international conferences, the proceedings of which were published in Belgium (Peter Lang) in French or English (and in Russian in Kazakhstan) on the following three general themes: i/ Regionalism and its limits: Franco-Kazakh cross-views (2016a in French in Belgium; 2016b in Russian in Kazakhstan, 182 p.), ii/ Mutations of society and legal responses: Franco-Asian perspectives compared (2017a in French in Belgium; 2017b in Russian in Kazakhstan, 280 p.) and iii/ On the Asian and European origins of legal and political systems (2018 in English in Belgium, 298 p.).

The will of Eurasian partners was expressed to hold the fourth conference in 2019 at al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Almaty, Kazakhstan, thereby starting a new cycle of three conferences in order to confirm the long-standing synergy between the Kazakh, Korean and French partner-universities and, most appropriately, to open up joint research to Chinese and Russian colleagues as contacts were established in 2017–2018 with Nankai University (China) and the Russian Foreign Trade Academy, in Moscow. The enthusiasm of our Chinese and Russian participants in Almaty in April 2019 suggested an even greater involvement on their part for the 2021 and 2023 editions of these conferences.

As always, we wish to say to the innumerable colleagues, staff members and students who helped with the organisation in Almaty that without their constant care and loyalty nothing would have proven possible.

To Peter Lang publishers, we say again our long-standing, professional and human gratefulness!

Foreword: The importance of the Chinese mega-project ‘One Belt, One Road’ for the destiny of Eurasia and the world

Sagyngaliy Aidarbayev

Dean, Department of International Law, al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Almaty, Kazakhstan

Yong-Ho Yang

Eurasia Business Association, Korea

The American political scientist Z. Brzezinski in his book The Great Chess Board determined the importance of the Eurasian continent for the destinies of the world in the early 1990s. According to his conclusion, the question of world domination is decided precisely in Eurasia: without domination over Eurasia, there is no world domination. It is possible to argue with certain provisions of the doctrine of Z. Brzezinski, but the most important thing in his reasoning is noted correctly – the Eurasian continent plays a crucial role in the future of all humanity. Therefore, those processes that occur in the depths of this complex and diverse continent, attract the attention of researchers.

One of such significant processes that promise to have a significant impact on the political and economic map of Eurasia, and therefore the whole world, is the Chinese megaproject ‘One Belt, One Road’ that is rapidly developing before our eyes, which China itself recently renamed to the project the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’. The initiative to revive the historic Great Silk Road can have a great influence on the direction of movement of large commodity-money masses and technologies between East and West of Eurasia. Already more than sixty States are involved in this process, which is actively promoted by its initiator – China.

With the aggravation of trade and economic relations between China and the USA, the sanctioned opposition between Russia and the West, the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ is able to restructure the system of international trade, economic, political and legal relations throughout Eurasia. The volumes of allocated investments and implemented infrastructure projects are impressive in their scale. Already today practically all countries of the former Soviet Union, States of Asia, Africa and a number of EU Member-States have joined the orbit of this project. The efforts of the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) are directed to the implementation of the ‘One Belt, One Road’ project; other organisations, such as the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), are making adjustments to their activities; third organisations are considering the possibility of pairing with this megaproject.

The Chinese initiative is being actively studied by the research structures of the USA, the EU and many other countries in terms of the possible influence on their interests and policies in Eurasia. Many Eurasian States adopt strategic plans for their development, taking into account the project ‘One Belt, One Way’. Thus, a vivid example of such a State is Kazakhstan, which from the very beginning supported the Chinese initiative and adopted its strategic programme ‘Nurly Zhol’ (Shining Path).

Particular importance for the successful implementation of the ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative are the countries of Central Asia and Russia, which are located in the centre of the Eurasian continent and connect the East of Eurasia with its West. In addition, it is very important to connect to this project of States located in the extreme east (South Korea) and the extreme west of Eurasia (France). In this aspect, it is very important to hear what opinions exist among the expert community of these States regarding the participation of their countries in the ‘One Belt, One Way’ project.

Using the unique platform of the conference, which brought together representatives of the scientific community of Kazakhstan, China, South Korea, Russia and France, an exchange of views was held around the political, legal, trade and economic aspects of the implementation of the ‘The Belt and Road Initiative’. I believe that the results of the international conference, held on 25–26th of April in 2019 in Almaty (Kazakhstan) within the walls of the al-Farabi Kazakh National University, will be of interest to researchers dealing with the problems of the development of the Eurasian continent. It is very important that the conference revealed a number of issues that require separate study and may be the subject of discussion in other scientific forums. The conference participants agreed to continue joint activities in areas of mutual interest.



Nankai University, the People’s Republic of China

Politics and laws are mostly moved by society and economy development. Meanwhile, the evolution of society and economy also receive significant influence from politics and the legal system. A closing interactive relationship exists among them. The Forth Asian and European Conference of Law and Politics: “The Challenges of Change for the Political-legal Systems of Eurasia” has successfully ended. Nevertheless, the more profound cooperation among China, France, Kazakhstan, Korea and Russia has just begun and will step onto a higher stage of a comprehensive development under the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’.

This year’s conference reveals the fruits that we have obtained through communication and cooperation among Asian and European countries. At the same time, these collaborating countries aim to lighten a path for the future. Tremendous possibilities of all-round cooperation have achieved since the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ has been brought up five years ago. Currently, more than 150 countries have signed the Belt and Road cooperation contracts with China. Kazakhstan, who generously held this conference, is the first country that the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ been raised, and also the first station of western construction. For the five years, China and Kazakhstan have realised remarkable accomplishments at trades, infrastructure constructions, investments and so on.1 Great foundation has been solidly laid on. The cheerful collaboration among China, France, Kazakhstan, Korea and Russia presents possibility and practicality for the wider scope of cooperation with other Asian and European countries. It is not difficult to visualise, in the future, China and other collaborating countries will continuing deepen interaction to promote the further development of the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’.

Meanwhile, China has experienced forty years of reform and opening up. To profoundly govern the country by rule of law is also stressed many times. The ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ is thriving on an open ground and escorted by rule of law. The forty years of reform and opening up enable China to provide both material support and strategic guidance for collaborating countries. Moreover, the implement of rule of law shoulders the responsibility to ensure safe and professional trades and investments.

It is of vital importance that the scholars and specialists from collaborating countries to gather here at Kazakhstan, sharing thoughts and changing opinions, also to witness the achievements of cooperation under the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’. We believe the enlightening thoughts and opinions from this meeting will provide the most direct reflection of the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’. Also, by summary of past experience, it is a great opportunity to look forward to the brightening future that the collaboration will constantly upgrade and expand among Asian and European countries.

1 Xiao ZHANG, Chinese Ambassador of Kazakhstan, https://www.yidaiyilu.gov.cn/xwzx/hwxw/92151.htm, last accessed on 13 June 2019.


Yesbol Omirzhanov

Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Almaty, Kazakhstan

More than two thousand years ago, a road appeared in Eurasia, connecting European and Asian civilizations that were completely different from each other. The Great Silk Road allowed many nations to get to know their neighbours better, to establish trade, to get acquainted with the latest religious and philosophical teachings and to establish diplomatic relations with the most distant countries. Many years later, the Great Silk Road returns to life and again becomes one of the important connecting threads of many states. If once the Great Silk Road was laid as a result of various military campaigns, then in the modern world this was possible through diplomacy. This time the idea of reunification of the East and the West was reflected in official documents and proposed by the official authorities of one state. The initiator of the idea was China proposed to the world the megaproject ‘One Belt, One Road’. The concept of ‘One Belt, One Road’ is an international initiative of China to improve the existing and create new trade and transport corridors, which connects more than 60 countries of Central Asia, Europe and Africa.

On September 7, 2013, during his first state visit to Kazakhstan, Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a speech at Nazarbayev University and officially launched an ambitious initiative to jointly build the Silk Road Economic Belt, which immediately received support from the President of Kazakhstan and an active response from various circles societies in Kazakhstan. Subsequently, Kazakhstan became one of the earliest states that took part in international cooperation within the framework of the initiative “One Belt, One Road”.1

Every year the project is gaining popularity and, till this time, China has signed cooperation agreements under the ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative with more than one hundred countries. The implementation of this project stimulated a change in the national policies and legislation of the participating countries, and this in turn led to changes in various sectors of public life. At the moment, there are a lot of different opinions and views regarding this project. Some support the initiatives of China and some are sceptical of this project. As well as politicians, businessmen, scientists from various countries also united for making scientific discussion on the project ‘One Belt, One Road’. As a result, scientists from France, Russia, China, Kazakhstan and Korea shared their research at the fourth Kazakh-Franco-Korean Law seminar, held in Almaty, on 25 and 26 April 2019.


ISBN (Hardcover)
ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2020 (March)
Bruxelles, Berlin, Bern, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2020. 316 pp., 2 fig. b/w, 1 tables.

Biographical notes

Amandine Cayol (Volume editor) Zhuldyz Sairambaeva (Volume editor) Pierre Chabal (Volume editor)

Amandine Cayol, Dr PhD (Private Law) is associate professor at University of Caen, member of Demolombe Institute and co-director of Master’s degree in Insurance Law. Her fields of expertise are Tort Law, Contract Law, Property Law and mainly now the legal status of the human body and she authored Le contrat d’ouvrage (2013). Zhuldyz Sairambaeva, Dr PhD (Law) is associate professor and Director of the International Law department, al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Almaty. Her field of expertise is International economic law. She co-authored in 2016 The Shanghai organization of cooperation and security issues in Central Asia. Pierre Chabal, Dr PhD (Pol. Sc.) and Sc Dr Habil (Pol. Sc. and Int. Rel.), supervises international research in the LexFEIM centre (Le Havre university). Invited professor at the national universities of Kazakhstan (al-Farabi, Almaty), Mongolia (NUM) and Uzbekistan (UWED), he published La coopération de Shanghai : conceptualiser la nouvelle Asie (2019).


Title: The challenge of change for the legal and political systems of Eurasia