Dear professors, members of the University staff, dear parents, students, ladies and gentlemen,
we assemble here all today to celebrate the successful completion of the studies here at Beida of both Chinese students as well as of us, foreign participants of the LLM program in Chinese law. I can say that it has been an amazing time for us spent here in the fine academic environment of this great Chinese university and we all enjoyed it very much. For this opportunity we are immensely grateful to the professors and the staff members of the Law School of Peking University. Among them, I would especially like to express our gratitude to professor Guo Li, vice-dean of the Peking University Law School and the director of our program, who, and this is something we LLM students all agreed upon, made us feel particularly welcome in Beijing and we all felt that we could turn to him in case of any difficulties we encountered.
China is truly a fascinating place to be at, especially at this moment when it is rapidly transforming in the process of development that includes the field of law as well. We therefore had an opportunity to witness a very unique period in the gradual process of formation of the Chinese legal system. I think this experience will be particularly valuable when we look back at it in a few years time.
I think I can say that our common objective of coming to China was to gain a deeper understanding of this for many of us still a rather mysterious country that is so much talked about all around the world. Law as an expression of a country’s political and economic system as well as its culture is, from this perspective, a very convenient way to learn about a foreign country in a manner that is of highly practical use at the same time.
I consider myself now to be very fortunate to be able to contribute to the discussions regarding China with the insight obtained during the last 8 months, not having to rely so much anymore on the views of others but benefit from the unique privilege of having formed my opinions based on my own experience with living in China and studying its legal system here at Beida. As we all know, it is often easier to have strong opinions about distant places and countries from the comfort of your home, but these views often do not stand the test of reality.
I know that many of us have used the opportunity of staying in China to learn as much about this country as possible, although, and I think this is also a feeling shared perhaps by more than a few of us, we discovered that 10 months spent in China can answer only a few questions while raising many more of a far greater complexity at the same time. For this reason, I think that we will have plenty to think about when we return to our own countries.
Let me therefore once again thank the University and professors for this unique opportunity, I think I speak on behalf of all of us to say that what we have learnt during the year at Beida and experienced in the country will have a profound influence on our future careers. I think that we are all very much looking forward to returning to China many more times in the future as this country has, thanks largely to this program, become a part of our lives as well.
Let me finally express my sincere hope that we will have an opportunity to meet again in the future, be it in the beautiful campus of Beida or any other place.
Thank you for your attention