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China-ASEAN legal cooperation center established in Hainan

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HAIKOU, March 26 (Xinhua) -- A center for legal cooperation between China and ASEAN countries opened Monday in China's southernmost province of Hainan.

As the only non-governmental organization engaged in legal cooperation between China and countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the China-ASEAN Legal Cooperation Center will promote research and exchanges on law studies between experts from these countries, said Ma Wei, the center's secretary general.

The center was established in Haikou, capital of Hainan province -- the province nearest to ASEAN countries and the only province in mainland China offering visas on arrival, said Ma.

Apart from legal studies,the center also will help strengthen cooperation in trade, investment, tourism, education and culture between these countries and resolve disputes in a civil and legal way, Hatta Ali, chief justice of the Supreme Court of Indonesia as well as president of the ASEAN Law Association, said at the opening ceremony.

Proposed by the China Law Society (CLS) last September at a China-ASEAN legal forum held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the center was co-organized by CLS-affiliated China Law Center of Academic Exchanges, Beijing Dacheng Law Firm and the Hainan Provincial Arbitration Committee.

China and ASEAN countries have established close economic ties. The China and ASEAN Free Trade Area, established in 2011, covers 1.9 billion consumers and has a gross production value of up to 6 trillion U.S. dollars.

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