Panel One: South China Sea Dispute

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Elizabeth Riddell-Dixon

The Law of the Sea Convention and the Extended Continental Shelf Regime

Dr. Elizabeth Riddell-Dixon is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History at Trinity College (University of Toronto), a Senior Fellow at Massey College, and a Professor Emerita of Political Science at the University of Western Ontario, where she taught international relations. Her publications include Breaking the Ice: Canada, Sovereignty, and the Arctic Extended Continental Shelf; Canada and the Beijing Conference on Women: Governmental Politics and NGO Participation; Canada and the International Seabed: Domestic Determinants and External Constraints; and The Domestic Mosaic: Interest Groups and Canadian Foreign Policy; The State of the United Nations, 1993: North-South Perspectives; and International Relations in the Post-Cold War Era; as well as numerous articles and chapters. She has served as Director of the Arctic Research Program for the Canada and United States Institute (University of Western Ontario), Chair of the Department of Political Science (Western), Vice President of the Academic Council on the United Nations System; Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Museum of Ontario Archaeology; Executive Member of the Board of the Canadian Political Science Association; Chair of the Academic Committee of the Board of Directors of the Lester B. Pearson Canadian International Peacekeeping Centre; member of the Executive Committee of the Victoria University Senate; and member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Pugwash Group.

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Chris Chung

"Southward Development,” “National Essence,” and “Historic Rights”: Connections Between Modernity, History, and International Law in China's South China Sea Islands Claims

Chris Chung is a PhD Candidate in History at the University of Toronto. His research examines how late imperial and modern Chinese notions of maritime sovereignty, territory, history, identity, and the nation intersected and developed in the South China Sea islands dispute. His doctoral dissertation will highlight the pivotal importance of semi-official and non-official actors to this formation process. It will draw heavily from Qing, Republican Chinese, and PRC archival files that remain largely unused in relevant scholarship.

His article from the academic journal Modern China, titled "Drawing the U-Shaped Line: China’s Claim in the South China Sea, 1946–1974," analyzes the origins and meaning of China's U-shaped line claim in the South China Sea. It has been extensively cited in both academic literature and non-academic circles. The latter includes the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague and in US Congressional Testimony.

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Ted McDorman

The South China Sea: The Law of the Sea Meets Politics

Ted L. McDorman is a Professor McDorman is a Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Victoria in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Before joining the University of Victoria in 1985, Professor McDorman was at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia with the Dalhousie Oceans Studies Programme (DOSP).

For almost 20 years (1984-2002), Professor McDorman was involved with the Southeast Asian Ocean Law, Policy and Management Programme (SEAPOL) centered in Bangkok, Thailand and through this project had the opportunity to study and write about numerous Southeast Asian ocean law and policy issues.

From 2002-2004 and again from 2011 to 2013, Professor McDorman was “academic-in-residence” in the Legal Affairs Branch of the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade where he was involved in a number of Arctic, law of the sea and environmental matters and represented Canada at several international forums.

Professor McDorman and has over 130 publications in the areas of ocean law and policy, international trade law and comparative constitutional law. Since 2000, he has been the editor-in-chief of Ocean Development and International Law.

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Nong Hong

Lawfare Surrounding the South China Sea: The Role of UNCLOS and State Practice

Dr. HONG Nong is Executive Director and Senior Fellow of Institute for China– America Studies. She holds a PhD of interdisciplinary study of international law and international relations from the University of Alberta, Canada and held a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the University’s China Institute. She was ITLOS-Nippon Fellow for International Dispute Settlement (2008-2009), and Visiting Fellow at the Center of Oceans Law and Policy, University of Virginia (2009) and at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law (2007). She is concurrently a research fellow with China Institute, University of Alberta, Canada, and the National Institute for South China Sea Studies, China. Her research takes an interdisciplinary approach to examining international relations and international law, with focus on International Relations and Comparative Politics in general; ocean governance in East Asia and the Arctic; law of the sea; international security, particularly non-traditional security; and international dispute settlement and conflict resolution.

Her selected publications include China's Interests in the Arctic: Opportunities & Challenges: Examining the implications of China's Arctic policy white paper (2018), Maritime Order and the Law in East Asia (Routeldge, 2018, co-edited with Gordon Houlden), Understanding the Freedom of Navigation Doctrine and China-US Relations in the South China Sea Legal Concepts, Practice, and Policy Implication (2017); UNCLOS and Ocean Dispute Settlement: Law and Politics in the South China Sea (Routledge, 2012); Maritime Security Issues in the South China Sea and the Arctic: Sharpened Competition or Collaboration? (China Democracy and Legal System Publishing House, 2012); Recent Developments in the South China Sea Dispute: The Prospect of a Joint Development Regime (Ashgate, 2014, co-edited with Wu Shicun); UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the South China Sea (Ashgate, 2015, co-edited with Wu Shicun, Mark Valencia).

Panel Two: Trade and "One Belt One Road" Initiative

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Thomas S. Axworthy

China and the Polar Silk Road

Dr. Thomas S. Axworthy is Chair of Public Policy at Massey College. He served as Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, and during his time there, helped to create the Asia Pacific Foundation. From 1984 to 2003, he taught at the Institute of Politics at John F. Kennedy School of Government. Beginning in 1998, he was part of the Harvard team that taught in Hong Kong and Tsinghua. From 2009 to 2015, Dr. Axworthy was president and CEO of The Gordon Foundation, an institution known for its partnership with Northern indigenous leaders in helping to create the Arctic Council. Presently, he is Secretary-General of the InterAction Council of Former World Leaders and Heads of State, where he has organized plenary sessions in China in 2008 and 2012. He is also a visiting professor at Zhejiang University and a regular columnist for China Today.

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Gil Lan

One Belt, One Road: Its impact on trading relationships and Canada

Gil Lan is an Associate Professor in the Law and Business Department at the Ted Rogers School of Management (TRSM) where he teaches business law.  He is also a Council Member of the Canada-China Institute for Business Development at TRSM. He received his B.Sc. from the University of Toronto and his LL.B., LL.M. and Ph.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School.  In addition to teaching at Ryerson University, Dr. Lan has lectured at Osgoode Hall Law School where he has taught Business Associations and he has, since 2008, taught in the LL.M. program for International Business Law. 

Dr. Lan is an avid speaker and his presentation venues have ranged from academic conferences sponsored by universities and academic organizations in Canada, the U.S., and China to profession-oriented events sponsored by organizations such as the Ontario Bar Association and the Association of Chinese-Canadian Lawyers of Ontario. 

His research centres on corporate-commercial law with a focus on international perspectives (particularly with respect to China) as well as the law’s potential to promote social goals and innovation.  His specific interests include comparative law approaches, international business law, corporate governance, government regulation of business, social enterprise, law and development, and Chinese law.

Dr. Lan’s research has addressed issues such as how China managed to accomplish phenomenal economic growth after 1979 without a strong Western-style property regime, how Canada’s foreign investment laws could be improved, and the inter-relationship between corporate law structures and ascending innovative entrepreneurship models such as social enterprise.  In his presentations and guest lectures, he has addressed a range of topics including corporate governance in different countries, the Chinese legal system, social entrepreneurship and legal structures, diversity in the legal profession, and barriers facing immigrant entrepreneurs.

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Cyndee Todgham Cherniak

Export Control, Economic Sanctions and the Impact of the US-China Trade War on Canadian Businesses

Cyndee Todgham Cherniak is the founding lawyer of LexSage, a boutique international trade law and sales tax firm in Toronto, Ontario. She has practiced for almost 20 years at Canada’s top Bay Street law firms. Cyndee has been appointed by the Government of Canada to the NAFTA Chapter 19 Roster in the Members of Panels (NAFTA) Regulations. Cyndee was appointed by Canada's Minister of Justice (Peter MacKay) for two terms on the Judicial Advisory Committee to the Tax Court of Canada. Cyndee's practice includes: international law, including (1) NEXUS confiscation appeals, customs duties, value for duty, tariff classification, origin appeals, penalty assessment appeals, export controls and economic sanctions and trade restrictions, Canada's Magnitsky Act sanctions, asset freeezes, anti-money laundering, import controls (e.g., chicken, poultry and cheese), anti-dumping and countervailing duties, safeguard actions, circumvention proceedings, scope proceedings, World Trade Organization (WTO) and FreeTrade Agreements (e.g., NAFTA and CETA) analysis, interpretations, and opinions, government relations strategies, and dispute settlement, North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) verifications, Canada-EU CETA verifications, bilateral restraint agreements, bilateral investment treaties, textile references, international protection of intellectual property rights, government procurement, investor-state disputes, the Foreign Extraterritorial Measures Act, border and national security, food and product safety, anti-corruption and anti-bribery, and compliance programs/codes of conduct, and (2) commodity tax (i.e., goods and services tax (GST), harmonized sales tax ("HST"), Ontario retail sales tax, Ontario employer health tax, Ontario land transfer tax, excise tax, gasoline and fuel taxes, and customs duties. Cyndee is known as an international lawyer who works closely with other lawyers, in-house counsel, international financial institutions, trade associations, non-governmental organizations and governments.

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Julia Qin

Forced Technology Transfer and the US-China Trade War

Julia Ya Qin is Professor of Law at Wayne State University Law School, United States, where she teaches international business transactions, international finance, international trade law, and Chinese business law. Professor Qin was professor at Tsinghua University Law School (joint appointment) (2014-2016), visiting professor at the University of Michigan Law School (2013), Seoul National University (2012), and Washington University in St. Louis (2007). She also taught as an adjunct professor at New York University Law School. Professor Qin has published widely in various international law journals and books, and spoken at numerous forums around the world, on the subjects of international trade law, public international law and Chinese law.

Professor Qin earned her LL.B. from Peking University, and LL.M. and S.J.D. degrees from Harvard Law School. Before joining academia, she was a practicing attorney in the Hong Kong and New York offices of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, specializing in international business transactions. Previously she served as a judicial clerk for the late Chief Judge Dominick DiCarlo at the United States Court of International Trade.

Panel Three: Human Rights and Minorities of China

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Alvin Y.H. Cheung

Writ in Water: Civil and Political Rights in Hong Kong and the "Advocacy of Independence"

Alvin Y.H. Cheung is a J.S.D. Candidate at New York University School of Law and an Affiliated Scholar at NYU's US-Asia Law Institute. His doctoral project, "Abusive Legalism," addresses the systematic abuse of sub-constitutional legal norms and institutions by authoritarian regimes. Alvin holds degrees from NYU (LL.M. in International Legal Studies, 2014) and Cambridge (M.A. 2011), and has worked in Hong Kong as a barrister and as a lecturer in Law & Public Affairs at Hong Kong Baptist University. He has also written and presented extensively about developments in Hong Kong for academic, specialist, and lay audiences.

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Masashi Crete-Nishihati

Canaries in the Coal Mine: Digital Espionage Operations Targeting the Tibetan Diaspora

Masashi Nishihata is Research Director at the Citizen Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto. His research focuses on information controls and their impact on human rights. Recent work and collaborations include investigations of targeted malware operations against civil society groups and journalists, and analysis of censorship on social media applications in China.

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Louisa Greve

The Uyghur Homeland as a Laboratory of Repression

Louisa Greve is director for external affairs for the Uyghur Human Rights Project, based in Washington, DC. She is an expert on human rights in China and an experienced non-profit advisor, and has traveled and worked in China since 1980. Ms. Greve was formerly Vice President for Programs and East Asia Director at the National Endowment for Democracy. She is the author of several book chapters on ethnic issues and human rights in China, and has testified before the U.S. Congress on democracy and human rights in Asia.

Ms. Greve serves as Washington Fellow for CSW, a UK-based advocacy group promoting freedom of religion or belief for all peoples and faiths, chairs the U.S. Committee to End Transplant Abuse in China, and serves on the board of Liberty's Promise. She has served on the board of Amnesty International USA and the Virginia Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. She has a bachelor's degree in Asian Studies from Cornell University and a graduate certificate in Chinese and American Studies from the Hopkins-Nanjing Center in Nanjing, China. Ms. Greve speaks English and Chinese.

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Mehmet Tohti

Stateless Uyghurs: Causes and Consequences

Mehmet Tohti is founder of Uyghur Canadian Association (known as Uyghur Canadian Society) and also one of the co-founders of World Uyghur Congress. He is a prominent Human Rights defender of Uyghurs under Chinese rule and has been actively working in Canada and around the world for more than 30 years. He worked as special representative of World Uyghur Congress to European Union in 2010-2012. He has testified at European Parliament twice and appeared before Canadian parliament three times to testify. He has been interviewed by various international and Canadian media for almost two decades. Currently, he is lives in Mississauga, Ontario and works in legal fields.