All of us here know how important the rule of law is.
It is the cornerstone of an open and fair society; it promotes prosperity and stability; it provides the transparency and legal clarity needed to promote trade and investment; and it ends impunity and improves access to justice for all citizens.
Rule of law enables states to function on behalf of their citizens.
Without it, elites can misappropriate a nation’s wealth, abuse power and control access to entitlement.
States without the rule of law are often the poorest and most fragile.
Rule of law in China
Whilst we, of course, recognise that China has made unprecedented improvements in social and economic rights and personal freedoms in the last 30 years, there is no doubt that its application of the rule of law and the Rules-Based International System, at home and farther afield, continues to present challenges.
Recent events in Hong Kong and the South China Sea have raised questions about China’s commitment to the rule of law.
The [British] foreign secretary raised both these issues with counterparts during his visit to China in January.