Tuesday, November 28, 2006

His Excellency Ambassador Liu Zhenmin*

With great shock and deep grief, I learned from Professor Li Zhaojie of the unfortunate passing of Professor Macdonald. This sad news brings me back to the days, about thirty years ago, when the teaching of international law at Peking University had just been reinstated. We, as the first group of post-graduate students of international law under the supervision of the late Professor Wang Tieya, had great fortune to listen to Professor Macdonald’s wonderful and inspiring lectures at Peking University. He was the first Western professor of international law to visit China after the founding of the People’s Republic of China, giving lectures on international law to Chinese university students. He played a pioneering role in helping us broaden our vision of the international legal system and in initiating academic exchanges in international legal studies between China and foreign countries. Although not every Chinese international law scholar was lucky enough to be his student, he is very much renowned to the entire Chinese international legal community for his tireless efforts to help improve the teaching, research and dissemination of international law in China. Professor Macdonald will be remembered for long as a great friend of the Chinese international legal community.

Looking around the world, many master scholars of international law have left us. We should always think of them. Their great achievements should always inspire us to work harder in the field of international law. Today, international law is playing an increasingly important role in promoting peace as well as the security, development and prosperity of mankind. One of the legacies Professor Macdonald has left us is his life-time commitment to an international community based on the rule of law. It is our professional and moral responsibility to carry on that commitment for the further development of international law and for a better world for mankind.

*Co-representative of the PRC to the United Nations and former Chief of the Department of Treaties and Law of the PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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