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Notary Procedure to Improve
China is pushing to establish a notary system that conforms to its market economy, Justice Minister Zhang Fusen said yesterday.

"To reach the objective, we need to learn from the countries that have successful experience in this field," Zhang said during the opening day of the two-day International Symposium on Notarial Services and Economic Development.

The symposium, hosted by the Union Internationale Du Notariat Latin and the China Notaries' Association, aims to seek new ways of using the notary role in economic globalization. More than 450 notaries and judicial officials from 38 countries are attending.

"China has been reinforcing its notary system since it carried out reform policies in the early 1980s and notarial services have now become part of people's daily lives," the minister said.

With 3,100 notary offices, the country handled more than 10 million cases last year and its notary documents were distributed to more than 100 countries and regions.

"But it still has a long way to go when compared with the countries that have adopted the Latin notary system," Zhang said.

He added China is willing to improve its system by conducting extensive exchanges with foreign counterparts.

"But it holds that countries can't develop their legal systems the same ways because of their different cultures and unbalanced economic development," Zhang said.

China issued its Provisional Regulation on Notaries in 1982, but it has failed to meet the changing conditions.

Zheng Changyu, chief of the Notary Affairs Division at the Shanghai Justice Bureau, said a notary law is being examined by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and waiting to be approved.

As a permanent observer, China is welcome to join the Union Internationale Du Notariat Latin due to its active involvement in world notary affairs, said Bernardo Perz Fernandez Del Castillo, union secretary-general.

Over the past decade, China has achieved a remarkable success in the reform of its judicial system, laying a solid foundation for its entry into the union, Del Castillo said.

He said the hosting of the symposium for the first time in a non-member country, which has attracted so many countries that use the Latin system, proved the firm support for China's recent efforts.

"We are glad to see that China's notary system is developing towards the direction that is required," he said.

(China Daily January 17, 2003)

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