Concise History of International Law in China: Conflicts, Fusion and Development

YANG Zewei; GUO Ran

Item #: 1007146

ISBN: 978-0-8377-4223-6
Published: Getzville; William S. Hein & Co., Inc.; 2021.


This book aims to: unfold a long and grand panoramic scroll depicting the evolution of international law in China, especially the period of history since 1978; reflect a Chinese lawyer’s perspective on the history of international law in China; and simultaneously demonstrate that the goal of a historian’s works is not simply to restate events, but “to capture their soul,” or reveal inherent dynamism within a system and delineate its unseen rules.

Traces of international law in China can be dated back to the Spring and Autumn Period, when the Zhou Dynasty fell apart into many separate vassal states. The introduction of European international law into China was regarded as the means of last resort by the Qing Dynasty to maintain its sovereignty in name, but failed. The Republic of China made great achievements in abrogating unequal treaties and recovering sovereign equality. Since the founding of the PRC in 1949, China has adopted an independent foreign policy. China’s practice with respect to the five principles of peaceful co-existence, state recognition, succession, dual nationality and peaceful settlement of international disputes have enriched international law; and China’s initiatives and practice in the 21st century, such as the Belt and Road Initiative, have facilitated the development of international law. International legal study in China began to develop in the process of solving sovereignty problems of the newborn China during the 1950s. Its great expansion during the 1980s was inseparable from China’s opening up and independent foreign policy. Currently it has stepped into an era to resolve domestic and international problems associated with China’s peaceful rise.

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