Law and Policy in China's Foreign Relations: A Study of Attitudes and Practice

Law and Policy in China's Foreign Relations: A Study of Attitudes and Practice

Law and Policy in China's Foreign Relations: A Study of Attitudes and Practice

Law and Policy in China's Foreign Relations: A Study of Attitudes and Practice

Excerpt

Against the background of the debate concerning whether the universality of international law can be maintained in the face of the current ideological and cultural disunity of mankind, the name of Communist China is often cited with a question mark. To what extent can Communist China, armed with a militant ideology, be expected to accept the existing rules of the game in international relations? The answer is of no small interest to those concerned with the maintenance of world peace and order. As one scholar has pertinently put it, in the years since 1949, the People's Republic of China (hereinafter referred to as the CPR) has "emerged as one of the most dynamic, disrupting, and disturbing influences on the world scene."

One can attempt to approach a question of this nature from at least three different perspectives. First, one can examine the implications of a state's ideology or cultural heritage, to identify its overall world view and ascertain if it is hostile or amenable to the prevailing framework of world order. Such an approach has been adopted by, for example, H. A. Smith and K. Wilk in their studies of the cases of Nazi Germany and, more extensively, the Soviet Union. Their anxiety about a "crisis" in international law has since found new expression in the writings of Julius Stone, who views the emergence of a growing multitude of non-Western states in recent years as proceeding at the price of "continuing dilution of [the] contents" of international law.

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