International law has always recognized that its basic principle of territorial integrity cannot completely safeguard a State from physical damage originating outside of its borders. The principal response of international law has been to impose responsibility on a State guilty of causing the damage and accordingly to require that State to desist from the conduct causing the damage, and in addition to accord adequate reparation to the injured State. These basic ideas, simple in conception and generally accepted, are the starting point of Dr. Xue’s wideranging examination of the contemporary law and practice applicable to claims by a State for physical damage originating in or caused by other States.
In recent years this age-old subject has taken on new dimensions, as Dr. Xue’s study amply demonstrates. New technology, industrial development, and population growth have vastly increased extra-territorial damage. Polluted waters, toxic wastes, oil spills, industrial accidents, and ozone gaps have challenged governments and the international legal system to seek remedies. The worldwide expressions of concern have not only called for international action; they have also sensitized national governments and their public to the need both for protective action and for the peaceful settlement of disputes, especially those that threaten violence. Dr. Xue does not reach for “pie in the sky” in her examination of issues and solutions. Her years of practical experience on behalf of her government and her participation in international meetings have given her a realistic understanding of the bond between territorial integrity and sovereignty. She is also aware, however, of the felt need to avoid inter-State conflict and to reach solutions that appear just and equitable. Her study is valuable to the international lawyer (and it is hoped senior government officials) for the various ways she enlists basic