China, Resources, and International Law
University of Sydney - Faculty of Law
November 3, 2011
Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 11/82
This article explores China’s attitudes towards the regulation of key natural resources by international law, whether domestically or at the trans-boundary and transnational levels. It considers both the impact of international law on China’s own practices, as well as the contribution of China towards shaping international law. The article suggests that popular conceptions of a relatively isolated, sovereign absolutist China do not accord with contemporary legal realities in a number of areas, including its dealings with natural resources. While China’s construction of strong sovereignty inevitably shapes its attitudes towards legal regulation in a range of important areas, practice also suggests that China adopts a nuanced approach which includes legal compromise, and a commitment to multilateral regulation or bilateral diplomatic settlement of key issues previously within the competence of national governments. China is often an active and constructive participant in contemporary international law-making, even if – like all countries – it also seeks to use international law instrumentally to its own advantage.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 15
Keywords: China, international law, resources, sovereignty, non-intervention
JEL Classification: K10, K30, K33working papers series
Date posted: November 5, 2011
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