China, Resources, and International Law
China, Natural Resources, Sovereignty and International Law (中国，自然资源，主权和国际法) (2013) 37 Asian Studies Review 196-214
15 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2011 Last revised: 10 Jul 2013
Date Written: November 3, 2011
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.
Keywords: China, international law, resources, sovereignty, non-intervention
JEL Classification: K10, K30, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation