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

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 11/82

15 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2011 Last revised: 10 Jul 2013

See all articles by Ben Saul

Ben Saul

The University of Sydney Law School

Date Written: November 3, 2011

Abstract

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.

本文探讨中国在国内,跨国,和国际级别对于国际法内重要自然资源规管的态度。本文并研讨国际法对中国本国作法的影响和中国对发展国际法所做出的贡献。本文更指出认为中国是相对孤立和信奉主权绝对主义的普遍概念,包括其对自然资源的开采和取得手段, 并不符合当代法律实际。中国主权至上的表现影响她对法律规管的态度,但现实也表明中国会采取谨慎和灵活的手段,包括通过法律妥协和承诺使用多边条例或者双边外交调和来处理早前是国内政府领域内的问题。中国对建立当代国际习惯法经常是活跃和有建议性的,就象和其他国家一样,为自己的利益利用国际法。

Keywords: China, international law, resources, sovereignty, non-intervention

JEL Classification: K10, K30, K33

Suggested Citation

Saul, Ben, China, Resources, and International Law (November 3, 2011). 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; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 11/82. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1954180 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1954180

Ben Saul (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://https://sydney.edu.au/law/about/people/profiles/ben.saul.php

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