China's New Global Presence and Its Position Towards Public International Law: Obeying, Using or Shaping?

Lutz-Christian Wolff, Chao Xi (eds), Legal Dimensions of China's Belt and Road Initiative, Wolters Kluwer, Hong Kong 2016, 481-505.

18 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2016 Last revised: 19 Nov 2016

See all articles by Björn Ahl

Björn Ahl

Institute of East Asian Studies, University of Cologne

Date Written: August 25, 2016

Abstract

This study investigates how the Chinese legal system positions itself in relation to international treaties and how China interacts with the international human rights regime of the UN Human Rights Council. The design of the national legal framework that provides for a mechanism giving effect to international obligations in domestic law is significant for determining how public international law is obeyed and used by the PRC. Given the closer bilateral cooperation between China and the participants in OBOR, the question of the effectiveness of international obligations in Chinese domestic law has become increasingly relevant. The second part of this study analyses China’s role as a norm shaper in the era of international human rights law. Although the Chinese government is not in a position to transform its distinct official human rights concept into international law, it can now more assertively influence international human rights discourses and monitoring procedures. The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the UN Human Rights Council has provided the PRC with a forum to push for changes in international human rights law. Again, this aspect is interesting from the viewpoint of OBOR, not only because human rights may become an issue in the OBOR context, but also because it demonstrates how China’s position now translates into decisive action at the level of public international law.

Keywords: One Belt One Road; Implementation of international treaties in China; human rights

Suggested Citation

Ahl, Björn, China's New Global Presence and Its Position Towards Public International Law: Obeying, Using or Shaping? (August 25, 2016). Lutz-Christian Wolff, Chao Xi (eds), Legal Dimensions of China's Belt and Road Initiative, Wolters Kluwer, Hong Kong 2016, 481-505.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2830199

Björn Ahl (Contact Author)

Institute of East Asian Studies, University of Cologne ( email )

Albertus-Magnus-Platz
Cologne, 50923
Germany
+492214705421 (Phone)

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