Law and Power in China’s International Relations

33 Pages Posted: 7 May 2019

See all articles by Jerome A. Cohen

Jerome A. Cohen

New York University School of Law

Date Written: April 17, 2019

Abstract

This Article offers a much-needed updated examination of China’s resort to international law in its international relations, one of the most important and controversial topics facing today’s world. The Article analyzes a range of significant subjects concerning China’s contemporary theory and practice, including its WTO experience, territorial and maritime disputes, bilateral agreements concerning civil and political rights and multilateral human rights treaties. Noting that the current rules-based order appears unable to significantly restrain the exercise of China’s growing power, I argue that Beijing’s present attitude toward international law, which thus far seeks piecemeal changes issue by issue, may be in transition, inching gradually toward a more innovative, broader approach that shapes international law in ways that some observers see as resurrecting traditional China’s prominence in East Asia and that others fear reflect even grander ambitions. China’s growing power, however, is not as securely-based as widely-assumed, and we should not underestimate the extent to which China’s views are influenced by its interactions with the United States and its perception of American practice of international law.

Keywords: China, international law, WTO, territorial disputes, maritime disputes, bilateral agreements, human rights treaties, US-China relations

Suggested Citation

Cohen, Jerome A., Law and Power in China’s International Relations (April 17, 2019). New York University Journal of International Law and Politics (JILP), Vol. 52, 2019, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3373792

Jerome A. Cohen (Contact Author)

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States
212-998-6169 (Phone)
212-995-3662 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://its.law.nyu.edu/faculty/profiles/index.cfm?fuseaction=cv.main&personID=19840

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