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International law as discipline west and east

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explains the nature and history of international law as a discipline. It discusses how China was introduced into international system of positive international law and how China was understood and recognized in this system of international relations seen from a European or Western perspective. The chapter also looks into the way China did enter international law from the perspective of treaties, permanent diplomatic embassies, and how China was conceived in the Western discourse on international law in the East Asian context. The West interpreted China’s role in international relations against that of her war enemy Japan. The historical and intellectual setting was the basis for the discourse to take place in China in late Qing dynasty and aimed at negotiating a new identity for China in the international family of nations.

Keywords: China; international law; international relations; Japan



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