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International law as world order in early 20th century China

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Chapter Summary

This chapter addresses the wide array of contributions to the intellectual discourse on international law in early 20th century China. The early contributions to this discourse were generally affirmative to the prospects of applying the structural principles of international law to bolster a Chinese application for membership in the international family of nations. China de facto entered the procedures of international law with the early trade treaties or with the rejection of trade only to be conducted within the tribute system. It seems that the East Asian world order had become too narrow also for a Chinese world orientation. The intellectual orientation of Chinese inter-state relations was indisputably changed in the early 20th century, and international law is to be found at the core of that orientation.

Keywords: Chinese inter-state relations; early 20th century China; intellectual discourse; international law; world order



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