Sovereignty and International Engagement in Contemporary China: Could China Intervene?

Sovereignty and International Engagement in Contemporary China:  Could China Intervene?

The present paper attempts to identify the most relevant dimensions which shaped China’s involvement with the international community and law. I contend that these dimensions should include the Chinese reading of “sovereignty” as a legal concept and China’s increasing willingness to commensurate its dramatic economic development with an adequate position in the international system. Finally, I will analyze whether China is willing to read her mainstay of foreign policy, the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence, in a new key, that is to intervene in order to protect her growing interests abroad. The first part of the article will review the historical developments as well as the main theoretical considerations regarding China’s Five Principles. The second part sets to provide some insights into China’s evolution from perhaps the most notable absentee of the international system to one of the most assertive ones. Finally, I will move on to analyze whether, in the light of China’s evolution and guiding principles of international engagement, China could witness another major change in her relationship with the world. I will, in other words, assess whether China could, at some point in the foreseeable future, leave behind her sovereignty stance and intervene, if needed, in order to protect her interests overseas.

 

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