China and Sovereignty: Approaches to Sovereignty in the Chinese Expert Environment
Sovereignty is a key issue in the foreign policy of the People’s Republic of China. In the paper, I focus on the understanding of this key notion and phenomenon by Chinese experts. The main research question of the paper is how the Chinese expert (academic) sphere approaches sovereignty and how the notion of sovereignty is conceptually or theoretically developed within the Chinese sphere. In the paper, I show that one dominant model, which is identical with the so-called conservative (absolutist, Westphalian) understanding of sovereignty, can be identified. However, in some specific cases, Chinese authors demonstrate a relatively high degree of creativity and, hence, move beyond the conservative understanding of sovereignty. These cases are related to China’s relations to Taiwan and Hong Kong, connections between sovereignty and human rights, and the concept of inter-temporal law.
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