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[Lecture] Insights from Diplomatic Archival Research on China’s Role in International Legal History: Book Talk–Recentering the World: China and the Transformation of International Law
May. 24, 2023

Speaker: Prof. Ryan Martínez Mitchell, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Moderator: Prof. Norman P. Ho, Peking University School of Transnational Law

Time: 12:15-13:30 p.m., May 24, 2023, GMT+8

Venue: Zoom Meeting ID: 882 3888 7729 Passcode: 730046

Language: English


Recentering the World recovers a richly contextual, detailed history of Western-imposed legal structures in China, as well as engagements with international law by Chinese officials, jurists, and citizens. Beginning in the Late Qing era, it shows how international law functioned as a channel for power relations, techniques of economic domination, as well as novel forms of resistance. The book also radically diversifies traditionally Eurocentric accounts of modern international law's origins, demonstrating how, by the mid-twentieth century, Chinese jurists had made major contributions to international organizations and the UN system, the international judiciary, the laws of armed conflict, and more. Drawing on extensive archival research, especially diplomatic materials, this book is a valuable guide to China's often conflicted role in international legal history, its reception and contention of concepts of sovereignty, property, obligation, and autonomy, and its gradual move from the 'periphery' to a shared spot at the 'center' of global legal order.

Source: School of Transnational Law