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East Goes West: The Chinese view on state sovereignty; in line with the West or a notion of their own?

Andersson, Henrik (2004)
Department of Law
Abstract
When researched and discussed as a legal notion, sovereignty is difficult to define&semic as a strict definition will in all probability be built on subjective state values, and will also change due to adoption or denunciation of treaties, and changes in the overall international political climate. Therefore, as an effect, scholars have declared sovereignty as dead and, thus, of no value to the interdependence of states. These scholars could not be more wrong. When writing this paper I have discovered that sovereignty of states is very much alive and, by some states, guarded as a national treasure. One of the reasons that I have found, that makes sovereignty so hard to define and categorize is that it is not, strictly speaking, a legal... (More)
When researched and discussed as a legal notion, sovereignty is difficult to define&semic as a strict definition will in all probability be built on subjective state values, and will also change due to adoption or denunciation of treaties, and changes in the overall international political climate. Therefore, as an effect, scholars have declared sovereignty as dead and, thus, of no value to the interdependence of states. These scholars could not be more wrong. When writing this paper I have discovered that sovereignty of states is very much alive and, by some states, guarded as a national treasure. One of the reasons that I have found, that makes sovereignty so hard to define and categorize is that it is not, strictly speaking, a legal concept. Sovereignty is more of a philosophical approach towards the powers of states, than a legal approach. Therefore, one cannot point towards a specific Article or law and definitely claim that this is sovereignty. Instead, sovereignty lives within the state, in symbiosis. This is also a reason for sovereignty being alive and well. With sovereignty dead, so would also the state and international law, as we know them, be dead. Without the one there cannot be the other. And a statement that I find perfectly emphasise my point is made by Rousseau when stating that&semic 'If the state or city is nothing but a moral person, the life of which consists in the union of its members, and if the most important of its cares is that of self-preservation, it needs a universal and compulsive force to move and dispose of every part in the manner most expedient for the whole. As nature gives every man an absolute power over all his limbs, the social pact gives the body politic an absolute power over all its members&semic and it is this same power which, when directed by the general will, bears, as I said, the name of sovereignty.' Earlier, I claimed that sovereignty, or rather its definition, depends on subjectively defined criteria&semic and with regard to China, it could not be more close to the truth. China is a perfect example of an entity that allows its past experiences to colour and influence its present actions and claims. Due to China's history and psychological experiences, China has developed a narrow and classical notion of sovereignty. Nevertheless, the foundation for Chinese sovereignty is not without fractures. The Communist Party is struggling with legitimizing insufficiencies that threatens its very power-structure and existence, as the still growing dependence of states and between states undermines Party control and legitimacy. As an indicator of the weaknesses in the Chinese communist power-structure, one might mention that Chairman Mao himself did not believe that the 'one-party' communism leadership was the only true answer to the re-founding of a powerful China&semic 'It is essential to resolutely uphold the 'three-thirds system,' under which Communists have only one-third of the places in organs of political power, so as to attract non-Communists to participate in political power. In areas like the northern part of Jiangsu province, where anti-Japanese democratic political power is just beginning to take form, the proportion of Communists may be even less than one-third. Both governmental offices and the people's representative bodies must draw the petty bourgeoisie, the national bourgeoisie, and the enlightened gentry who are not actively opposed to the Communist Party into participation, and those members of the GMD [Kuomintang or KMT] who are not anti-Communists must also be allowed to participate. Even a small number of Rightists may be allowed to join the people's representative bodies. On no account should our Party monopolize everything. We aim only to destroy the dictatorship of the big compradore bourgeoisie and the big landlord classes, not to replace it with a one-party dictatorship of the CCP [China's Communist Party]... It should be laid down that all landlords and capitalists not opposed to the War of Resistance shall enjoy the same human rights, property rights, and right to vote, and the same freedoms of speech, assembly, association, thought, and belief, as the workers and peasants. The government shall take action only against saboteurs and those who organize riots in our base areas, and shall protect all others and not interfere with them.' In the end of the preface, I would like to make it perfectly clear that differences between Western states and China concerning sovereignty, does not constitute a dissimilarity per se. Statements, actions and policy-choices made in the West and in China, is merely due to a development in time. Where the West is today, China will probably be tomorrow. I would also like to make it clear that my definition of sovereignty and my conclusions of China's policies, is merely interpretations and analytic answers due to my research&semic as stated before, it is all subjective, and my research constitutes an attempt of interpreting and explaining something so indistinct and vague as sovereignty. Finally, I feel that a word of gratitude to my supervisor Olof Beckman (LL.M), and also Ulf Linderfalk (LL.D), Daniel Petersson, and Lotten Paulsson, is much needed. This for them taking time of to, listen to my ideas, helping me when stuck, answering my, sometimes, hazy questions and actually reading my thesis. Thanks! (Less)
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author
Andersson, Henrik
supervisor
organization
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Folkrätt
language
English
id
1555705
date added to LUP
2010-03-08 15:55:18
date last changed
2010-03-08 15:55:18
@misc{1555705,
  abstract     = {When researched and discussed as a legal notion, sovereignty is difficult to define&semic as a strict definition will in all probability be built on subjective state values, and will also change due to adoption or denunciation of treaties, and changes in the overall international political climate. Therefore, as an effect, scholars have declared sovereignty as dead and, thus, of no value to the interdependence of states. These scholars could not be more wrong. When writing this paper I have discovered that sovereignty of states is very much alive and, by some states, guarded as a national treasure. One of the reasons that I have found, that makes sovereignty so hard to define and categorize is that it is not, strictly speaking, a legal concept. Sovereignty is more of a philosophical approach towards the powers of states, than a legal approach. Therefore, one cannot point towards a specific Article or law and definitely claim that this is sovereignty. Instead, sovereignty lives within the state, in symbiosis. This is also a reason for sovereignty being alive and well. With sovereignty dead, so would also the state and international law, as we know them, be dead. Without the one there cannot be the other. And a statement that I find perfectly emphasise my point is made by Rousseau when stating that&semic 'If the state or city is nothing but a moral person, the life of which consists in the union of its members, and if the most important of its cares is that of self-preservation, it needs a universal and compulsive force to move and dispose of every part in the manner most expedient for the whole. As nature gives every man an absolute power over all his limbs, the social pact gives the body politic an absolute power over all its members&semic and it is this same power which, when directed by the general will, bears, as I said, the name of sovereignty.' Earlier, I claimed that sovereignty, or rather its definition, depends on subjectively defined criteria&semic and with regard to China, it could not be more close to the truth. China is a perfect example of an entity that allows its past experiences to colour and influence its present actions and claims. Due to China's history and psychological experiences, China has developed a narrow and classical notion of sovereignty. Nevertheless, the foundation for Chinese sovereignty is not without fractures. The Communist Party is struggling with legitimizing insufficiencies that threatens its very power-structure and existence, as the still growing dependence of states and between states undermines Party control and legitimacy. As an indicator of the weaknesses in the Chinese communist power-structure, one might mention that Chairman Mao himself did not believe that the 'one-party' communism leadership was the only true answer to the re-founding of a powerful China&semic 'It is essential to resolutely uphold the 'three-thirds system,' under which Communists have only one-third of the places in organs of political power, so as to attract non-Communists to participate in political power. In areas like the northern part of Jiangsu province, where anti-Japanese democratic political power is just beginning to take form, the proportion of Communists may be even less than one-third. Both governmental offices and the people's representative bodies must draw the petty bourgeoisie, the national bourgeoisie, and the enlightened gentry who are not actively opposed to the Communist Party into participation, and those members of the GMD [Kuomintang or KMT] who are not anti-Communists must also be allowed to participate. Even a small number of Rightists may be allowed to join the people's representative bodies. On no account should our Party monopolize everything. We aim only to destroy the dictatorship of the big compradore bourgeoisie and the big landlord classes, not to replace it with a one-party dictatorship of the CCP [China's Communist Party]... It should be laid down that all landlords and capitalists not opposed to the War of Resistance shall enjoy the same human rights, property rights, and right to vote, and the same freedoms of speech, assembly, association, thought, and belief, as the workers and peasants. The government shall take action only against saboteurs and those who organize riots in our base areas, and shall protect all others and not interfere with them.' In the end of the preface, I would like to make it perfectly clear that differences between Western states and China concerning sovereignty, does not constitute a dissimilarity per se. Statements, actions and policy-choices made in the West and in China, is merely due to a development in time. Where the West is today, China will probably be tomorrow. I would also like to make it clear that my definition of sovereignty and my conclusions of China's policies, is merely interpretations and analytic answers due to my research&semic as stated before, it is all subjective, and my research constitutes an attempt of interpreting and explaining something so indistinct and vague as sovereignty. Finally, I feel that a word of gratitude to my supervisor Olof Beckman (LL.M), and also Ulf Linderfalk (LL.D), Daniel Petersson, and Lotten Paulsson, is much needed. This for them taking time of to, listen to my ideas, helping me when stuck, answering my, sometimes, hazy questions and actually reading my thesis. Thanks!},
  author       = {Andersson, Henrik},
  keyword      = {Folkrätt},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {East Goes West: The Chinese view on state sovereignty; in line with the West or a notion of their own?},
  year         = {2004},
}