Some New Haven international law reflections on China, India and their various territorial disputes

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-111
Journal / PublicationAsia Pacific Law Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011


These territorial disputes illustrate that although both in India and China the 'unequal treaties' and 'international law as imperialism' debate fueled anticolonial and nationalist sentiments, yet the two persistently adopted a purely western style territorial sovereignty claim to superior title to the territories in question. The Indian decision making conservatism is led by an authoritarian state culture. Whereas for China, its repeated references to historical claims appears to be a harking back to its own imperial past, when the other states were in a relationship of vassalage to it. The western principles with a shallow eastern sugarcoating of non-interference, non-aggression, equality and mutual benefit and peaceful co-existence are a form of Eastphalia. Hence, in China and India, international law and diplomacy are guided by a formalist dualism. This article proposes a New Haven observational perspective on India and China which points the way to a reconfiguration of the normative issues raised by their territorial disputes. © LexisNexis, 2011.