权力转移、模式之争与基于规则的国际秩序 : 国际关系与国际法视角下的中美关系

Power Transition, Battle of Models, and Rule-based International Order : Sino-U.S. Relations from the Perspectives of International Relations and International Law

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Author(s)

Detail(s)

Original languageChinese (Simplified)
Pages (from-to)3-17
Number of pages15
Journal / Publication中国法律评论
Volume2018
Issue number5 (总第23期)
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

This article attempts to approach the contemporary China-U.S. relations, which is undergoing dramatic changes in the recent years, from the perspectives of international relations and international law. It argues that the strategic mistrust, tensions and conflicts between the two leading powers in the world now stems from two sources:
(1) the anxieties about “power transition” which further leads to concerns about security dilemma and even the so-called Thucydides Trap in U.S.-China bilateral security relations, and
(2) the emerging complaints about unfairness in international economic relations resulted from China’s state-driven economic model.
The paper asserts that, although a new Cold War is unlikely to occur immediately between the United States and China due to several constraining factors, concerns about the two issues are posting tremendous challenges to the arguably rule-based international order of our age:
(1) reactions in response to the perceived power transition could lead to devastating damages to the international political order as the increasingly intensified power play will inspire the powers to even play harder at the expense of the rules of international law, and
(2) the beliefs that the existing international economic system, sustained by international economic law, could not supply proper rules to deal with the battle of models as evidenced by the on-going trade war between China and the United States, are already significantly undermining and marginalising the WTO-centered world trading system.
The paper discusses several future scenarios in U.S.-China relations. Although the future is quite uncertain, China’s sincere efforts to demonstrate good in safeguarding the liberal international order may help bring the world back to a rule-based international order.