Sovereignty in the Discourse of the Communist Party of China

  • Jeremy T. Paltiel


Sovereignty is the key to understanding the sources of China’s external behavior and, in particular, Chinese attitudes toward global governance. Careful exploration of the disjunctures in articulating the sources of sovereignty domestically and internationally reveals tensions in the relationship between the current Communist Party regime, the Chinese state, and the distinct ways that Chinese nationalism is articulated in official ideology. In this chapter I analyze several key considerations that inform Chinese foreign policy behavior and situate them in both Asian and Western understandings of sovereignty:
  • insistence on the state as the central actor in international and domestic politics

  • resolute defense of territorial sovereignty

  • reservations concerning multilateralism and collective security

  • identification of the rule of law solely with the power of the state in its ability to control domestic relations and a consequent suspicion of transnational law


World Trade Orga Communist Party Chinese Communist Party Chinese State Peaceful Coexistence 
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© Jeremy T. Paltiel 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeremy T. Paltiel

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