- Coupright Page
- Table of Cases
- Table of Legislation
- List of Contributors
- Asia’s Ambivalence about International Law
- Regional Organizations
- Asia in the History and Theory of International Law
- Regional Peace and Security
- Human Rights
- International Humanitarian Law and International Criminal Law
- International Environmental Law
- Law of the Sea and Asian States
- International Economic Law and Asia
- International Dispute Settlement
- South Korea
- The Philippines
- Viet Nam
- Sri Lanka
- Central Asian States
- South Pacific Island States
- New Zealand
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter traces the broad history of Asia’s engagement with international law, focusing on three aspects that continue to have resonance today. First is the experience of colonialism by India and many other countries across the continent. Second, the unequal treaties of the nineteenth century and the failure to recognize the People’s Republic of China for much of the twentieth century encouraged a perception that international law was primarily an instrument of political power. Third, the trials that followed World War II left a legacy of suspicion that international law deals only selectively with alleged misconduct, leaving unresolved many of the larger political challenges of that conflict with ongoing ramifications today. The chapter then argues that Asian states’ ongoing ambivalence towards international law and institutions can also be attributed to the diversity of the region, power disparities among states, and the absence of ‘push’ factors driving greater integration.
Simon Chesterman is Provost’s Chair and Dean of the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law, Singapore.
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