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10 - The Chinese Approach to Jus ad Bellum in International Law and Cyberwarfare

from Part IV - International Peace and Security

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 January 2024

Ignacio de la Rasilla
Affiliation:
Wuhan University
Congyan Cai
Affiliation:
Fudan University, Shanghai
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Summary

Observing China’s use of force, its voting behaviours and argumentation in the UN Security Council (UNSC) and its official statements on other relevant occasions allows summing up the Chinese approach to jus ad bellum in the following aspects: a narrow meaning of the term ‘force’, a positivist interpretation of the threshold, time and target requirements of exercising the right of self-defence, a negative attitude towards humanitarian intervention and a strict reading of the responsibility to protect. These positivist tools have led China to consistently endorse a ‘restrictivist’ understanding of the UN Charter that prohibits any use of military force by one state against another absent authorization from the UNSC or a situation involving self-defence. In this sense, China would likely maintain its ‘wait and see’ approach regarding jus ad bellum in cyberspace. However, faced with the anonymity of cyberspace and the increasing frequency of cyber-attacks, the possibility that China will adopt a more flexible understanding of certain rules cannot be ruled out.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2024

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