Special Forum

A more influential Chinese model of law and approach to international law poses challenges for the rule of law’s contributions to democracy in other states, particularly in East Asia. These challenges stem in part from: the contrast between China’s paradigm for law’s place in domestic governance, and China’s positions on key international legal norms, and the more liberal-democratic alternatives that have held sway in the region and beyond in the post-cold war and post-WWII eras; and China’s recently growing ability and apparent will to propagate its legal model and press its international legal preferences abroad. As Sino-US tensions mount, the prospect grows that competition between China and the United States with its allies and partners will extend to the struggle over democratization in Asia and how the rule of law plays a vital role.

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