15 Dec Fresh Squeezed! Episode 1:3 – China and the Rise of a New International Legal Order: An Interview with Cai Congyan
In the field of international legal scholarship, Eurocentrism has traditionally overshadowed culture, ideology, and epistemology. Yet, as the world becomes more multipolar, these perspectives become indispensable for addressing global legal challenges in an effective manner. In our latest episode of FreshSqueezed!, Professor Cai Congyan from Fudan University Law School shared his thoughts China and the rise of a new international legal order with Dr Zhang Binxin.
Professor Cai is an eminent figure in international law, particularly for those seeking to understand China’s role in the global order. His extensive academic work, published in both domestic and international law journals, encompasses topics such as legal theory, economic law, and the policy and practice of Chinese international law. The interview delved into important issues, such as the distinctions between a ‘rules-based’ order and an international order based on international law. Professor Cai’s analysis sheds light on how different cultural and political contexts shape the interpretation and implementation of these concepts. He posits that China’s unique position as a major, yet developing economy affects its perspective on international law, aligning it more closely with Third World states.
The conversation focused primarily on the difficulties that major power competition presents to international legal scholarship. Professor Cai stressed the necessity for scholars to rise above nationalistic viewpoints and geopolitical tensions to preserve the independence of their studies. This appeal for action is essential in today’s world, where international legal scholarship is heavily affected by global power struggles.
Professor Cai goes on to promote the integration of diverse cultural and ideological viewpoints in international law. He urges his European colleagues to adopt a more inclusive approach that recognises the valuable contributions of non-Western traditions, such as China’s, to global legal discourse. His insights serve as a crucial reminder of the necessity for an intercultural approach in international law. To achieve an equitable global legal order, it is vital to consider a range of cultural, ideological, and epistemological perspectives as we navigate the complexities of international law.
You can access the transcript in English here. We will make the transcript available in additional languages in the weeks ahead.