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Lu Xu


This article identifies and clarifies some of the miscommunication between Chinese and English in the discussion of rule of law or rule by law. “Rule by law” is not a concept readily understandable by a Chinese audience because there is no acceptable translation or equivalent in Chinese. At the same time, the historical and contextual significance of the different denotations of “rule of law” in Chinese is often overlooked in an English-speaking environment. Meanwhile, the abstraction in critical examination of Chinese law often masks significant changes taking place in China’s construction of a “socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics”, such as the emergence of a system of case law. The different components and aspects of such a system, ranging from the guidance cases system published by the Supreme People’s Court, to the largest database of judicial decisions in the world, and the newly established China International Commercial Court under the Belt and Road Initiative could fundamentally alter and structure, nature and principles of Chinese law as we know it.

Tom Harper


The Belt and Road Initiative alongside the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation are the latest phase of China’s return to the Eurasian landmass after the collapse of the Soviet Union. China has reshaped Eurasia in several ways, which includes the common definition of this concept, which had largely been perceived as a chiefly Russian entity. This is rooted in Halford Mackinder’s The Geographical Pivot of History, which depicted the Eurasian landmass as a threat to Britain’s maritime hegemony with the advent of rail. While the traditional focus had been on Eurasia as the Russian empire, Mackinder also alluded to a Eurasian empire created by ‘Chinese organised by Japanese’ as a result of the latter’s development during the Meiji Restoration. While this did not come to pass, it has become an imperative to consider the notion of an Asian power in Eurasia due to China’s rise.

The purpose of this paper is to argue that China is as much a Eurasian power in the vein of Mackinder’s theories as Russia is, with the BRI providing a potential opportunity to further integrate with Eurasia. In addition, the initiative is also symbolic of China’s bid to create an alternative order both in Eurasia and the wider world as part of its global role to challenge the dominance of the United States, which raises the spectre of Mackinder’s warning over a challenger emerging from the Eurasian Heartland.

Joshua Andresen


China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is the largest investment in global infrastructure of all time, easily outpacing the United States’ Marshall Plan following World War II. Despite the BRI’s aspirations, it has been called into question from an increasing range of perspectives. This article focuses on security questions raised from the American perspective. By placing the BRI in historical and global perspective, I will critically evaluate the questions raised by American observers in order to separate the concerns we should take seriously from those that are overblown. The Belt and Road initiative and accompanying military buildup have been heralded as a fundamental change in the global order. Whether that is the case, of course, remains to be seen. What is certain, however, is that the balance of regional economic and military power is undergoing a dramatic change.

Bryane Michael and Say Goo


To what extent do corporate governance practices in one jurisdiction affect another? In this paper, we look at the way that Hong Kong’s and the Mainland’s corporate governance practices have co-evolved, along with offshore incorporations from both places. Drawing on empirical illustrations of the data using analytical techniques like differential equations and Fourier Spectral Analysis, we find a strong relationship across time between changes in corporate governance practices in both jurisdictions as well as offshore incorporations. Our data also support the idea of a theory-free equilibrium level of corporate governance (determined by market participants’ own behaviour rather than by a theory-laden econometric model). We show that lethargy likely explains the persistence of corporate governance practices in both places, with innovations in one place correlating with innovations in the other. Such work clearly implies that corporate governance improvements in one place can help encourage such improvements in other markets which have not adopted laws aimed at improving corporate governance.

Mala Sharma


China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as a geoeconomic vision and geopolitical strategy is closely watched and scrutinised by Indian economists, diplomats, and strategists. Perspectives on India’s approach to the BRI can broadly be classified into three—the optimist, the sceptic and the cautionary. Whereas, economists generally appear optimistic, there is a sense of uneasiness within India’s strategic community that the BRI represents much more than China’s ambition to emerge as an economic leader in the region. This article argues that India’s approach to the BRI has largely been pragmatic, cautious and complex. Accordingly, India has taken an atomistic approach to the various components of the BRI depending on its security and economic needs, which explains why on the one hand India has become increasingly receptive of the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIM EC) and on the other continues to publicly oppose the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Dona Azizi, Frank Biermann and Rakhyun E. Kim


Over the past three decades, policy integration has become a key objective for guiding and harmonizing policies for sustainable development. Most recently, the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals have added new impetus to efforts of integrating competing objectives of environmental sustainability, social development, and economic growth, as well as of integrating issue-specific environmental policies on climate change and terrestrial and marine biodiversity. While multilateral environmental agreements are important international instruments for achieving sustainable development, there has been little focus so far on their contribution to policy integration. Covering the years from 2007 to 2016, this article presents an empirical analysis of sustainability policy integration (i.e., how multilateral environmental agreements integrate environmental, social, and economic issues in their decisions) and environmental policy integration (i.e., the outreach of multilateral environmental agreements to different environmental issue areas beyond their mandate). The analysis finds that multilateral environmental agreements have not moved toward further policy integration over the studied period. If policy and institutional coherence is a key global governance target in the post-2015 era, a concerted effort will be required to improve the extent of policy integration by multilateral environmental agreements.

Leena Grover

What relationship does international law have to transitional justice and what role has the United Nations (UN) played in shaping that relationship? The international legal history of this concept reveals that the UN has shifted from relying on international law to support nationally determined transitional justice efforts to expecting States to conform to a growing body of international legal standards it has set in this field. This turn to international legal hegemony and UN managerialism can marginalise some of the most pressing concerns of people attempting to overcome past large-scale abuses. In recent years, the UN has expanded its work in transitioning societies and scholars have recommended ways for better addressing the needs of their members. However, these measures seem partial at best, as they disrupt neither international law’s hegemony nor the UN’s managerial role in this field, which operate as major constraints on societies weighing their transitional justice options.