Thomas Stephan Eder
The level of ambition described by Chinese President Xi Jinping - to "guide" global governance as well as the conviction in Chinese academic discourse that only a "leader country" in international law (including international adjudication) can consolidate economic and political gains, do not allow for isolation. Compared to other BRICS states, China has often been slow to escalate engagement with international courts and arbitration, but has taken a more linear path, and refused to accept restrictive terms.
Two developmental arcs, 1) from Confucianism to Marxism-Leninism to Pragmatism in legal philosophy, and 2) from isolation to engagement in legal discourse on international dispute resolution, explain China's current positions and normative initiatives. This will be elucidated through two current and emblematic cases, Ping An v. Belgium (ICSID) in the economic sphere and the Philippines v. China (ITLOS) in the territorial sphere, and followed up by policy proposals to further China’s integration into the international legal order.