I. International law in Ancient China
The question when international legal system was built up in the East Asia can be answered differently depending on the definition of international law. In ancient China, precisely during the Spring and Autumn period, there were some rules during war such as Üôß¯ì£Ù¾, ìÒëù, ÜôóÖÕÎÞÅ and some rules in foreign relations such as çßãáÌ×ëù. If you define international law as rules among states, you can say there was international legal system at that time. But if you define international law as modern form which is based on treaty of Westphalia assuming equality and sovereignty, then you can not say there was international legal system, only can say there were some international law's rules.
II. Acceptance of modern international law
1. Qing Dynasty
(1) Foreign Relations: Dutch, Britain, Russia
Qing Dynasty had activity of trade with western countries. From 1662 to 1690 Dutch tried to make official contact with Qing dynasty in order to secure diplomatic immunity of envoys. Dutch had a negotiation referring to the "law of all nations" of "custom of all princes." But unfortunately Qing Dynasty still did not know that kind of international law concept. Finally, Qing Dynasty did not accept that demand.
In 1689, Qing dynasty made the treaty of Nechinsk which was about boundary problem with Russia. That treaty was made in a modern style under the auspices of the Jesuits who participated in the negotiation. So international law might have been used during the negotiation, but there is no proof.
In 1793 the British Emperor, George the Third proposed open trade to Qing dynasty. Qianlong, forth Emperor of the Qing dynasty insisted George McCartney, the envoy of George the Third to knee down but he refused to do it. After all Qianlong allowed him to bow expressing respect and stand up. This occurrence shows Qing dynasty's ignorance of international law which is based on... [continues]
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(2005, 11). The Modern International Law History in the East Asia. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 11, 2005, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Modern-International-Law-History-East-Asia-72175.html
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