The discourse and practice of sovereignty in the People's Republic of China : principles and pragmatism in the management of Hong Kong and Taiwan affairs
Tok, Sow Keat (2011) The discourse and practice of sovereignty in the People's Republic of China : principles and pragmatism in the management of Hong Kong and Taiwan affairs. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
WRAP_THESIS_Tok_2011.pdf - Submitted Version
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Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk:80/record=b2580946~S1
This dissertation has two objectives: one, to dispel the “myth” and
assumption that China holds on to an “absolute” view of sovereignty, and has
arguably acted in accordance to this view; and two, to forward an alternative view of
sovereignty as seen through Beijing’s eyes. This dissertation argues that China’s
sovereignty is one which flexibly accommodates, at times voluntarily concedes,
different mix of de facto rights according to each respective context and issue. This
is attributed to China’s historical experiences with the concept, as well as its
discourses. When “sovereignty” was introduced into Chinese thinking, the result is a
“view” of sovereignty which juxtaposed Chinese previous understanding of
“supreme authority” with an interpretation of the Western concept of sovereignty.
“Sovereignty,” in this view, is essentially a de jure construct as its de facto
component (or “right of governance”) is purposely and effectively detached from the
concept to serve the political needs of the regime. It thus approximates one grounded
on graded rings of sovereignty, where authority emanates from the core, but each
“level of sovereignty” is entrusted to exercise different “right of governance.” As
long as no overt challenge is posed to the idea that a single, de jure sovereignty—
more specifically understood as a nominal “supreme authority”—resides in Beijing,
this Chinese view of sovereignty is upheld.
A “light” constructivist approach which explores the relationship between
norms, ideational structures, agency and “discursive formations” is applied to the
case studies of Hong Kong (and Macao) and Taiwan to support the arguments in this
dissertation. Chinese discourses on “sovereignty” were examined in details through analysing a large sample size of Chinese academic writings from 1980 till 2008, in
addition to policy documents and announced official positions of the Chinese
leadership. This is further augmented by analyses of Beijing’s policy behaviours
towards, in particular, Hong Kong’s autonomy and Taiwan’s international space.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||J Political Science > JQ Political institutions (Asia, Africa, Australia, Pacific Area, etc.)|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Sovereignty, China -- Politics and government, Hong Kong (China) -- Politics and government -- 1997-, Taiwan -- Politics and government|
|Official Date:||May 2011|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Department of Politics and International Studies|
|Supervisor(s)/Advisor:||Breslin, Shaun ; Higgott, Richard A.|
|Sponsors:||Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) ; University of Warwick ; Chen Jiageng ji jin hui (Singapore)|
|Extent:||xi, 314 leaves|
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