Interpreting China’s New Foreign Relations Law

July 18, 2023

A new Foreign Relations Law took effect in China on July 1, 2023 that formalizes Chinese Communist Party leadership in all foreign policy matters. It puts China’s security and development interests and global rise at the center of its engagement with the world. The new law has been widely interpreted as providing a legal basis for Beijing’s struggle against what it says is a strategy of containment by the United States and its allies, and against foreign interference and sanctions, as well as what is calls America’s “long-arm jurisdiction.”

To discuss the Foreign Relations Law, host Bonnie Glaser is joined by Dr. Moritz Rudolf, a Research Scholar in Law and Fellow at Yale Law School’s Paul Tsai China Center, where he focuses on the implications of China’s rise for the international legal order.

Episode Highlights:

[01:15] Impetus for the Foreign Relations Law

[02:47] Centralized and Unified Leadership of Foreign Relations

[04:27] China and Reforming the International Order

[09:20] How might China use the foreign relations law?

[11:03] Insurance Against International Courts

[12:31] Targeting a Domestic Audience

[15:10] Expected Policy Changes in China

[17:30] Applicability of the Law in Cross-Strait Relations

[21:57] Forecasting Chinese Use of Lawfare