The ICC's jurisdiction over war crimes in internal armed conflicts : an insurmountable obstacle for China's accession ?
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Penn state international law review, Vol. 28, no. 4, Spring 2010, p. 703-754
This paper argues that the ICC’s jurisdiction over war crimes in internal armed conflicts does not pose real difficulty for China if it wishes to join the ICC. Although the Taiwan issue is potentially the most fatal conflict between China and the ICC, the Chinese government is being over-cautious on the Taiwan issue vis-à-vis possible reaches by the ICC for war crimes purposes. This paper also briefly analyzes China’s other four major official reasons for not joining the ICC and forwards many positive reasons for China to join the ICC. What really explains China’s current reluctance to join the ICC is the political reluctance of a rising power, who still confronts thorny domestic issues that are susceptible to mass violence, to be fettered by yet another multilateral restrictive mechanism.