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China's International Investment StrategyBilateral, Regional, and Global Law and Policy$
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Julien Chaisse

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198827450

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198827450.001.0001

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He Who Makes the Rules Owns the Gold

He Who Makes the Rules Owns the Gold

The Potential Ramifications of the New International Law Architects

(p.412) 22 He Who Makes the Rules Owns the Gold
China's International Investment Strategy

Joel Slawotsky

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses the ever-increasing importance of Chinese influence on international investment law, which is a key branch of international economic law. By using the mechanics of the current architecture to assume a leadership role, China will likely become the new architect of the legal and financial orders. New infrastructure and development banks, a growing usage of the yuan and other incipient transformations, herald an upcoming era of new international law architects. While new institutions may initially work in conjunction within the existing framework, it is probable that the new architects’ alternatives will reach a critical mass and achieve an independent role in the international economic and legal orders. This transformation will likely lead to rewriting the rules and will serve to devalue the institutions which have enforced the global governance architecture over the previous seventy years. At a minimum, the replacement of the present architects will present a definitional, let alone enforcement problem with respect to international law. A different code of conduct may conflict with current norms and international law will need to focus on this potential dichotomy between former and new standards and customs. The failure to address this impending clash of customs may lead to a fracture of global cooperation and enforcement of international law, reduced prosperity, and heightened economic and military conflict.

Keywords:   yuan, international order, international law, foreign direct investment, investor–state dispute settlement, multi-national enterprises

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