Yu-Jie Chen is a Post-Doctoral Scholar at the Institutum Iurisprudentiae of Taiwan’s Academia Sinica and an Affiliated Scholar at the U.S.-Asia Law Institute of NYU School of Law. She received her J.S.D. and L.L.M. degrees from NYU School of Law. Yu-Jie’s research focuses on human rights and rule of law issues in China, Taiwan and cross-strait relations. Her recent work is forthcoming in the Hong Kong Law Journal, NYU Journal of International Law and Politics, Columbia Journal of Asian Law, University of Pennsylvania Asian Law Review and International Journal of Law and Information Technology.

Designation: Institutum Iurisprudentiae, Academia Sinica, Taiwan
Institution: Institutum Iurisprudentiae, Academia Sinica, Taiwan
Paper: China’s Practice of International Human Rights Law: A Sociological Perspective
Abstract: "How do states influence global human rights norms? In recent years, contestations over human rights by a rising China has alarmed many concerned about the integrity of the international human rights regime. This paper seeks to investigate China’s still-evolving practice at the UN Human Rights Council, with a focus on Beijing’s agenda, its disagreements with liberal democracies and its tactics in altering relevant procedures, institutions and values. Building on the literature, the paper offers a much-needed update and analysis of China’s interaction with the international human rights system. It is argued that Beijing’s underlying, persistent approach is to differentiate China from the previously dominant liberal democracies and to resist and modify what it determines to be the “western” notions of human rights. This attitude points to an identity-based, relativist politics. In Beijing’s view, the difference between China and other countries (particularly democracies) is not only a matter of policy, but a matter of identity, and therefore is inherent and entrenched. This approach appears to worsen political polarization and make the disagreement between China and “the West” increasingly irreconcilable. It also demonstrates that the popular assumption at the time of China’s “reform and opening-up” is plainly outdated. The world must rethink what today’s China wants and how to respond to its influence on international human rights."