Matthew S. Erie is an Associate Professor, Member of the Law Faculty, and Associate of the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies of the University of Oxford. He is also the principal investigator of the ‘China, Law and Development’ project, funded by a European Research Council Starting Grant (No. 803763). For more on the project, please access the website here:

A Brief History of Pakistan–China Legal Relations

Much scholarly attention to China’s positions toward international law in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) suggests a ‘big bang’ approach, given the amount of activity generated by Chinese legal organs in relation to the BRI. While this attention is warranted, it may elide some of the deeper histories between China and the Global South. In such a context, this essay takes the legal relations between Pakistan and China as a window into exploring the question of how small states hedge different yet overlapping international legal orders.

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