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Sun Jianzhong: Ten Divergencies between Developing Countries and Developed Countries in the Principle of National Sovereignty
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State sovereignty is the supreme authority of all countries and individuals that are equally enjoyed by each country under the recognized basic principles of international law, and the independent right to be equal in its foreign relations (right To independence), right to equality, and right to self-defense. Although sovereign concepts and theories were first produced in the West, Western countries have held high the banner of sovereignty to defend their own interests. However, they never intended to extend the principle of sovereign equality to weak countries. For example, in the colonial and semi-colonial periods, the sovereign state and The relationship between the colonies and the semi-colonies is completely antagonistic. After the rise of the third world, Western countries, especially Western powers, still pursued power politics, hegemonism and neo-colonialism, thus causing serious problems on the issue of national sovereignty. opposition. More importantly, Western developed countries often use arbitrary excuses to arbitrarily interfere in the internal affairs of developing countries. They do not care about the existence and dignity of international law and do not respect the sovereignty and independence of developing countries. This is the root cause of the existence of two different types of national sovereignty, and it is also the crux of the problem. Generally speaking, the differences between the developing countries and the developed countries in the principle of national sovereignty are mainly reflected in the following ten aspects:


First, State sovereign equality and inequality. The world today consists of nearly 200 sovereign states, of which 185 are members of the United Nations. Every country, both within and outside the United Nations, recognizes and respects the principle of the sovereign equality of States, at least in theory. However, theoretical recognition and respect do not equal reality. It is the gap and inconsistency between the two that has led to a series of conflicts and conflicts between sovereign states. For example, the US as a superpower has trampled on the internal affairs of developing countries such as Grenada, Panama, and Iraq; the interference of the British and French sovereignty of Egypt as a developed country; the invasion of Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan by the former Soviet Union as a superpower; The annexation of Iraq’s armed forces against Kuwait by the Chinese nation and Vietnam’s aggression against Cambodia as a regional power. The end of the Cold War has reduced the importance of contradictions between the East and the West, and the contradiction between the North and the South has been prominent. The economic gap between the South and the North has continued to widen and further worsen this contradiction. It can be said that the contradiction between the North and the South is the most important contradiction in international relations after the Cold War, and it is also the most basic structure and characteristics of today's international relations. This unequal international structure has forced developing countries to bear "structural oppression", which fundamentally determines that developing countries must be subject to developed countries for a long time. As long as this vertical or hierarchical international structure does not change, the sovereignty and independence of developing countries will always be challenged by developed countries. The United States and Britain, which took place in December 1998, carried out large-scale air strikes against Iraq without the authorization of the United Nations, and then carried out air strikes against military and civilian facilities in the "no-fly zone" in southern and northern Iraq, and the NATO pair led by the United States in 1999. The fact that the Yugoslav Federation has been barbaric bombing for 78 consecutive days shows that the developed countries in the West not only placed their sovereignty on the sovereignty of developing countries, but also arbitrarily trampled on them. The sovereignty of the two sides is clearly in an unequal position.


Second, absolute sovereignty and restrictive sovereignty. The so-called absolute sovereignty means that the sovereignty of a country has supreme status both at home and internationally. Only I am sacred, sacred and inviolable, and does not recognize the influence and restrictions imposed on it by any external authority and rules. From the reality, absolute sovereignty does not exist because the formation and existence of international relations are themselves the result of interaction between countries. If there is absolute sovereignty, then there will be two opposite situations: either there is no exchange between countries, countries are pursuing a closed-door policy, there is no international relationship, or there is an endless melee between countries. All countries have over-emphasized their own sovereignty, and completely disregard the interests of other countries, that is, to raise their sovereignty to an absolute and supreme level. The result can only be a vicious international anarchy. Absolute sovereignty, although not practically possible, can function as a policy pursued by the state. Bodan, the originator of modern sovereignty theory, tends to absolute sovereignty. Hobbes emphasizes the importance of absolute sovereignty. However, the absolute sovereignty theory they advocate is, in essence, an absolute sovereign equality theory, that is, each sovereign state does not infringe upon each other, does not interfere in each other's internal affairs, and maintains its own independence. Therefore, in the early days of the formation of European nation-states, most of them adopted absolute sovereignty (equal) policies. The fundamental goal was to completely eliminate the possibility of external forces interfering in their internal affairs, consolidate and stabilize domestic politics, and maintain the dominant position of the ruling class. It is of vital interest to maintain the independence of the country and the nation and the integrity of the territory in international relations. For example, the 16th-century French internal struggle to strengthen the monarchy, the struggle against the Holy See and the Holy Roman Empire, and the Dutch struggle against Spain in the 16th and 17th centuries all required the support of absolute sovereignty. However, when the European nation-state grows up, it no longer adheres to the theory of absolute sovereignty (equal). Instead, it takes power politics and hegemonism, that is, placing its sovereignty on top of other countries, invading or even denying the sovereignty of other countries. "After the Western countries used sovereignty theory to consolidate their national state status, they fell into a certain dilemma, that is, the principle of independence and the principle of equality advocated by sovereignty in international relations and the infinite expansion of capital formed a difficult contradiction." (Note: Yu Zhengliang: "Contemporary Choices of Developing Countries on Sovereignty Issues", Journal of Fudan University (Social Science Edition), 1998, No. 1, pp. 33-34.) Under the influence of the law of capital expansion, the European powers did not admit the sovereignty of Asian and African countries and regions is not at all, and the result is the colonization and semi-colonization of these countries and regions. After the global decolonization, the western developed countries have to face the reality and formally recognize the sovereignty and independence of the vast number of developing countries. Although they have an overwhelming advantage in politics, economy, finance, technology, military and culture, this does not guarantee that they will always be. Under this circumstance, Western scholars have used the economic globalization to constantly limit the objective reality of national sovereignty, and proposed a seemingly fair "restrictive sovereignty" theory, seeking a "theoretical basis" for the country to weaken the sovereignty of developing countries by virtue of its own advantages. In order to maintain its dominant position in the international community, it is aimed at forever controlling the developing countries. The developing countries in the early stages of the formation of the nation-state are tit-for-tat. Just as the Western nation-states in the early days of their formation, they firmly advocated absolute sovereignty (equal) theory in order to safeguard their own interests and not give the developed countries any theory that can interfere with their own internal affairs. Or an excuse in principle. Therefore, today, after the Cold War, the main difference between the developing countries and the developed countries on sovereignty is whether to adhere to absolute sovereignty (equality) or restrictive sovereignty.


Third, the indivisibility and separability of territorial sovereignty. The basis of national sovereignty is territorial sovereignty, and the core of territorial sovereignty is the principle of the indivisibility of national territory. At first, it was the strong combination of sovereignty theory and territory that led to the emergence of real state sovereignty. National sovereignty refers not only to the highest authority and external independence of a country, but also to territorial sovereignty as the basis of its existence; without territorial sovereignty, there is no actual existence of a sovereign state, which is also the same as that of the former sovereign state. One of the most important differences. The developing countries unswervingly adhere to the principle of territorial sovereignty and uphold the indivisibility of the country’s territory. Only in this way can we better maintain the stability of the country and better maintain the independence of the country. However, developed countries pursue the policy of interfering in the internal affairs of other countries for their own interests, and thus advocate the territoriality of the territory. But what they claim is the severability of the territories of developing countries, rather than the division of their own territory. For example, in 1903, the United States instigated Colombia’s Manama Province to be completely independent from Colombia and become a sovereign country. On December 25, 1991, Germany took the lead in recognizing the autonomous republic of Yugoslavia despite the opposition of other European Union countries. The independence of Slovenia and Croatia has seriously undermined the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Yugoslavia. This practice of destroying the territorial sovereignty of other countries in the western developed countries is a gross violation of the UN Charter and the basic principles of international law, which seriously threatens the political independence and national unity of developing countries. This shows that the differences and contradictions between developing countries and developed countries on this issue are very profound, and the struggle is also quite fierce and cannot be resolved in the short term.


Fourth, Non-interference and interferability of internal affairs. The so-called internal affairs is the internal affairs of a country and is everything that is under the jurisdiction of a country as stipulated in international law. From the perspective of international law, whether it is internal affairs or not, its main criteria are: “The first is to distinguish whether a question and the nature of the action belong to the domestic jurisdiction of a country; the second is to see whether the issue and action undermine the recognized international law.” Note: Shi Daxin, editor: Modern International Law Course, Hefei: China University of Science and Technology Press, 1993, p. 55.) Adherence to the principle of state sovereignty must adhere to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. If we do not insist on not interfering with the principles of domestic affairs, then for small and weak countries, national sovereignty is an empty talk. On this issue, there are principled differences between developing and developed countries: the former argues that in order to maintain the dignity and effectiveness of the basic principles of international law, countries must strictly abide by the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries in order to maintain the sovereignty of each country. The normal operation of independence and the international order; developed countries always try their best to find an excuse to deny it, saying that "interventions that have been banned in the past are not necessarily still prohibited" (Note: Kelly Kate Pease and David P. Forsythe, "Human Rights, Humanitarian Intervention, and World Politics", in Human Rights Quarterly, Vol.15. May 1993, p.294.) and more importantly, they repeatedly violate the basic principles of international law in action, undermine the sovereignty of other countries, and interfere with each other. Domestic politics puts national interests above the interests of other countries. For example, on August 7, 1998, outside the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, bomb explosions occurred, killing 224 people and injuring thousands. On August 20, the US military retaliated against this and blew up a chemical plant in Sudan. It was later proved that the chemical plant in Sudan had no connection with the manufacture of terrorists and chemical weapons.


Fifth, Sovereignty is higher than sovereignty over human rights and human rights. Sovereignty, from the perspective of rights, is a basic right of a country. It is a concentrated expression of individual rights in a sovereign state. It can be said to be a "capitalized" concept of human rights. Human rights in the form of individuals means The basic rights of individuals mainly refer to political rights and civil rights based on the right to life and development. They can be called the "lowercase" concept of human rights. "The country can't be independent, and the people's life is not guaranteed." (Note: Qi Weizheng, "The White Paper on China's Human Rights," Beijing: Xinhua Publishing House, 1998, p. 3.) Therefore, state sovereignty is higher than human rights. Of course, human rights and sovereignty are a kind of interconnected and mutually unified relationship: human rights are one of the main goals of the development and promotion of sovereign states. The level of development directly indicates the level of economic development of the country's economy, politics and culture. On the other hand, human rights have a certain universality and are not patents of a certain country or a certain group of countries. This was illustrated by China’s accession to the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in October 1998. However, human rights have its own particularity on the basis of universality. It must be combined with the specific national conditions of each country, especially the level of economic development. Without considering the national conditions of each country, the pursuit of universality of human rights can only lead to the sovereign state. Social unrest is not conducive to the normal development of sovereign states. In the long run, it is also not conducive to the human rights of the country and the development of human rights worldwide. Because, "If other countries are allowed to ‘humanitarian interference’ as an excuse for ‘violation of basic human rights,’ the sovereignty of all countries will be insecure.” (Note: Shi Daxin, editor: Modern International Law Course, Hefei: China University of Science and Technology Press, 1993, p. 54.) Since the US President Carter introduced the issue of "human rights" into the field of international relations in the mid-1970s, Human rights have begun to become a very controversial and sensitive issue in international relations. Western countries have vigorously promoted the internationalization and politicization of human rights issues, and unilaterally defined the concepts, contents and standards of human rights, "attempting to impose a set of Western social, political, and human rights views and values ​​on developing countries." . (Note: Fu Xuezhe: "Human Rights in International Law", Beijing: Xinhua Publishing House, 1998, p. 17.) It seems that Western values ​have become the only universal scale in the world. The main purpose of promoting human rights diplomacy in developed countries, especially the United States, is to pursue their own national interests. Therefore, the developing countries resolutely oppose the policy of Western developed countries to use human rights issues to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries. They believe that this is only a means for Western countries to continue to control developing countries. Therefore, they firmly believe that human rights issues are internal affairs of sovereign countries. And firmly believe that "maintaining national sovereignty is the fundamental guarantee for the realization of human rights." (Note: Fu Xuezhe: "Human Rights from International Law", Beijing: Xinhua Publishing House, 1998, p. 177.)


Sixth, state sovereignty is superior to national self-determination and national self-determination over national sovereignty. National sovereignty and national self-determination are the two most basic principles in international law and international relations. From the perspective of historical development, the idea of ​​national self-determination led to the birth of a sovereign state, which played an extremely important role in the unity and integration of a nation and its liberation from oppression and independence. The right of national self-determination makes a nation or a group of people rise to the status of a sovereign state individually or collectively, and thus becomes a sovereign nation. If it is a country composed of a single nation, then the sovereignty of the country is completely consistent with the sovereignty enjoyed by the nation. There is no contradiction between the two; if it is a multi-ethnic country, then the state sovereignty constitutes the country. All ethnic groups share and share together. Even if there is a national contradiction in a multi-ethnic country, and a certain nation requires independence, it also needs the consent of the central government of the country. For example, on August 20, 1998, “The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Quebec must not leave the Union without the consent of the federal government.” (Note: Reference News, December 29, 1998, 3rd edition.) A very powerful proof. When a certain nation turns into a sovereign nation, its right to self-determination automatically rises to national sovereignty. However, due to the different degrees of development of the nations of the world and the different ethnic compositions of the sovereign states, the principles of national self-determination and national sovereignty have different effects on them during the same period. Generally speaking, the principle of national self-determination as a liberating oppressed nation has played a very active role in the colonial period, and made a great contribution to the oppressed nation’s complete liberation from Western colonial rule and independence and sovereignty, thus making almost every nation in the world Sovereign states are formed either individually or collectively. However, in the case of sovereign countries throughout the world, the continued emphasis on the principle of the right to self-determination of the nation will undoubtedly undermine the integrity and unity of sovereign states, because almost all nations are included in sovereign states, and the right to self-determination of nations can only be sovereign. It is achieved within the national scope and is not possible outside the sovereign state. Therefore, the principle of national sovereignty should be higher than the principle of the right to self-determination of the nation, not the other way around. On this issue, there are fundamental differences between developing countries and developed countries: the former advocates that the principle of national sovereignty is above all else; while the latter insists that the principle of national self-determination can be higher than the state under certain circumstances or within a certain range. The principle of sovereignty. It should be noted that the positions and practices of developed countries are selective and not used under all circumstances. Their main purpose is to deal with developing countries and their competitors. Services. For example, the position of Western countries, especially the United States, on issues such as Taiwan, Tibet, and the attitude toward the Soviet Union and the dissolution of Yugoslavia fully illustrate this point.


Seventh, the theory of rights and power. In international relations, the protection of state rights is mainly achieved through three ways: first, relying on international law; second, relying on mutual respect; and third, relying on national strength. Strength of state is the most reliable means of safeguarding one's rights. However, if the power is overemphasized, it is likely to lead to external expansion and thus violate the legal rights of other countries. In the international community, it is not possible to position the country in a position that does not fully enjoy the sovereign rights of the country because of its weak state power, and to facilitate the intervention of large countries in the internal affairs of small and weak countries. Sovereignty is important for small and weak countries or why small and weak countries attach great importance to sovereignty because it provides them with equal status and rights in law with big powers, so that large countries cannot interfere with small domestic affairs arbitrarily and without scruple. Therefore, developing countries adhere to the theory of rights and sovereignty, while developed countries advocate the theory of power and sovereignty. That is, the former regards national sovereignty as a right that is equally enjoyed by all countries. This right is equal regardless of whether it is a big country or a small country. The latter regards national sovereignty mainly as a power that is unbalanced and unequal in countries. The number of rights owned by the state is directly derived from the size of its power. Large countries have more sovereign rights because of their greater power. Small countries enjoy less sovereign rights because of their small power. However, "the doctrine of sovereign equality means not equal ability but equal rights." (Note: Eleonore Kofman & Gillian Youngs, Globalization: Theory and Practice, Pinter, 1996, p. 113.) Two different perspectives reflect the strength of developing and developed countries in international relations. As a weak, developing countries naturally have to avoid their own disadvantages in strength. They can only resist the power politics and hegemonism policies pursued by developed countries in the rights recognized by sovereign states recognized by international law and recognized by the international community. Only in this way can we better safeguard national interests; while developed countries rely on power advantages in foreign relations to promote policies that harm others and self-interest, in order to continuously expand their national interests and continue to maintain their dominant position in the international community.


Eighth ,the sovereign interests of the state and the strong interests of the state. National interest refers to everything needed to satisfy a country's survival and development. It is divided into fundamental interests and non-fundamental interests: the former refers to everything needed for the normal survival and development of the country, mainly including maintaining the security interests of the country's normal survival and maintaining it. The economic interests of the country's normal development, the political system interests that maintain the normal operation of the state machine, and the cultural and traditional interests that maintain the basic characteristics of the country. These interests are recognized by international law and the international community. They are legitimate interests and thus called national sovereign interests. Other interests outside the fundamental interests are non-essential interests, and how to define these interests is not unified in the international community. The understanding and standards are subjective. In general, the non-essential interests of the state consist of two parts: reasonable and legal, and unreasonable and illegal. However, in real international relations, the definition of the country’s non-fundamental interests is mainly power, not anything else, because any country can easily claim that some of its overseas interests belong to the non-essential interests of its country. The problem is Whether it has the ability to pursue and achieve these non-essential interests. A country with a small state power cannot realize its national interests in a place far from its own country. Only a country with a large state power can realize such national interests. This non-essential interest based on power is a strong right. Therefore, developing countries adhere to the view of national sovereign interests because of the small state power. This also reflects the fully equal position that developing countries have consistently adhered to on national sovereignty issues: only if each country abides by the principle of sovereign equality of the state and pursues legitimate national interests (national fundamental interests), the conflict between countries can be greatly By reducing, the international community can be in a relatively peaceful state. However, developed countries must not only protect their fundamental national interests, but also pursue non-fundamental interests that are beyond their normal survival and development needs and harm others. The main reason is that they have strong strength and their violation of international law is not It will be effectively punished by the international community, and at most it will be condemned by pale and powerless. Judging from the history of international relations as a whole, the most fundamental reason for the conflicts and wars in the international community is the consequences of the pursuit of the country’s strong rights and interests by big and powerful countries.


Nineth, state sovereignty and government management rights are consistent and inconsistent. The principle of national sovereignty gives all countries, regardless of size and strength, equal status in law and in theory. When a country acquires sovereignty, it also means that the government representing the country also has the right to use sovereignty because the government represents not only the country but also its people. According to this principle, as long as the sovereignty of a country is recognized by the international community, it shows that the international community recognizes the legitimacy of the government that represents the sovereignty of the country. "The principle of sovereignty in modern countries has historically emerged as a legal expression of the character and legitimacy of the state. It expresses the right of the state to exercise its legitimate power within the strictly divided territorial boundaries." (Note: RBJWalker, Inside/Outside : InternationalRelations as Political Theory, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993, p. 165.) In this sense, national sovereignty is consistent with government management. However, after the end of the Cold War, Western developed countries, in order to interfere with the needs of the internal affairs of developing countries, put forward the view that the so-called state sovereignty and government management rights or government sovereignty are inconsistent, that is, the sovereignty of a country has been recognized by the international community, and It does not mean that the government representing the country has thus obtained legitimacy. In addition, some Western scholars divide sovereignty into two parts: national sovereignty and people's sovereignty, and believe that people's sovereignty is higher than national sovereignty. For example, on the issue of the US invasion of Panama, American scholar Cynthia Weber believed that "protecting the sovereignty of the Panamanian people means infringing the sovereignty of the Panamanian state." The main purpose of these theories is to defend and create an excuse for Western powers to implement "humanitarian interference" in developing countries.


Tenth, Sovereignty Effectiveness and Sovereignty Overage Theory. At present, the vast number of developing countries are in the primary stage of the formation of a nation-state. It is a crucial moment for the principle of national sovereignty to maintain social stability at home and maintain national independence at the international level. For developing countries, national sovereignty is not only a simple question of being effective or ineffective, but a question of whether the preconditions for its minimum survival and normal development are not guaranteed. However, in the Western academic circles, many scholars advocate the outdated sovereignty theory, and believe that economic globalization, international interdependence, and international social informationalization trends not only make the country's sovereignty exist in name but also make it an obstacle to the further development of the world economy. Naturally, the vast number of developing countries in the early stages of the development of the nation-state have resolutely opposed the outdated theory of sovereignty in order to resist the objective needs of foreign aggression, resistance to power politics and hegemonism, and safeguarding national stability. Not only that, the developing countries face the "structural oppression" of today's international society, and they also advocate the "great sovereignty theory", that is, the view that domestic politics must not interfere. “It is true that sovereignty is essential in maintaining and preserving emerging countries. Because of the lack of effective use of sovereign power, they can use the judicial process to gain the support of the international community, and this continues to exist for these quasi-states. It is extremely important. In fact, sovereignty is still very important for developed countries, because each country, even if it is strong, cannot completely abandon its sovereignty. Sovereignty cannot be outdated in a world where the country is a country. In addition, there are differences between developing and developed countries in the use of sovereignty. The former has always adhered to the principle that the country is completely equal in size and sovereignty; although the latter ostensibly recognizes the principle of the sovereign equality of the state, its external behavior indicates that they often violate this principle and treat different issues or treat differently. The attitudes and practices of the countries are not exactly the same. The most typical manifestation is that they insist on the supremacy and inviolability of their sovereignty while they use various excuses to interfere and trample on the sovereignty of other countries. Interests are placed above the interests of other countries. For the country, the developed countries insist that the right to national self-determination must be subordinated to national sovereignty. For example, the United States will never allow any one of the national minorities to be independent from the United States. However, for developing countries, they have the right to self-determination. Human rights come against their national sovereignty in order to undermine their national unity and territorial integrity, such as the United States’ practices in Taiwan, Tibet, and Kosovo in Yugoslavia. "The United States and other Western countries want to restrict the sovereignty of other countries, not their own sovereignty. As pointed out in the report of the "World New Order Concept" seminar of the Hitachi Foundation and the United Nations Institute of the United States in May 1991, 'sovereignty The problem is a sensitive issue. The state generally is interested in restricting the sovereignty of other countries, while at the same time advocating the absolute and inviolability of its sovereignty.'" (Note: Fu Xuezhe: "Human Rights from International Law", Beijing: Xinhua Publishers, 1998, p. 184.) The United States and other Western countries have not only implemented double standards on national sovereignty issues, but have also become more explicit on human rights issues. In October 1981, the Reagan Administration submitted a "Human Rights Memorandum" to the US Congress: "Human rights should have double standards, that is, the so-called "active standards" that promote the Soviet government in a dilemma and the violation of human rights against allies need not be taken. Action and only criticize the 'negative standards'; (Note: Luo Yanhua: "Oriental People See Human Rights - Perspectives on Human Rights in East Asian Countries", Beijing: Xinhua Publishing House, 1998, p. 39.) In practice "When the British foresee that they will lose control of Hong Kong, they begin to worry about the political rights of Chinese in Hong Kong. Why can't they consider these issues at an early stage? Americans only have to trade with China as an important economic factor." Only then began to link human rights issues with the MFN clause for China. When spiritual torture, procrastination and murder occurred in the allies, the United States would close one eye." (Note: (Germany) Florian Kangmas (Holland) Judith Staples, Chen Bao and other translations: "New Asia - Asia Challenges the World", Beijing: Central Compilation Press, 1998, p. 230.) In short, the continued drive to control and exploit the vast number of developing countries and always dominate the international community’s strategic intent and strong interests is a major disagreement between developing and developed countries on the principle of national sovereignty. The main reason. As long as the developed countries do not change their hegemonic policies and the strategic intentions of harming others, the above differences will not disappear.


Originally published in the Journal of the PLA Foreign Languages Institute, No. 5, 2000