JEAIL > Volume 10(2); 2017 > Articles
Research Paper
Published online: November 30, 2017

China's Practice in Treaty Reservations since 1949: A Critical Review

Yong Wang
International Law School, East China University of Political Science and Law, No. 1575 Wanghangdu Road, Shanghai, 200042, P.R. China.
Corresponding Author:

ⓒ Copyright YIJUN Institute of International Law
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Since its founding in 1949, the People's Republic of China has acceded to more than 300 multilateral treaties. Among them, China made reservations to 83 treaties, accounting for nearly 27.7 percent of the total. Evidently, for China, formulating reservations to multilateral treaties is an issue of vital importance in the process of concluding and executing multilateral treaties. This paper examines the three main reasons why China inclines to formulate reservations to the treaties, then argues that the reservations formulated by China, whether in procedure or in substance, are not only in full conformity with the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, but also full of Chinese characteristics. This paper also analyzes several specific reservations that China shall withdraw, and addresses the limitations of China's existing treaty reservation system. Accordingly, this paper concludes that the Chinese government should improve and perfect its treaty reservation system with some suggestions.

Keywords : Reservations to Treaties, Multilateral Treaties, Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, China's Practice

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