British Journal of Chinese Studies

dragon mural beijing 2018 copyright Gerda Wielander
Vol 13 No 1 (2023)

Chinese Just War Theories? Three Examples and Their Implications

Chia-Yu Liang
University of Sussex
Published January 28, 2023
How to Cite
Liang, C.-Y. (2023). Chinese Just War Theories?. British Journal of Chinese Studies, 13(1), 105-109.


The article provides a new perspective for interpreting and criticising the reactions within the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, namely the Chinese conception of just war. By reviewing the formation of norms regarding armed conflicts in the writings of Mao Zedong, Zhao Tingyang, and Bai Tongdong, the article argues that there is a Chinese version of just war theory that is very different from the Western tradition regarding just cause and the resolution of conflicts. The article concludes that the PRC’s support for Russia could be very conditional, if not entirely impossible, from the perspective of Chinese just war theory.

  • Chinese Just War Theories,
  • Tianxia,
  • Mao Zedong,
  • Russian Invasion of Ukraine,
  • Confucian Ethics
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