Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

Get access

Law of the Sea
(971 words)

After overseas exploration had experienced its heyday in China during the 15th century, China fell into continental isolation for centuries as a result of "Sinocentrism". China did not rediscover the "ocean sphere" until the first half of the 19th century, when the Chinese world order was lethally threatened by colonial imperialism - from the sea, of all things, and with opium ships as a vanguard. During one of the first conflicts with the Western powers, the Qing dynasty already came to appreciate the law of the sea (which was part of the freshly imported international law) as a means of…

Cite this page
Strupp, Michael, “Law of the Sea”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 01 February 2023 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

▲   Back to top   ▲