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Maryland Journal of International Law

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Traditionally, the People's Republic of China (PRC) has shunned participation in international adjudication, preferring to settle all disputes through direct negotiations. But in the past two decades, this wholly negative approach to international courts and arbitration tribunals has begun to shift. In addition to the PRC's acceptance and active participation in the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organization, the PRC has also accepted limited jurisdiction for arbitration under the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. Despite this shift, the PRC still follows a policy of strictly limiting its exposure to international adjudicatory mechanisms. This strategy, which is similar to that practiced by the United States, suggests that international adjudication faces difficult prospects in the long term.