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“Suzerainty” and Disintegration of the Traditional Vassal System:From the Origin of the Chinese Word “Zongzhu Quan(宗主权)”

Liu Qingtao;  
The article traces the course of translation of the word "suzerainty "into Chinese "Zongzhu Quan",pointing out that the word "Zongzhu Quan "appeared in the last few years of the Qing dynasty,which was imported from Japan following the introduction of Japanese international law works. The Chinese traditional vassal relations with surrounding states are different from the"suzerain-vassal"relations in the 19 thcentury west international law,the later embodied strong ideas in the international society,so traditional vassal system had to be challenged by it. In the course,due to the Qing's slow in recognition of"Zongzhu Quan",the weakness of its power,the occupation by the Powers,the Qing government could not readjust its relations with traditional vassal states according to the 19 thcentury international law,meanwhile its traditional vassal system was disintegrated. When"Zongzhu Quan","Zongzhu Guo( 宗主国) "become normal Chinese words,the later scholars used these words to rewrite history,so came the word "Zongfan Guanxi( 宗藩关系) ".
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