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A careful analysis of certain issues of morality in war demonstrates important differences in the duties recognized by Western and Chinese military) officers toward their soldiers. These differences reflect fundamentally different theories of social morality in the societies these officers represent. Although Western countries and China have endorsed a common set of internationally recognized human rights, a meaningful consensus regarding human rights must remain consistent across three levels of analysis. The putative contemporary) consensus among Chinese and liberal societies fails because the fundamental differences in underlying principles of social morality that give rise to divergent principles of morality in war also generate conceptions of rights that diverge at the third level. The distinction between conceptual and contingent rights explicates this divergence.