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Statement by Ms. JI Xiaoxue of the Chinese Delegation at the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly on Consideration of Effective Measures to Enhance the Protection, Security and Safety of Diplomatic and Consular Missions and Representatives

2016/10/10

Mr. Chairman,

Protection of diplomatic and consular missions and representatives is a clear requirement under international law including the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. It is also an important guarantee for the proper functioning of diplomatic and consular missions and representatives in discharge of their duties. It is therefore in the interest of all countries to adopt effective measures to enhance the protection of these bodies and personnel.

However, illegal and criminal activities and even serious acts of violence targeting diplomatic and consular missions and representatives have continued to happen, which have threatened and undermined the safety and security as well as the proper functioning of diplomatic and consular missions and representatives. In recent years, Chinese embassies and consulates general in several countries have suffered harassment, attempts at breaking-in and even terrorist attacks, resulting in various degrees of damage and even casualties. The Chinese delegation is gravely concerned about and strongly condemns such acts and calls upon all countries to continue to step up the protection of diplomatic and consular missions and representatives, bring perpetrators to justice and keep sending States informed in a timely manner on how relevant cases are handled.

Mr. Chairman,

The Chinese delegation wishes to emphasize that protection by host countries of diplomatic and consular missions and representatives involves not only adequate preventive measures beforehand but also punishment of illegal and criminal activities afterwards. It involves the protection of not only the safety and security of diplomatic and consular premises and related personnel but also their tranquility and dignity. Such protection is an obligation explicitly stipulated by international law and no country can refuse to honor this obligation on account of domestic law.

China always attaches great importance to the protection of diplomatic and consular missions and representatives and strictly complies with the obligations enshrined in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. We have adopted domestic legislations such as Regulations on Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities and Regulations on Consular Privileges and Immunities in order to provide comprehensive and high-level safety and security to diplomatic and consular missions and representatives stationed in China. We have maintained good communication with foreign diplomatic and consular missions in China, which has ensured that problems, if and when they occur, will be dealt with properly in a timely manner.

At the same time, the Chinese government wishes to reiterate that enhancement of the protection of diplomatic and consular missions and representatives cannot be taken as a license to abuse their privileges and immunities. Diplomatic and consular missions and representatives have the obligation to respect the laws and regulations of the host country and must not engage in activities that are not in conformity with their functions and capacities. In cases of abuse of diplomatic and consular privileges and immunities, the Chinese government, while maintaining the privileges and immunities of the institutions and personnel concerned according to law, calls on sending States concerned to properly handle such cases in a responsible and cooperative spirit.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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