2020-07-23

How does China fight back? Will the two countries sever diplomatic relations? Authoritative interpretation is here

By yqqlm yqqlm

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin confirmed on the 22nd that on July 21st, the United States suddenly asked China to close the Consulate General in Houston. According to US media reports, the US government requires the Chinese government to close the Consulate General in Houston and evacuate all personnel within 72 hours (that is, before 4 pm local time on Friday).

A number of scholars on Sino-US relations and international law told reporters on the 22nd that the move by the United States is in the history of diplomacy and Sino-US relations. Unprecedented in history, China should give corresponding countermeasures, including closing the US consulate in China.”Global Times” sorted out several key issues to interpret this matter.

Why did the United States suddenly close its consulate?

The response of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not clearly mention the specific reasons for the sudden request of the US to close the Consulate General in Houston. Taggs’ response to the reasons on the 22nd was hard to convince:“We have instructed to close the Chinese consulate in Houston to protect American intellectual property rights and American private information.” Lu Xiang, an expert on American issues at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said bluntly, the United States The reason given is far-fetched. The U.S. government wanted to use this sudden move to”give China a hard hit”, hoping to catch China by surprise. The anti-China hawks within the U.S. government contributed to the U.S.’s nasty decision.

There are various speculations on the cause of this incident on the Internet.For example,”The United States hopes to allow diplomats and diplomats who withdraw from China during the epidemic. The family members returned to the consulate in China but did not cooperate with China’s national defense measures.” According to authoritative sources, this speculation was revealed to the Global Times that this speculation is false news. The US embassies and consulates in China are in a state that the US hopes to maintain based on the epidemic situation. Including the US consulate in Wuhan, China has not set up any obstacles to their operation. As early as the regular press conference of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held on July 2, on the issue of the return of American diplomats to China, spokesman Zhao Lijian said that China and the United States have maintained close communication on the return of American diplomats to China. After consultation, China has assisted the United States in arranging a chartered flight to return to the United States diplomat. He said that China is still facing greater pressure from foreign sources.”The defensive measures taken by China are treated equally to foreign missions in China.”

Speaker Wang Wenbin’s response on the day seemed to break the real reason for the US’s actions:“The US claims that the US-China relationship is not equal. This is the usual excuse of the US. Reason. In fact, in terms of the number of Chinese and American embassies and consulates in each other country and the number of diplomatic and consular staff, the United States is far more than China.”

Is closing a consulate the same as”deportation”? What does it mean? Will the two countries sever diplomatic relations?

Xin Qiang, deputy director of the American Studies Center of Fudan University, told the Global Times on the 22nd that he suddenly requested the consulates of other countries to close in a short time. It is a very rude act, and its nature is no different from”deportation.” Lu Xiang said that expelling diplomats and closing the consulate have the same practical meaning, but the latter’s wording is slightly more tactful. After the embassy is closed, diplomats will also be asked to leave.

Ma Chengyuan believes that severance of diplomatic relations should not happen, because this is the most extreme situation, and there are some steps before it. do. If the US expels Chinese diplomats or consulates, then China will also take the same measures to expel US diplomats and consulates. A more serious situation will lead to a downgrade of diplomatic relations.

What international conventions has the US action violated?

Peng Qinxuan, an associate researcher at the Institute of International Law of Wuhan University, told a reporter from the Global Times on the 22nd that according to the U.S. Constitution Article 6, Paragraph 2 (the Supremacy Clause) stipulates that”this Constitution, the laws of the United States enacted in accordance with this Constitution and the authorization of the United States, have been concluded and will be concluded The treaty should become the supreme law in the country; and judges in each state should be bound by it, regardless of any state law or any law to the contrary.” The United States ratified the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations in 1969 and ratified it Optional Protocol to the Convention. Therefore, the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations has the supreme legal effect over other domestic laws. Therefore, the U.S. unilaterally requesting China to close its consulate in Houston without bilateral negotiation is an act of deliberately bypassing international treaty obligations and the U.S. Constitution and exerting extreme pressure on China. It is neither in the spirit of the peace treaty nor in the U.S. Constitution. Provisions on the supremacy of treaties.

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Houston, USA City Data Map

According to Article 25 and Article 27 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the United States, as the receiving country, has sufficient facilities for diplomats to perform their duties The treaty obligations should allow and protect embassies to communicate freely for all official purposes. At the same time, Articles 23 and 30 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations stipulate that the premises of the embassy shall be inviolable, and that the premises and equipment of the embassy, ​​other properties in the premises and the vehicles of the embassy shall be protected from search, expropriation, seizure or enforcement. The private apartment, documents and letters, and property of the company are inviolable. Therefore, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs mentioned in its response that the United States twice imposed unreasonable restrictions on Chinese diplomats in the United States in October last year and June this year, opened Chinese diplomatic bags and seized Chinese official supplies. These actions violated the United States treaty. The obligation also does not conform to the spirit of the”treaty supremacy” of the US Constitution.

Ma Chengyuan, a professor at China University of Political Science and Law and a consultant from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reminded that attention should be paid to whether the main body behind these actions is the government or the individual. If it is a government action, then the corresponding The country needs to take responsibility. However, if it is an individual’s behavior, the country where it is located must also be held responsible for preventing such behavior from being disadvantageous or ineffective in sanctions.

How will the closing of the Consulate General in Houston actually affect my diplomatic work?

Lu Xiang believes that it is particularly difficult to close the consulate within 72 hours. Houston is the largest city in Texas and one of the most severely affected states in the United States. ; Closing the consulate will have a great impact on the local Chinese and overseas Chinese, and it will also affect the economic and trade personnel exchanges between China and the United States in this region. He also emphasized that there was news before that embassy personnel were burning things. Under such circumstances, the US has no right to break into the Chinese consulate unless there is a major accident or accident.

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Ma Chengyuan emphasized that in accordance with international law and diplomatic conventions, the United States has the responsibility and obligation to ensure the safety of Chinese consulates and diplomats, as well as the safety of property, even when the consulate is closed.

What are the consequences of this move by the United States on Sino-US relations?

Xin Qiang told the Global Times that the actions of the United States are unprecedented in the history of Sino-US relations, indicating that bilateral confrontation has been seriously escalated. Lu Xiang said that requiring a country’s consulates to close for a limited time without any warning is unprecedented in the history of diplomacy and Sino-US relations, and it will also bring the biggest test to Sino-US relations since the establishment of diplomatic relations.

Jin Canrong, deputy dean of the School of International Relations at Renmin University of China and an expert on American issues, believes that the nature of this matter is the escalation of political confrontation, and it is a very serious incident. It can be seen that some people in the U.S. government are determined to start a”new cold war” with China, and even start a war to knock down China’s momentum and delay China’s development. He believes that, first of all, judging from the various sanctions and words and deeds currently promulgated by the US government, its strategic hostility towards China is deeper than outsiders expected. Second, it may be the reason for the election. The Trump team needs to increase the level of Sino-US confrontation and divert domestic attention. Obtain the support of domestic basic disk. But for whatever reason, the conclusion is clear that Sino-US relations will continue to decline.

What cards can China play?

When talking about the countermeasures that China may take next, which are legal and reasonable and consistent with international relations and diplomatic conventions When taking measures, Ma Chengyuan said that the most likely action that China will take is to reduce one US consulate in China accordingly. Xin Qiang said that this move by the US will definitely provoke a counterattack from China. He believes that China does not rule out closing the US Consulate in Hong Kong. According to a poll set by the Global Times on social networks on the 22nd, most netizens believe that the US Consulate in Hong Kong is most likely to be closed.

However, According to Reuters on the 22nd, China is considering closing the US Consulate General in Wuhan, but the news has not been officially confirmed.