Diplomacy, espionage and world order: The closure of consular offices of China and the United States

Ricardo Arredondo
Profesor de Derecho Internacional Público, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina (Professor of International Law, Buenos Aires University, Argentina) ricardoarredondo@derecho.uba.ar

This paper analyzes the political and legal context of the closure of the Chinese consulates in Houston and the American one in Chengdu in the framework of international law in general and, specifically, of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (1963) and the Chinese Consular Convention - United States (1980).

In the first part, a brief description is made of the status of bilateral relations between China and the United States, and then it particularly considers aspects related to: a) the decision of both countries to close the aforementioned consular offices; b) the alleged conduct performed by Chinese officials, in particular, allegations of espionage and theft of intellectual property; c) the immunities of consular officials and the possibility of criminal prosecution, and d) issues related to the inviolability of consular premises. The paper concludes with some final thoughts.

1. INTRODUCCIÓN.—2. EL CIERRE DE LOS CONSULADOS EN EL CONTEXTO DE LAS RELACIONES CHINO-ESTADOUNIDENSES.—3. LAS MEDIDAS ADOPTADAS EN EL MARCO DEL DERECHO INTERNACIONAL.—3.1. La decisión de ordenar el cierre de representaciones consulares.—3.2. Las conductas alegadas.—3.3. Las inmunidades de los funcionarios consulares.—3.4. La inviolabilidad de la oficina consular.—4. REFLEXIONES FINALES

China; consular relations; consulates; espionage; immunities; inviolability; USA;

REDI Vol. 73 1 2021




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