DHARAMSALA, 17 Oct: Chinese diplomats must now notify the State Department before holding any meetings with US officials in the US.
The US has reportedly informed Chinese diplomatic missions in the US over the past week that they must notify the US State Department when organising “official meetings with US state officials, official meetings with local and municipal officials, official visits to educational institutions, and official visits to research institutions,” reports the BBC.
Though China has cried foul and accused the US of breaking international rules, it is understood that American diplomats in China faced similar restrictions and that the US has defended that the measure as China getting a taste of their own medicine aimed at levelling the playing field with an ultimate goal to disband the practice in both the countries, the report stated.
“In China, US diplomats do not have unfettered access to a range of folks that are important for us to do our job here. In contrast, [Chinese] diplomats in the US are of course, able to take full advantage of our open society,” a senior state department official was quoted as saying in the report.
Meanwhile, China has denied any existence of US diplomats in China required to obtain permission if they want to meet government officials, academics or other stakeholders in the country.
The Chinese Embassy in the US has further called the new rules a ‘violation of the Vienna Convention’ in a statement it issued earlier today
“The Chinese side does not have similar requirements on American diplomats and consular officers in China,” China has insisted in the statement.
Under the Vienna Convention, an agreement that outlines the rules of diplomatic relations; diplomats are “ensured” freedom of movement and travel in their host countries besides stating that the receiving state “shall not discriminate as between states”.