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China Enacts Foreign Relations Law

Mon, 18 Sep 2023
Categories: China Legal Trends

On 28 June 2023, the Chinese legislature, the National People’s Congress, passed the Law on Foreign Relations of the People's Republic of China (中华人民共和国对外关系法, hereinafter “the Law”).

The Chinese government has prepared a Chinese-English version of the Law for reference. The full text is available HERE.

The Law is the most significant recently enacted Chinese law dealing with international relations, which came into effect on 1 July 2023.

According to the Chinese legislature, the Law will help to (1) improve China’s legal framework with respect to countering sanctions, interference, and “long-arm jurisdiction”; and (2) promote the extraterritorial application of Chinese law.

The Law consists of 45 articles divided into five chapters, including General Principles, Functions and Powers for the Conduct of Foreign Relations, Goals and Mission of Conducting Foreign Relations, the System of Foreign Relations, Support for the Conduct of Foreign Relations, and Supplementary Provision.

Notable provisions in the Law include:

  • China has the right to take, as called for, measures to counter or take restrictive measures against acts that endanger its sovereignty, national security, and development interests in violation of international law or fundamental norms governing international relations (Art. 33);
  • China, in accordance with treaties and agreements it concludes or accedes to as well as the fundamental principles of international law and fundamental norms governing international relations, may take diplomatic actions as necessary including changing or terminating diplomatic or consular relations with a foreign country (Art. 34);
  • China confers privileges and immunities to diplomatic institutions and officials of other countries, and to international organizations and their officials, and confers immunities to foreign states and their properties in accordance with relevant laws as well as treaties and agreements it concludes or accedes to (Art. 36);
  • China protects the lawful rights and interests of foreign nationals and foreign organizations in its territory, has the power to permit or deny a foreign national entry, stay or residence in its territory, and regulates activities carried out in its territory by foreign organizations (Art. 38).



Photo by zhang kaiyv on Unsplash

Contributors: CJO Staff Contributors Team

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