The newly issued “Regulation of the People’s Republic of China on Consular Protection and Assistance” (中华人民共和国领事保护与协助条例, hereinafter the “Regulation”) came into effect on 1 Sept. 2023.
The Regulation is formulated to safeguard China’s overseas interests and protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens, legal persons, and unincorporated organizations abroad.
The highlights of the Regulation are as follows.
- “Consular protection and assistance” means the act of Chinese diplomatic missions to protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens, legal persons, and unincorporated organizations or provide them with assistance in accordance with the law when their legitimate rights and interests are violated or they need assistance.
- The responsibilities of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), diplomatic missions abroad, relevant departments of the State Council, local people’s governments, and domestic entities with personnel sent abroad in the field of consular protection and assistance shall be clarified.
- Chinese citizens, legal persons, or unincorporated organizations abroad may seek advice and help through the hotline and online platform established by MFA or through diplomatic missions when their legitimate rights and interests are violated or in need of assistance.
- Chinese citizens, legal persons, or unincorporated organizations abroad shall be provided with consular protection and assistance by Chinese diplomatic missions in the following situations: when their legitimate rights and interests are violated, when they are suspected of having committed a crime or an offense, when they need guardianship, when they face difficulties in securing a basic livelihood, when their whereabouts are unknown, when they are injured or die in an accident, or when their person and property are under threat from major emergencies.
Contributors: CJO Staff Contributors Team