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Rules and Regulations
Regulations Of The People's Republic Of China Concerning Diplo-Matic Privileges And Immuntties
This English document is coming from "LAWS AND REGULATIONS OF THE
PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA GOVERNING FOREIGN-RELATED MATTERS" (1991.7)
which is compiled by the Brueau of Legislative Affairs of the State
Council of the People's Republic of China, and is published by the China
Legal System Publishing House.
In case of discrepancy, the original version in Chinese shall prevail.
REGULATIONS OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA CONCERNING DIPLO-
MATIC PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES
(Adopted at the 17th Meeting of the Standing Committee of the
Sixth National People's Congress, promulgated by Order No. 44 of the
President of the People's Republic of China and effective as of September
The present Regulations are formulated for the purpose of defining the
diplomatic privileges and immunities of the diplomatic missions in China
and their members and facilitating the efficient performance of the
functions of the diplomatic missions in China as representing States.
The members of the diplomatic staff of a mission shall in principle be of
the nationality of the sending State. They may be appointed from among
persons of Chinese or third-state nationality only with the consent of the
competent Chinese authorities, which may be withdrawn at any time by the
The mission and its head shall have the right to use the flag and emblem
of the sending State on the premises of the mission and on the means of
transport of the head of the mission.
The premises of the mission shall be inviolable. Chinese government
functionaries may enter them only with the consent of the head of the
mission or another member of the mission authorized by him. The Chinese
authorities concerned shall take appropriate measures to protect the
premises of the mission against any intrusion or damage. The premises of
the mission, their furnishings and other property thereon and the means of
transport of the mission shall be immune from search, requisition,
attachment or execution.
The premises of the mission shall be exempt from dues and taxes, other
than such as represent payment for specific services rendered.
The fees and charges levied by the mission in the course of its official
duties shall be exempt from all dues and taxes.
The archives and documents of the mission shall be inviolable.
The members of the mission shall enjoy freedom of movement and travel
within Chinese territory except for areas the entry into which is
prohibited or restricted by the regulations of the Chinese Government.
The mission may for official purposes communicate freely with the
Government and the other missions and consulates of the sending State. In
so doing, it may employ all appropriate means, including diplomatic
couriers, diplomatic bag, and messages in code or cipher.
The mission may install and use a wireless transmitter-receiver for the
purpose of communication only with the consent of the Chinese Government.
The import of the above-mentioned equipment shall be subject to the
relevant procedure as specified by the Chinese Government.
The official correspondence of the mission shall be inviolable.
The diplomatic bag shall not be opened or detained.
The diplomatic bag may contain only diplomatic papers or articles intended
for official use and must be sealed and bear visible external marks of its
The diplomatic courier shall be provided with a courier certificate issued
by the competent authorities of the sending State. He shall enjoy personal
inviolability and shall not be liable to arrest or detention.
Diplomatic couriers ad hoc shall be provided with certificates of courier
ad hoc issued by the competent authorities of the sending State, and shall
enjoy the same immunities as the diplomatic courier while charged with the
carrying of the diplomatic bag. A diplomatic bag may be entrusted to the
captain of a commercial aircraft. He shall be provided with an official
document issued by the consigner state indicating the number of packages
constituting the bag, but he shall not be regarded as a diplomatic
courier. The mission shall send its members to receive the diplomatic bag
from the captain of the aircraft or deliver it to him.
The person of a diplomatic agent shall be inviolable. He shall not be
liable to arrest or detention. The Chinese authorities concerned shall
take appropriate measures to prevent any attack on his personal freedom
The residence of a diplomatic agent shall enjoy inviolability and
protection. His papers, correspondence and, except as provided in Article
14, his property, shall be inviolable.
A diplomatic agent shall enjoy immunity from criminal jurisdiction.
He shall also enjoy immunity from civil and administrative jurisdiction,
except in the case of:
(1) an action relating to succession in which he is involved as a private
(2) an action relating to any professional or commercial activity
conducted by him in China outside his official functions in violation of
paragraph 3 of Article 25. No measures of execution shall be taken in
respect of a diplomatic agent except in cases coming under the preceding
paragraphs of this Article, where the measures of execution do not
constitute any violations of his person and residence.
A diplomatic agent is not obliged to give evidence as a witness.
The immunity from jurisdiction of diplomatic agents and of persons
enjoying immunity under Article 20 may be waived through explicit
expression by the Government of the sending State.
The initiation of proceedings by a diplomatic agent or by a person
enjoying immunity from jurisdiction under Article 20 shall preclude him
from invoking immunity from jurisdiction in respect of any counter-claim
directly connected with the claim. Waiver of immunity from civil or
administrative jurisdiction shall not imply waiver of immunity in respect
of the execution of the judgment, for which a separate and explicit waiver
shall be necessary.
A diplomatic agent shall be exempt from all dues and taxes, except:
(1) dues and taxes of a kind which are normally incorporated in the price
of goods or services;
(2) estate, succession or inheritance duties, except for the movable
property in China of a deceased diplomatic agent;
(3) dues and taxes on private income having its source in China;
(4) charges levied for specific services rendered.
Diplomatic agents shall be exempt from all personal and public services as
well as military obligations.
Imported articles for the official use of the mission and those for the
personal use of a diplomatic agent shall, in accordance with the relevant
regulations of the Chinese Government, be exempt from customs duties and
all other related dues and taxes. The personal baggage of a diplomatic
agent shall be exempt from inspection, unless the competent Chinese
authorities have serious grounds for presuming that it contains articles
not covered by the exemptions specified in the previous paragraph, or
articles the import or export of which is prohibited by Chinese laws and
government regulations or controlled by the quarantine law and
regulations. Such inspection shall be conducted in the presence of the
diplomatic agent or of his authorized representative.
The diplomatic missions and their members may bring and import firearms
and bullets into China for their personal use, subject to the approval of
the Chinese government and to its relevant regulations.
The spouse and under-age children of a diplomatic agent forming part of
his household shall, if they are not nationals of China, enjoy the
privileges and immunities specified in Article 12 to 18.
The members of the administrative and technical staff of the mission,
together with their spouses and under-age children forming part of their
respective households, shall, if they are not nationals of and permanently
resident in China, enjoy the privileges and immunities specified in
Articles 12 to 17. However, the immunity from civil and administrative
jurisdiction shall be confined to acts performed in the course of official
duties. The members of the administrative and technical staff shall enjoy
the privilege of exemption from dues and taxes specified in paragraph one
of Article 18 in respect of articles intended for their establishment
which are imported within six months of the time of installation.
The members of the service staff of the mission who are not nationals of
and permanently resident in China shall enjoy immunity in respect of acts
performed in the course of official duties and exemption from income tax
on the emoluments they receive by reason of their employment. They shall
enjoy the privilege of exemption from dues and taxes as specified in
paragraph one of Article 18 of the present Regulations in respect of
articles intended for their establishment which are imported within six
months of the time of installation.
The private attendants of members of the mission shall, if they are not
nationals of and permanently resident in China, be exempt from income tax
on the emoluments they receive by reason of their employment.
Diplomatic agents who are nationals of China or foreigners having obtained
permanent residence in China shall enjoy immunity from jurisdiction and
inviolability only in respect of acts performed in the course of official
The following persons shall enjoy immunity and inviolability necessary for
their transit through or sojourn in China:
(1) a diplomatic agent stationed in a third State who passes through China
together with his spouse and underage children forming part of his
(2) a visiting foreign official who has obtained a diplomatic visa from
China or who holds a diplomatic passport of a State with which China has
an agreement on the mutual exemption of visas;
(3) other visiting foreigners to whom the Chinese Government has granted
the privileges and immunities specified in the present Article.
The provisions of Articles 10 and 11 shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to a
diplomatic courier of a third state passing through China and his
accompanying diplomatic bag.
Visiting heads of State or government, foreign ministers and other
officials of comparable status from foreign States shall enjoy the
privileges and immunities specified in the present Regulations.
Representatives of foreign States coming to China to attend international
conferences sponsored by the United Nations or its specialized agencies,
visiting officials and experts of the United Nations and its specialized
agencies, and offices of the United Nations and its specialized agencies
in China and their personnel shall enjoy such treatment as specified in
the relevant international conventions to which China has acceded and
agreements which China has concluded with the international organizations
Persons enjoying diplomatic privileges and immunities under the present
(1) respect Chinese laws and regulations;
(2) not interfere in the internal affairs of China;
(3) not practise for personal profit any professional or commercial
activity on Chinese territory;
(4) not use the premises of the mission and the residence of the members
of the staff of the mission for purposes incompatible with the functions
of the mission.
In case the diplomatic privileges and immunities accorded by a foreign
State to the Chinese mission and its members in that State and to visiting
Chinese personnel concerned are fewer than those China would give under
the present Regulations to the mission of that State and its members in
China and its visiting personnel concerned, the Chinese Government may
accord them such diplomatic privileges and immunities as appropriate on a
Where there are other provisions in international treaties to which China
is a contracting or acceding party, the provisions of those treaties shall
prevail, with the exception of those provisions on which China has
expressed reservations. Where there are other provisions in agreements on
diplomatic privileges and immunities between China and other countries,
the provisions of those agreements shall prevail.
For the purpose of the present Regulations, the following expressions
shall have the meanings hereunder assigned to them:
(1) the "head of the mission" is the ambassador, minister, charge
d'affaires or other person of equivalent rank charged by the sending State
with the duty of acting in that capacity;
(2) the "members of the mission" are the head of the mission and the
members of the staff of the mission;
(3) the "members of the staff of the mission" are the members of the
diplomatic staff, of the administrative and technical staff and of the
service staff of the mission;
(4) the "members of the diplomatic staff of the mission" are the members
of the staff of the mission having diplomatic rank;
(5) a "diplomatic agent" is the head of the mission or a member of the
diplomatic staff of the mission;
(6) the "members of the administrative and technical staff of the mission"
are the members of the staff of the mission engaged in the administrative
and technical work of the mission;
(7) the "members of the service staff of the mission" are the members of
the staff of the mission in the domestic service of the mission;
(8) a "private attendant" is a person in the private employment of a
member of the mission;
(9) the "premises of the mission" are the buildings and the land ancillary
thereto used for the purposes of the mission and the residence of the head
of the mission.
The present Regulations shall enter into force on the date of their