Us Entry Into Houston Consulate Violates Vienna Convention: Experts
China strongly opposes the US law enforcement's forcible entry into the Chinese consulate in Houston and has lodged solemn representations, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Saturday.
US federal agents and local law enforcement entered China's consulate compound in Houston after it was forced to close on Friday local time, according to CNN reports.
The consulate compound is a diplomatic and consular premises and China's state property.
The US side cannot trespass upon the compound in any form according to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and the? China-US Consular Treaty, Wang said.
Jin Yongming, a research fellow with the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, explained to the Global Times that a legal procedure to close one country's consulate in another country should be that the host country gives the reason and negotiates with the appointing country.
Even if the US had asked for the consulate to close, regardless the compound is rented or has been purchased by the Chinese consulate, US legal enforcement authorities are not entitled to enter the compound without the consulate's consent, Jin noted.
China will take other legitimate and necessary action if the US does not withdraw the wrong decision, the New York consulate warned in a post on its website.
China has retaliated by ordering the US to shut its consulate in Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan Province on Friday.作为回击反制，中国在周五要求美国关闭其位于四川成都的领事馆。
Zhao Xin, a lecturer at the School of International Law at the China University of Political Science and Law, noted that the US' order to close the Chinese Consulate General in Houston and now the entry are both very rare and ludicrous acts in the history of diplomacy.
She told the Global Times on Saturday that, according to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, the host country does not have the right to take over, even in cases of armed conflict or even if the two countries sever diplomatic relations or the embassy retreats temporarily or permanently.