Sunday, 28 January 2007

State Succession

The Japanese Supreme Court is reportedly starting the appeal process in the controversial Kokario Dormitory case after 20 years of inaction. The case concerns a dispute over the title to a dormitory building in Kyoto which was purchased by Taiwan's diplomatic representative in Japan in 1950 in the name of "the Republic of China". A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said the case is "a political case bearing on the legal rights and interests of the Chinese government and the basic principles of Sino-Japanese relations" and urged Japan to deal with the case "in accordance with the principles in China-Japan Joint Statement".

Friday, 26 January 2007

Taiwan - Mutual Legal Assistance

In the largest mass deportation from the mainland in one day. mainland police repatriated 25 Taiwanese criminal suspects to the island. The operation was carried out through the Red Cross Societies on both sides of the Strait under the Kinmen Agreement.

See previous post.

Law of the Sea -- Continental Shelf Delimitation

A Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said China and Japan reached consensus on two premises in relation to the dispute over the continental shelf delimitation in the East China Sea. "One is sticking to the direction of joint development; the other is to properly settle relevant questions through dialogue and consultation." she said.

See previous post.

Taiwan - Mutual Legal Assistance

The mainland authorities deported a suspected Taiwan robber to Taiwan. Since 2000, police authorities on the mainland have returned 123 criminal suspects to Taiwan.

Law of War
State Responsibility

Chinese citizens, who were injured in Qiqihar in 2003 by leakage of chemical weapons abandoned by the Japanese army, filed a lawsuit to the Tokyo District Court to demand compensation from the Japanese government. Japan had agreed to pay 300 million yen to deal with the aftermath of the accident after consultation with China.

See previous post.

Environment -- Hazardous Waste

The Chinese Government is investigating the reported dumping of garbage in south China by Britain. The State Environmental Protection Administration said China strictly abides by the Basel Convention and Chinese law explicitly bans imports of solid wastes that cannot be used as raw materials or be recycled by harmless means

Outer Space

A Foreign Ministry spokesman confirmed China had conducted an anti-satellite missile test and reiterated Chna's policy on the peaceful use of space and opposition to the weaponization of space and an arms race in space. "This test was not directed at any country and does not constitute a threat to any country." he said.

See previous post.

Saturday, 20 January 2007

Outer Space

China successfully carried out its first test of an antisatellite missile, becoming just the third nation to be able to destroy spacecraft in an antisatellite test. The test brought reactions from the US and its allies, with an US official calling China's test "inconsistent with the spirit of co-operation that both countries aspire to in the civil space area." Others, such as the UK, expressed concerns that the debris from the test could strike other satellites.

International Law and Domestic Law
Trade -- Intellectual Property

A senior judge of the Supreme People's Court said that international law on intellectual property rights will take precedence whenever they are applied in domestic trials even if they differ from the domestic law. As for WTO regulations on intellectual property rights, he said the endeavor is to transform them into domestic laws.

Diplomatic Protection

The Foreign Ministry Spokesperson's Office issued a statement dismissing a letter circulated on the internet which alleged that the Chinese Embassy in Libya had failed to provide any help to some Chinese citizens who were in trouble in Libya. The statement outlined the steps taken by the Chinese Embassy during the criminal trial in Tripoli and concluded, " According to norms of international law, the consular protection given by Chinese Embassies and Consulates can not rise above the laws and regulations of the country of residence or interfere in the its domestic legal procedures."

Arms Control
State Responsibility

A Foreign Ministry spokesman said he was "unclear" about the allegation that the rocket used in the US embassy attack in Athens was made in China. "China has always been serious and responsible in arms trade, and have strictly followed the principles of trading arms with only sovereign states and maintaining a country's sovereignty and regional peace and stability," he said.

Environment - Marine Pollution

The State Oceanic Administration reported that marine pollution has worsened in the past year, especially in the shallow waters off the coast. A total of 149,000 square kilometers of sea failed to meet acceptable standards, 10,000 square kilometers more than in 2005.

See previous post.

International Tax

Chinese and US tax authorities reached their first bilateral advance pricing agreement, which would address transfer pricing issues.

United Nations
Human Rights

Using her veto power for the fifth time ever, China voted against a US-drafted Security Council resolution which called on Myanmar to stop persecution of opposition groups. The negative votes by China and Russia defeated the resolution. The Chinese UN Ambassador Wang Guangya explained that the Myanmar question is essentially its domestic affair. A Foreign Ministry spokesman later said that the situation in Myanmar has not posed threat to regional and international peace and security. "If the UN Security Council passed a resolution on the Myanmar issue, it would go beyond the responsibilities of the Security Council laid out in the UN Charter and harm the role and authority of the Security Council," he said.

Human Rights

Human Rights Watch reported that human rights conditions in China deteriorated in 2006, ending hopes that that there would be an improvement ahead of the 2008 Olympics. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman rejected the report and accused the organisation of always sticking to a biased view about China.


Chinese police destroyed a terrorist camp in Xinjiang and killed 18 terrorists of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement. The police later stressed that the camp was linked to international terrorism and the raid was within the bounds of international and domestic law.

Arms Control

After the US State Department imposed sanctions on three Chinese companies for suspected dealings in embargoed weapons, a Foreign Ministry spokesman lamented that "it is unreasonable for the American Government to invoke its domestic law to sanction on Chinese companies without providing any evidence." Meanwhile, a deal for natural gas development between a Chinese company and Iran may also be subject to scruitiny by US lawmakers.

See previous post.

Friday, 19 January 2007

Law of the Sea -- Territorial Sea

Rejecting the Vietnamese criticism, a Foreign Ministry spokesman reaffirmed China's claim of sovereignty over the islands in the South China Sea and declared China's erection of sovereignty markers on the base points of territorial sea in Xisha Islands to "completely fall within China's sovereignty".

Friday, 5 January 2007

Human Rights -- Family Planning

Premier Wen Jiabao said that the Chinese Government "will adhere to the basic policy of family planning with improved services and stronger leadership." Another senior official estimated that China's population would be 400 million higher if not for the government's family planning policies.

Human Rights -- Death Penalty

The Supreme People's Court announced that, after it takes back the power to review capital sentences on 1 January 2007, a nationally uniform standard will be adopted for the application of death sentences. Also, defendants will be heard in person during the review by the highest court.

See previous post.

Thursday, 4 January 2007

Use of Force

China published a 91-page white paper on national defense, the fifth of its kind since 1998, proclaiming that "China pursues a national defense policy which is purely defensive in nature". The white paper warned that "the struggle to oppose and contain the separatist forces for Taiwan independence and their activities remains a hard one". It also asserted that both the total amount and per-serviceman share of China's defense expenditure is low compared with those of other major powers. The document reiterates China's stand of never being the first to use nuclear weapons, promising not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon countries and regions, and advocating the comprehensive prohibition and complete elimination of nuclear weapons. It stresses that China upholds the principles of counterattack in self-defense and the limited development of nuclear weapons and says China's "ultimate aim is to deter other countries from using or threatening to use nuclear weapons against China".

International Criminal Law -- War Crimes

A Foreign Ministry spokesman reiterated China's position on the Tokyo Military Tribunal, calling the Tribunal's verdict "an undeniable international verdict with iron-clad evidences proven by history".

United Nations

The UN General Assembly decided on the membership dues for the next three years and China's share increased from 2.05% to 2.67%.

See previous post.

Environment -- Air Pollution
Hong Kong

The Hong Kong and Guangdong governments moved towards launching a cross-border emissions-trading scheme to cut pollution from power plants. But the details of the scheme and the time of its launch remain unknown.

Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities

Several Korean media outlets reported an incident in which Seoul police stopped a vehicle belonging to the Chinese embassy. After the driver refused to take the alcoholic test, citing diplomatic status, the police detained the car for over eight hours. The Chinese embassy later claimed that the Chinese diplomats had no fault and that internal investigation showed the driver to have taken no alcohol on that day.

Cultural Property

In the wake of an auction in Los Angeles of a dinosaur egg nest fossil that reportedly originated from China and was among the best preserved fossils of the kind, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said that, if the fossil is found to be from China, Chinese authorities will demand the return of the fossil according to relevant international convention.

Law of the Sea

China and Korea are scheduled to hold talks on a territorial dispute over an uninhabited Leo Islet as well as other law of the sea issues, including delimitation of maritime boundaries and marine scientific research. "China has consistently advocated that sea area demarcation problems between China and other countries, including the ROK, be solved through negotiations and consultations in accordance with international law principles as well as the equitable principle," a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

See previous post.