China (22 March 2021)


Following the increase in unacceptable public comments by the Embassy of China in recent days, including in the form of insults and threats against parliamentarians and a French researcher, we reaffirm the basic rules enshrined in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations associated with the functioning of a foreign embassy, notably with respect to its public communications. The embassy is urged to strictly comply with these rules.

In France, respect for fundamental principles and freedoms is a requirement that applies to all: academic and research freedom, individual freedoms, respect for the separation of France’s constitutional powers and principles. The insults against independent researchers and the controversy with French elected officials are unacceptable and do not have any place in the relations that the Embassy of China is tasked with helping to develop between France and China. It must respect the principle of separation of powers, as well as all of the Republic’s laws.

In this context, France cannot accept the announcement made today by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to sanction several European nationals, including members of the European Parliament and national parliaments, and notably our compatriot MEP Raphaël Glucksmann, researchers and diplomats. This decision has been presented as a response to the EU’s decision to sanction officials and a Chinese entity involved in serious human rights violations in Xinjiang. Lashing out at academic freedom, the freedom of expression and fundamental democratic freedoms, will not help China to respond to the EU’s legitimate concerns, or contribute to the dialogue with the 27 member states that we are calling for together with our European partners, within the framework of the joint communication issued in March 2019.
This is the message we will convey to Mr. Lu Shaye, Ambassador of China to France when he is summoned to the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs.