The Law on Foreign Relations of the People’s Republic of China
(Adopted at the Third Meeting of the Standing Committee of the 14th National People’s Congress on June 28, 2023)
Table of Contents
Chapter I General Principles
Chapter II Functions and Powers for the Conduct of Foreign Relations
Chapter III Goals and Mission of Conducting Foreign Relations
Chapter IV The System of Foreign Relations
Chapter V Support for the Conduct of Foreign Relations
Chapter VI Supplementary Provision
Article 1 This Law is enacted pursuant to the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China to conduct foreign relations to:
safeguard China’s sovereignty, national security and development interests;
protect and promote the interests of the Chinese people;
build China into a great modernized socialist country;
realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation;
promote world peace and development; and
build a community with a shared future for mankind.
Article 2 This Law shall apply to the conduct by the People’s Republic of China of diplomatic relations with other countries, its exchanges and cooperation with them in the economic, cultural and other areas, and its relations with the United Nations and other international organizations.
Article 3 The People’s Republic of China conducts foreign relations and promotes friendly exchanges under the guidance of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Important Thinking of Three Represents, the Scientific Outlook on Development and Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.
Article 4 The People’s Republic of China pursues an independent foreign policy of peace, and observes the five principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, mutual non-interference in internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence.
The People’s Republic of China keeps to a path of peaceful development and adheres to the fundamental policy of opening to the outside world and a strategy of opening-up for mutual benefit.
The People’s Republic of China observes the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and endeavors to safeguard world peace and security, promote global common development, and build a new type of international relations. It is committed to settling international disputes by peaceful means and opposes the use of force or threat of force in international relations, hegemonism and power politics. It remains true to the principle that all countries are equal regardless of size, strength or level of development and respects the development paths and social systems decided upon independently by the people of all countries.
Article 5 The conduct of foreign relations by the People’s Republic of China is under the centralized and overall leadership of the Communist Party of China.
Article 6 The State institutions, armed forces, political parties, people’s organizations, enterprises, public institutions, other social organizations, and citizens have the responsibility and obligation to safeguard China’s sovereignty, national security, dignity, honor and interests in the course of international exchanges and cooperation.
Article 7 The State encourages friendly people-to-people exchanges and cooperation with foreign countries.
Those who make outstanding contribution to international exchanges and cooperation shall be honored and awarded pursuant to applicable regulations of the State.
Article 8 Any organization or individual who commits acts that are detrimental to China’s national interests in violation of this Law and other applicable laws in the course of engaging in international exchanges shall be held accountable by law.
Functions and Powers for the Conduct of Foreign Relations
Article 9 The central leading body for foreign affairs is responsible for policy making, deliberation and coordination relating to the conduct of foreign relations. It considers and formulates the State’s foreign relations strategy and related major principles and policies, and provides guidance for their implementation. It is responsible for top-level design, coordination and holistic advancement of work concerning foreign relations, and supervises its implementation.
Article 10 The National People’s Congress and its Standing Committee ratify or denounce treaties and important agreements concluded with other countries, and exercise functions and powers relating to foreign relations pursuant to the Constitution and other laws.
The National People’s Congress and its Standing Committee actively conduct international exchanges, and strengthen exchanges and cooperation with parliaments of foreign countries as well as international and regional parliamentary organizations.
Article 11 The President of the People’s Republic of China represents the People’s Republic of China, conducts affairs of state, and exercises functions and powers relating to foreign relations pursuant to the Constitution and other laws.
Article 12 The State Council manages foreign affairs, concludes treaties and agreements with foreign countries, and exercises functions and powers relating to foreign relations pursuant to the Constitution and other laws.
Article 13 The Central Military Commission organizes and conducts international military exchanges and cooperation and exercises functions and powers relating to foreign relations pursuant to the Constitution and other laws.
Article 14 The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China conducts foreign affairs in accordance with the law and undertakes matters relating to diplomatic exchanges of Party and State leaders with foreign leaders. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs enhances guidance, coordination, management and service for international exchanges and cooperation conducted by other government departments and localities.
Other central and government departments conduct international exchanges and cooperation according to their respective scope of responsibilities.
Article 15 Diplomatic missions of the People’s Republic of China abroad, including embassies and consulates in foreign countries as well as permanent missions to the United Nations and other international intergovernmental organizations, represent the People’s Republic of China abroad.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs exercises overall leadership over the work of Chinese diplomatic missions abroad.
Article 16 Provinces, autonomous regions and cities directly under central government jurisdiction shall carry out international exchanges and cooperation within the specific scope of mandate authorized by the central authorities.
People’s governments of provinces, autonomous regions and cities directly under central government jurisdiction shall manage matters relating to international exchanges and cooperation in areas under their administration in accordance with their functions and powers.
Goals and Mission of Conducting Foreign Relations
Article 17 The People’s Republic of China conducts foreign relations to uphold its system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, safeguard its sovereignty, unification and territorial integrity, and promote its economic and social development.
Article 18 The People’s Republic of China calls for putting into action the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative, and endeavors to advance a foreign affairs agenda on multiple fronts, at different levels, in various areas and of multiple dimensions.
The People’s Republic of China works to promote coordination and sound interaction with other major countries and grow relations with its neighboring countries in accordance with the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness and the policy of enhancing friendship and partnership with its neighbors. Guided by the principle of sincerity, delivering outcomes, affinity and good faith and the vision of promoting common good and shared interests, it works to strengthen solidarity and cooperation with other developing countries. The People’s Republic of China upholds and practices multilateralism and participates in the reform and development of the global governance system.
Article 19 The People’s Republic of China upholds the international system with the United Nations at its core, the international order underpinned by international law, and the fundamental norms governing international relations based on the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
The People’s Republic of China stays true to the vision of global governance featuring extensive consultation and joint contribution for shared benefits. It participates in the development of international rules, promotes democracy in international relations, and works for economic globalization that is more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all.
Article 20 The People’s Republic of China stays true to the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable global security, and endeavors to strengthen international security cooperation and its participation in mechanisms of global security governance.
The People’s Republic of China fulfills its responsibilities as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council; it is committed to safeguarding international peace and security and upholding the authority and stature of the United Nations Security Council.
The People’s Republic of China supports and participates in peacekeeping operations mandated by the United Nations Security Council, observes the basic principles of the peacekeeping operations, respects the territorial integrity and political independence of sovereign countries concerned, and maintains a position of fairness.
The People’s Republic of China is committed to upholding international regimes of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation. It is against arms race; it opposes and prohibits proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in any form, fulfills relevant international obligations, and is engaged in international cooperation on non-proliferation.
Article 21 The People’s Republic of China stays true to the vision of global development which is equitable, inclusive, open, cooperative, comprehensive, well-coordinated, innovation-driven and interconnected. It endeavors to promote coordinated and sustainable development of the economy, the society and the environment and well-rounded human development.
Article 22 The People’s Republic of China respects and protects human rights; it is committed to the principle of universality of human rights and its observance in light of the realities of countries. The People’s Republic of China promotes comprehensive and coordinated development of all human rights, carries out international exchanges and cooperation in the field of human rights on the basis of equality and mutual respect, and works for the sound development of the global cause of human rights.
Article 23 The People’s Republic of China calls on all countries to rise above national, ethnic and cultural differences and uphold peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom, which are common values of humanity.
Article 24 The People’s Republic of China stays true to the vision of equality, mutual learning, dialogue and inclusiveness among civilizations, respects diversity of civilizations, and promotes exchanges and dialogue among civilizations.
Article 25 The People’s Republic of China plays an active part in global environmental and climate governance and endeavors to strengthen international cooperation on green and low-carbon development; it is committed to jointly enhancing global ecological conservation and building a global system of environmental and climate governance that is fair, equitable, cooperative and beneficial to all.
Article 26 The People’s Republic of China is committed to advancing high-standard opening-up. It develops foreign trade, actively promotes and protects, in accordance with the law, inbound foreign investment, encourages external economic cooperation including outbound investment, and promotes high-quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative. It is committed to upholding the multilateral trading system, opposes unilateralism and protectionism, and works to build an open global economy.
Article 27 The People’s Republic of China provides foreign aid in the form of economic, technical, material, human resources, management, and other assistance to boost economic development and social advances of other developing countries, build up their capacity for sustainable development, and promote international development cooperation.
The People’s Republic of China carries out international humanitarian cooperation and assistance, strengthens international cooperation on disaster prevention, mitigation and relief and helps recipient countries respond to humanitarian emergencies.
In providing foreign aid, the People’s Republic of China respects the sovereignty of recipient countries and does not interfere in their internal affairs or attach any political conditions to its aid.
Article 28 The People’s Republic of China carries out, as needed in the conduct of foreign relations, exchanges and cooperation in educational, science and technology, cultural, public health, sports, social, ecological, military, security, the rule of law and other fields.
The System of Foreign Relations
Article 29 The State advances the rule of law in both domestic and foreign affairs and strengthens foreign-related legislative work and the system of rule of law in foreign affairs.
Article 30 The State concludes or accedes to treaties and agreements in accordance with the Constitution and other laws and fulfills in good faith obligations stipulated in such treaties and agreements.
Treaties and agreements that the State concludes or accedes to shall not contravene the Constitution.
Article 31 The State takes due measures to implement and apply treaties and agreements to which it is a Party.
The implementation and application of treaties and agreements shall not undermine the sovereignty of the State, national security and public interests.
Article 32 The State shall strengthen the implementation and application of its laws and regulations in foreign-related fields in conformity with the fundamental principles of international law and fundamental norms governing international relations. The State shall take law enforcement, judicial or other measures in accordance with the law to safeguard its sovereignty, national security and development interests and protect the lawful rights and interests of Chinese citizens and organizations.
Article 33 The People’s Republic of China has the right to take, as called for, measures to counter or take restrictive measures against acts that endanger its sovereignty, national security and development interests in violation of international law or fundamental norms governing international relations.
The State Council and its departments adopt administrative regulations and departmental rules as necessary, establish related working institutions and mechanisms, and strengthen inter-departmental coordination and cooperation to adopt and enforce measures mentioned in the preceding paragraph.
Decisions made pursuant to the first and second paragraphs of this Article are final.
Article 34 The People’s Republic of China, on the basis of the one-China principle, establishes and develops diplomatic relations with other countries in accordance with the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.
The People’s Republic of China, in accordance with treaties and agreements it concludes or accedes to as well as the fundamental principles of international law and fundamental norms governing international relations, may take diplomatic actions as necessary including changing or terminating diplomatic or consular relations with a foreign country.
Article 35 The State takes steps to implement sanction resolutions and relevant measures with binding force adopted by the United Nations Security Council in accordance with Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues notices to release the sanction resolutions and measures mentioned in the preceding paragraph. The government departments concerned and the people’s governments of provinces, autonomous regions, and cities directly under central government jurisdiction shall take actions to implement such sanction resolutions and measures within the scope of their respective functions and powers.
Organizations and individuals in the Chinese territory shall comply with the notices issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and related actions taken by government departments and localities, and shall not engage in any activity in violation of the above-mentioned sanction resolutions and measures.
Article 36 The People’s Republic of China confers privileges and immunities to diplomatic institutions and officials of other countries, and to international organizations and their officials in accordance with relevant laws as well as treaties and agreements it concludes or accedes to.
The People’s Republic of China confers immunities to foreign states and their properties in accordance with relevant laws as well as treaties and agreements it concludes or accedes to.
Article 37 The State shall take measures as necessary in accordance with the law to protect the safety, security, and legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens and organizations overseas and safeguard China’s overseas interests against any threat or infringement.
The State shall strengthen the systems and working mechanisms and build the capacity to protect its overseas interests.
Article 38 The People’s Republic of China protects the lawful rights and interests of foreign nationals and foreign organizations in its territory in accordance with the law.
The State has the power to permit or deny a foreign national entry, stay or residence in its territory, and regulates, in accordance with the law, activities carried out in its territory by foreign organizations.
Foreign nationals and foreign organizations in the territory of China shall abide by its laws, and shall not endanger China’s national security, undermine social and public interests or disrupt social and public order.
Article 39 The People’s Republic of China strengthens multilateral and bilateral dialogue on the rule of law and promotes international exchanges and cooperation on the rule of law.
The People’s Republic of China shall engage in international cooperation in law enforcement and judicial fields with other countries and international organizations in accordance with treaties and agreements it concludes or accedes to or in line with the principles of equality and reciprocity.
The State strengthens and expands its working mechanisms for international cooperation in law enforcement, improves its systems and mechanisms for judicial assistance, and promotes international cooperation in law enforcement and judicial fields. The State strengthens international cooperation in areas such as combating transnational crimes and corruption.
Support for the Conduct of Foreign Relations
Article 40 The State shall improve its system of integrated support for conducting foreign relations and strengthen its capacity to conduct foreign relations and safeguard national interests.
Article 41 The State shall provide funding required for conducting foreign relations and establish a funding mechanism that meets the need of conducting foreign relations and is commensurate with China’s economic development.
Article 42 The State shall strengthen capacity building of personnel working in foreign relations and take effective steps in related work such as training, employment, management, service and support.
Article 43 The State shall promote public understanding of and support for its conduct of foreign relations through various forms.
Article 44 The State shall strengthen capacity building for international communication, enable the world to learn more about and better understand China, and promote exchanges and mutual learning between different civilizations.
Article 45 This Law shall come into force on July 1, 2023.
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