One Convention, Two Interpretations

On your question of foreign diplomats’ request to attend Liu Xiaobo’s trial, the court has handled it according to the relevant regulations and made an explanation. On December 23, the First Intermediate People’s Court of the Beijing Municipality publicly tried the Liu Xiaobo case according to law. What I want to stress is that Liu Xiaobo is a Chinese citizen. The Chinese judiciary handles the case independently according to law. This case is completely China’s internal affair. The so-called “statement” by some officials of certain foreign embassy is a gross interference in China’s domestic judicial affair and a violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. China expresses its strong dissatisfaction and demands that the country in question respect China’s judicial sovereignty and do not do things that will interfere in China’s internal affairs.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu, on a press conference on December 25, 2009

“… a matter of increasing controversy is the tension between the duty of a diplomat under Article 41 of the Convention not to interfere in the internal affairs of the receiving State and the opinion of many liberal States that human rights in all countries are a matter of legitimate international concern whose active promotion is a major object of their foreign policy.”

Global Law Books review quoting from Eileen Denza‘s Diplomatic Law, Commentary on the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations

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Document in Question:
Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961

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