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Guide to Consular Protection and Services
2004/04/21

 In pursuance of the relevant laws of the People’s Republic of China, the provisions of international treaties which China has entered into and signed as well as international practices, diplomatic representatives and consular organs of the People’s Republic of China posted abroad are entrusted responsibilities of protecting the legal rights and interests of Chinese citizens outside Chinese territory. This guide helps you understand the scope of consular protection and services to be provided by diplomatic representatives and consular organs of China posted abroad.

Assistance provided by consular officers
1) to issue, renew and replace travel documents, and extend the validity of travel documents for Chinese citizens or to endorse their personal particulars on travel documents.
2) to provide notarization and legalization services for Chinese citizens(including notarization of translation of various certificates and documents), and subject to the laws and regulations of the receiving state, register marriages and transfer of judicial documents.
3) to negotiate with the authorities concerned when the rights or freedom to be enjoyed by Chinese citizens under the laws are restricted or infringed upon in the receiving state and they could in no way safeguard their own rights and interests.
4) to provide information on the prevailing situation to Chinese citizens in case of emergency such as natural disasters, political disturbances, wars and riots, etc., and to provide assistance.
5) to liaise, on request, with relatives of Chinese citizens as far as possible, asking them for the necessary financial assistance.
6) to notify relatives of the parties concerned in serious accidents of the case and casualties involved, and to give consultative advice on the related matters of procedure.
7) to notify the concerned parties and his/her relatives on learning that the Chinese citizen has bequeathed a legacy, or has become a successor of an estate or a devisee; to receive and transfer the estate on his/her behalf.
8) to provide, on request, the available names and telephone numbers of local lawyers, interpreters and doctors to the Chinese citizens.
9) to visit Chinese citizens under detention, arrest or in prison. When necessary, to fight for lawful treatment on their behalf and give necessary assistance, and inform their relatives of their condition if appropriate.
10) to render necessary assistance to Chinese citizens found not guilty or those released from prison on completion of their sentences so that they can leave the state early.
11) to provide any other relevant consultative services.  

Assistance cannot be provided by consular officers
1) to intervene in court proceedings, shield your unlawful act, absolve you from sentences beyond the laws and regulations of the receiving state.
2) to get better treatment for you in hospital, in detention or in prison than is provided for local citizens.
3) to pay your hotel, legal, medical, air/sea/land travel expense or any other bills.
4) to help you get a job or obtain a work permit.
5) to help you in your application for permanent residence in that state.
6) to accommodate you in the office of the diplomatic representative or consular organs.
Obey the law
 Chinese citizens outside Chinese territory should obey the laws and regulations of the receiving state, respect the customs and practices of the people in that state and get along with them harmoniously. They should also participate actively in promoting economic prosperity of the receiving state, and foster co-operation and communication between our nation and the receiving state.

If you have anything stolen
 If you lose your money, passport or any other things abroad, report it first to the local police and request for a documentary proof of the loss, and inform the diplomatic representative or consular organ of China in that state about the loss immediately and request for assistance.

If you are arrested
 If you commit an offence, you should bear the legal consequences. If you are arrested or detained for any charge of offence, you have the right to request the authorities concerned to inform the diplomatic representative or consular organ of China in that state.
If someone dies
 In case of serious accident happening to your relatives or companions or resulting in death for whatever cause, contact the diplomatic representative or consular organ in that state immediately, the consular officers will offer assistance whenever possible.

Points for attention
1) Consular officers are not allowed to exceed their scopes of duties in providing consular protection and services to Chinese citizens.
2) The relevant provisions lay down that fees will be charged for some consular services.
3) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China is responsible for giving explanation on this guide.

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