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A Chinese woman walks past the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China. The U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China, May 6, 2011 (AP photo by Andy Wong).

What True Reciprocity for U.S. and Chinese Diplomats Would Look Like

Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019

It’s not every day that one gets a chance to assess a Trump administration decision made on what looks like solid foreign policy principles. But unexpectedly last week, the State Department announced that it had established new rules governing the activities of Chinese diplomats posted to the United States. The changes require Chinese envoys to notify the State Department in advance of “official meetings with representatives of states, local and municipal governments; official visits to educational institutions and official visits to research institutions” in the U.S.

Since the rationale given for this measure was reciprocity, meaning that Washington claims to be merely applying some of the conditions that Beijing imposes on the activities of American diplomats in China, one might easily conclude there’s not much to see here, and simply applaud the measure as long overdue. But there is more here than meets the eye. ...

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