The High Price of Diplomacy with China: Documents

Four members of the Falun Gong filed this complaint in federal court against Bo Xilai, China’s former minister of commerce. They alleged that Bo—while serving as a provincial governor from 2001 to 2004—oversaw torture and executions at forced labor camps. The case was filed under the Torture Victim Protection Act and the Alien Tort Statute. April 22, 2004
 

The Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C. faxed this diplomatic complaint letter to the State Department. The dispatch excoriates the U.S. for not protecting then-Commerce Minister Bo Xilai from being served with court papers while he walked through the lobby of the Fairmont Hotel in Washington.
April 26, 2004
 

The Chinese sent this letter to the Legal Advisor at the U.S. State Department outlining reasons to push for the suit’s dismissal. “Should the US court adjudicate this trumped-up ‘lawsuit’, it would send out a deadly wrong signal to the ‘Falun Gong’ cult … and severely undermine the common interests of the two countries,” the Chinese wrote. August 23, 2004
 

U.S. Magistrate Judge Edward M. Chen issued this opinion in a torture suit filed against the then-mayor of Beijing and the then-deputy governor of Liaoning Province. The judge found that the defendants were not immune from the suit and he issued a default judgment against them. This case is unrelated to the case filed against Bo. October 28, 2004
 

Washington, D.C. federal judge Richard J. Leon sent this letter to the State Department asking for its views on the lawsuit’s effect on foreign relations and issues of immunity for Bo. February 24, 2006

 

China’s minister of foreign affairs sent this letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The letter threatened a deterioration of U.S.-China trade relations if the Falun Gong lawsuit were to succeed. The foreign affairs minister requested that Secretary Rice ask the judge to dismiss the suit. March 30, 2006

 

China’s Minister of Justice Wu Aiying sent this letter to then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, asking that he intervene in the lawsuit filed against Bo. In the letter, Wu suggested several American legal principals that could be used to get the case dismissed. April 29, 2006

 

The State Department’s Legal Advisor John B. Bellinger, III sent this letter to the Justice Department asking that it intervene in the Bo case to seek the lawsuit’s dismissal. The letter outlines a host of “significant adverse foreign policy implications” and asks the Justice Department to suggest to the judge that Bo is immune from the suit. July 24, 2006
 

The Justice Department filed this legal brief with Judge Leon asking that he find Bo immune from being sued and dismiss the suit without addressing the “diplomatically undesirable” issues of “torture and extrajudicial killing.”July 24, 2006

 

The United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak conveyed in this report to the UN General Assembly “reliable and credible” allegations of organ harvesting (of hearts, kidneys, livers, and corneas) in China’s Liaoning Province beginning in 2001, the year Bo began his tenure as governor. The allegations and China’s response begin on page 60. March 20, 2007

Like our content? Help us do more.

Support Us

Leave a Comment

via Twitter