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China’s Consular Service Reform And Changes In Diplomacy

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Chapter Summary

Consuls have tended to be seen as the poor cousins of ambassadors and ministers. Consuls have also performed a host of tasks that transcend diplomacy. This chapter focuses on Europe because other historical consul like offices seem to have had little influence on the consular institution as it developed and spread across the globe in the second millennium. Even for the European states, the source material is scanty. G.W. Rice comments, with regard to Britain, for example, that there is an 'extreme scarcity of private consular correspondence which could amplify the apparently scattered and fragmentary official sources before 1800'. The chapter discusses how consuls have been treated in diplomatic and commercial history. Núñez Hernández notes how in the mid-thirteenth century in Barcelona, the King left it to his council to appoint consuls of the sea on a yearly basis and to have them swear an oath to him.

Keywords:consul; Europe



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