De facto embassy
A de facto embassy is an office or organisation that serves de facto as an embassy in lack of regular/official diplomatic relations among countries (thus paradiplomacy). Diplomatic immunity and extraterritoriality are usually not granted.
In many cases, these organisations represent nations which lack full diplomatic recognition or regions with disputed borders. For instance, many countries maintain formal diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China but operate unofficial 'trade missions' or 'representative offices' in Taipei to deal with Taiwan-related commercial and consular issues. Often, these delegations may forward visa applications to their nearest embassy or consulate rather than processing them locally.
France maintains a "French Institute" in Taipei, whose first apparent purpose is "cultural," but which also has consular and economic sections, as does the United Kingdom's British Trade and Cultural Office. Similarly, Taiwan (ROC) maintains Taipei Economic and Cultural Offices or Taipei Representative Offices in other countries, which handle visa applications as well as relations with local authorities.
The Tibet Religious Foundation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama has been called "the de facto embassy of the exiled government in Taiwan" by Taipei Times chief staff reporter Loa lok sin.
Prior to the reunification of Germany, West and East Germany were represented by "permanent missions", headed by "permanent representatives", who served as de facto ambassadors. These were established under the terms of the Basic Treaty in 1972.
Some foreign diplomatic missions in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region function independently of their embassies in Beijing, reporting directly to their foreign ministries. For example, the United States Consulate General reports to the Department of State with the Consul General as the "Chief of Mission".
Under apartheid, South Africa maintained trade missions in neighbouring countries, such as Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Similarly, neighbouring countries, such as Mauritius, maintained trade missions in Johannesburg, the country's commercial capital. Following majority rule in 1994, full diplomatic relations were established, and these became High Commissions, after South Africa rejoined the Commonwealth.
In some cases, nations which have no direct bilateral ties will be represented by an "interests section" housed as part of the embassy of a third-country recognised by both. For instance, the United States of America is nominally represented by the Swiss embassy in both Iran and Cuba, with the corresponding delegations to the US housed as part of recognised Swiss or Pakistani diplomatic missions.
Previous examples of interests sections include those of Britain and Argentina between 1982 and 1992, during which time there was a British interests section of the Swiss embassy in Buenos Aires, and an Argentine interests section of the Brazilian embassy in London Similarly, Iraq maintained an interest section in the Jordanian embassy in London between 1990 and 2003. Prior to the restoration of diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Portugal, severed following the Indonesian invasion of East Timor in 1975, Portugal established an interests section in the Dutch embassy in Jakarta, while Indonesia established an interests section in the Thai embassy in Lisbon.
*: Government organization; flag positioned left: country of origin ("sending"); flag positioned right: location
- Diplomatic mission and lists of diplomatic missions
- High Commissioner (Commonwealth)
- Protecting power
- Provincial delegation (paradiplomacy)
- Representative office
- Délégation Générale du Québec
- Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat
- Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization
- La France à Taiwan
- British Trade & Cultural Office
- Visa Requirements for the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan
- Loa Iok-sin, Tibetans confirm WikiLeak, Taipei Times, 25 décembre 2010
- History of the Berlin Wall
- East-West German trade up 8 percent, in Bonn and East Berlin respectively The Christian Science Monitor, September 8, 1982
- "Christopher J. Marut Appointed as Director of the Taipei Office of the American Institute in Taiwan" (Press release). American Institute in Taiwan. 2012-05-08.
- Inspection of The Canadian Consulate General Hong Kong
- "Chiefs of Mission". U.S. Department of State.
- Thousands Rampage Through Harare, Upset Over Machel's Death, Associated Press, 21 October 1986
- Youths Attack South African Trade Mission, United Press International, November 5, 1986
- Port Louis Journal; Land of Apartheid Befriends an Indian Ocean Isle, New York Times, December 28, 1987
- Argentina and Britain Move To Restore Diplomatic Ties, New York Times, September 1, 1989
- Indonesia names envoy to Lisbon, Jakarta Post, November 16, 2000
- India-Taipei Association