April 14, 2003
BEIJING -- China said Sunday that looters ransacked its embassy in Baghdad, and demanded that the United States protect the building and replace any stolen items.
A reporter from the official Xinhua News Agency visited the embassy in the Iraqi capital early Saturday and saw 20 armed men in the inner courtyard removing refrigerators, computers and air conditioners, the agency reported.
China wants the United States to take "effective measures to prevent any further infringement upon the Chinese Embassy in Iraq," Xinhua quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao as saying.
International law says parties at war are responsible for securing property and personnel of foreign missions.
According to the Xinhua report, witnesses said U.S. forces patrolling Baghdad knew about, but did nothing to stop, the looting.