From a Vermont TV station's web site:
A state senator from Chittenden County said a letter received from a Chinese official criticizing legislation she has pending in Montpelier "flies in the face of state sovereignty and democratic principles."
Sen. Virginia Lyons of Chittenden County chairs the Natural Resources and Energy Committee. Lyons held a news conference Tuesday to discuss the implications of the undated letter she said she received in April.
The three-page communication, in both English and Chinese, was signed by "Wang Ni Ni" who identified himself as director general for the "China WTO/TBT National Notification & Enquiry Center" and listed an address in "Hai Dian District, Beijing."
The letter opened by saying "we appreciate the opportunity to submit comments on the regulation under the notification proposed by the State of Vermont."
Wang then outlined objections to Lyons' bill that would impose fees on manufacturers of electronic goods sold in Vermont. The fees, which would be calculated based on the weight of an item, would establish a fund for eventual recycling of e-waste. Wang suggests the mechanism would affect manufacturers unevenly and amount to an "unfair restriction of trade."
Lyons said her bill would effectively reduce the volume of electronic waste now winding up in Vermont landfills. Her proposal has yet to see debate at the state capital. But most of her ire focused on what she considers an unwelcome intrusion.
"It's simply not OK for other governments, foreign national governments, to feel they have a right to intervene in our state legislative process in the way China has," Lyons said.
It seems that this kind of direct contact between a foreign government and a state government did not go over well. I recall reading about something similar in Maryland recenty. I wonder if we'll see more of this in the future, or if China (and others) will go to USTR about these issues instead.