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National City Bank of New York v. Republic of China, 348 U.S. 356 (1955)

National City Bank of New York v. Republic of China

No. 30

Argued November 9, 1954

Decided March 7, 1955

348 U.S. 356


1. The Republic of China sued an American bank in a Federal District Court to recover $200,000 deposited in the bank by a governmental agency of the Republic. The bank interposed counterclaim seeking an affirmative judgment for $1,634,432 on defaulted treasury notes of the Republic. The Republic pleaded sovereign immunity.

Held: the counterclaims should not have been dismissed. Pp. 348 U. S. 357-366.

(a) Having been recognized as a sovereign by the Executive, the Republic of China and its governmental agencies enjoy a foreign sovereign's immunities to the same extent as any other country recognized by the United States. P. 348 U. S. 358.

(b) This case does not involve an attempt to bring a recognized foreign government into court as a defendant. A foreign government is invoking our law, but resisting a claim against it which fairly would curtail its recovery. Pp. 348 U. S. 361-362.

(c) The contention that the counterclaim here involved is not based on the subject matter of the Republic's suit does not require a different result. Pp. 348 U. S. 364-365.

2. That the bank, on certiorari, dropped its demand for affirmative relief did not reduce the counterclaim to a mere defense, or deprive this Court of jurisdiction. P. 348 U. S. 358, n. 2.

208 F.2d 627 reversed and remanded.

Page 348 U. S. 357

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