China's top diplomat in French Polynesia Shen Zhiliang risks being taken to court in Tahiti for refusing to honour a home repair contract.
At the end of August, the Chinese consulate vacated Residence Taina in Punaauia, which it had rented for 11 years, and agreed for a mutually approved building expert to determine the cost of returning the house to its original state.
Over the years, the diplomats had converted the residential home into an office without the owner's consent while refusing her access by pointing out that the rented house had become the territory of China.
The building expert had found that China's share of the bill for the repairs now underway amounted to just over $US20,000.
However, the owner and her daughter, Huguette Ly and Eva Bitton, said China's consul had rejected the assessment.
They instructed their lawyer to secure payment, saying the protocol offers the avenue to take Mr Shen to court.
After a protracted dispute over rent, the lease of the residence was terminated in July last year but the consulate failed to heed the notice to move out by February.
Fearing the loss of her house, the owner launched an online petition which urged China to return the house.
After weeks of discussions between the two sides' lawyers, a protocol was signed in April to pave the way for an orderly exit from the house by the end of August.
The consulate complied and left the premises as agreed in late August after opening a new temporary consular office nearby.
The protocol signed in April also called for an expert to be chosen by mid-August to determine the remedial work needed after the diplomats' departure.
By the mutually agreed deadline of 15 August, no common ground was found.
However, a day after the owner said she would ask a court to nominate an expert, the Chinese consulate accepted one of the experts proposed by the owner's lawyers.
Questions remain about what will happen to some of the equipment taken out during the refit being undertaken now.
The owner said Chinese diplomats wanted to get discarded air conditioning units but said after the way her family had been treated they wouldn't be allowed to have access to the house any more.
She said somebody else could pick them up.