China on Friday ordered the closure of the U.S. consulate within the western metropolis of Chengdu in Sichuan Province in obvious retaliation for the Trump administration closing China’s Houston consulate over accusations of espionage.
“The measure taken by China is a legitimate and necessary response to the unjustified act by the United States,” the international ministry mentioned in a press release.
“The current situation in Chinese-U.S. relations is not what China desires to see. The United States is responsible for all this,” the ministry mentioned. “We once again urge the United States to immediately retract its wrong decision and create necessary conditions for bringing the bilateral relationship back on track.”
The Trump administration says Chinese language brokers inside the Texas consulate had been making an attempt to steal scientific knowledge from amenities within the state, together with the Texas A&M medical system.
After the order to shut the Houston consulate, a State Division spokesperson mentioned the U.S. “won’t tolerate the PRC’s violations of our sovereignty and intimidation of our folks, simply as we now have not tolerated the PRC’s unfair commerce practices, theft of American jobs, and different egregious habits. President Trump insists on equity and reciprocity in U.S.-China relations.”
The Chinese language Embassy in Washington mentioned in a press release: “The U.S. accusations are groundless fabrications,” in response to The New York Occasions.
Beijing on Wednesday promised to retaliate over the order to shut its Houston consulate by the top of the week, calling the choice an “unprecedented escalation.”
“China demands the U.S. revoke the wrong decision. If the U.S. went ahead, China would take necessary countermeasures,” Chinese language international ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin mentioned.
The consulate closures and spying accusations come amid heightened tensions between the 2 nations over commerce, the coronavirus and Hong Kong.
The Trump administration has additionally put restrictions on visas for some Chinese language journalists and canceled visas for Chinese language graduate college students with ties to army faculties. China additionally expelled U.S. journalists from three main newspapers earlier this 12 months, in response to The Occasions.
Simply hours earlier than China ordered the closure, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo mentioned in a speech, “If we want to have a free 21st century and not the Chinese century of which Xi Jinping dreams, the old paradigm of blind engagement with China simply won’t get it done,” The Times reported.
The U.S. Justice Division Thursday mentioned it believes a Chinese language researcher on the College of California Davis accused of hiding her ties to the army is taking refuge within the Chinese language consulate in San Francisco.
The division has introduced legal costs of visa fraud in opposition to Tang Juan and three different Chinese language researchers.
U.S. authorities this week introduced legal costs in opposition to two Chinese language laptop hackers who’re accused of focusing on firms which can be engaged on vaccines for the coronavirus.
America has an embassy in Beijing and consulates in 5 different mainland cities — Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shenyang and Wuhan. It additionally has a consulate in Hong Kong, a Chinese language territory.
The Related Press contributed to this report.