China orders US to shut consulate in Chengdu in a tit-for-tat transfer


Beijing, July 24

China on Friday ordered the US to shut down its consulate in Chengdu in retaliation to Washington’s resolution to close the Chinese mission in Houston, additional straining the already tense bilateral ties.

A press release by the Chinese Foreign Ministry mentioned the US Embassy right here has been knowledgeable of the Chinese authorities’s resolution to withdraw its consent for the institution and operation of the US Consulate General in Chengdu, the provincial capital of southwestern Sichuan province. 

Chengdu is a vital diplomatic outpost for the US, masking a big swath of the nation, together with the delicate area of Tibet.                

The Chinese international ministry additionally requested the US to cease all operations and occasions by the US Consulate General in Chengdu.

“On July 21, the US launched a unilateral provocation by abruptly demanding that China close its Consulate General in Houston. The US move seriously breached international law, the basic norms of international relations, and the terms of the China-US Consular Convention,” the international ministry assertion mentioned.

 “It gravely harmed China-US relations. The measure taken by China is a legitimate and necessary response to the unjustified act by the US. It conforms with international law, the basic norms of international relations, and customary diplomatic practices”, it mentioned.

 “The current situation in China-US relations is not what China desires to see, and the US is responsible for all this. We once again urge the US to immediately retract its wrong decision and create necessary conditions for bringing the bilateral relationship back on track”, it mentioned.

The US on Wednesday ordered the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston, a transfer it mentioned was aimed “to protect American intellectual property and private information.”       

Reacting strongly to the US transfer, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin on Thursday termed it as an “unprecedented escalation” and warned of retaliatory measures.

 “This is breaking down the bridge of friendship between the Chinese and American people,” Wang mentioned.

Top American officers have accused the Chinese consulate in Houston of being a part of Beijing’s espionage operation within the US.

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday mentioned he could order the closure of extra Chinese consulates within the nation.

Relations between the US and China have taken a flip for the more serious in latest months over Beijing’s dealing with of the coronavirus pandemic. Fresh considerations over China’s crackdown of its Uygur Muslims in Xinjiang and Beijing imposing a controversial nationwide safety regulation in Hong Kong have additionally raised bilateral tensions.              

In a serious speech on the Trump administration’s China coverage on Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo known as the Chinese consulate in Houston “a hub of spying and intellectual property theft.”

State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus mentioned earlier the US had made the choice to shut down the Houston consulate due to the “massive, massive theft of our research and our intellectual property.”  

According to media stories, the US has requested China to shut down its Consulate General in Houston inside 72 hours.

The US consulate in Chengdu, masking consular affairs in a number of provinces and areas, together with Tibet, had attracted headlines prior to now.

It was opened in October 1985 by former US president George Bush, and was besieged by crowds to protest the US bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade in 1999.

The consulate, which is reported to have over 200 individuals as workers, was additionally the location of the dramatic tried defection in 2012 by Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun, whose actions kicked off a collection of occasions that led to the downfall of high Communist Party official Bo Xilai.

Bo was thought to be a severe contender for energy in opposition to Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Observers had beforehand instructed Beijing might order the closure of the US consulate in Wuhan, which is informally paired with Houston and the newest to open in China.

But American diplomats haven’t been working from the mission for a number of months now, having evacuated early within the coronavirus pandemic which originated within the central Chinese metropolis final yr. 

Lu Xiang, a analysis fellow on the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, informed state-run Global Times that selecting the US consulate in Chengdu is an equal and reciprocal countermeasure because the consulate covers the consular providers among the many southwest area of China and its variety of workers is nearly equal to that of China’s consulate in Houston.

 “The US is unlikely to make further provocations to close more Chinese diplomatic missions. Choosing the consulate in Houston could help the Trump administration distract the public’s attention from the worsening epidemic situation in Texas, a traditional ‘red state,’ which the Republican Party can’t afford to lose,” he mentioned.

But different Chinese consulates within the US are situated in cities like New York and San Francisco, that are within the “blue states” that the Republicans cannot win, so it could be meaningless for Trump to shut extra because it will not assist him win the election, Lu mentioned.

Trump, a Republican, is searching for a re-election to the White House within the November three presidential elections. PTI



Be the first to comment on "China orders US to shut consulate in Chengdu in a tit-for-tat transfer"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*


%d bloggers like this: