The US – China cold vibes seem to continue. In the latest flare- up between the two, china’s foreign ministry has said it has informed US of its decision to withdraw its consent for the establishment and operation of the US Consulate General in Chengdu.
“On the morning of July 24, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China informed the US Embassy in China of its decision to withdraw its consent for the establishment and operation of the US Consulate General in Chengdu. The ministry also made specific requirements on the ceasing of all operations and events by the Consulate General,” Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement as reported by news agency ANI.
The move comes days after the US asked China to close its Consulate General in Houston over allegations of espionage. China had vowed to retaliate to the move. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said on July 21, the US launched a unilateral provocation by abruptly demanding that China should 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. It gravely harmed China-US relations,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.
It stated that the measure taken by China is a “legitimate and necessary response to the unjustified act by the US” and that it conforms with international law, the basic norms of international relations and customary diplomatic practices.
“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,” the ministry said. Relations between the two countries have worsened over several issues in the recent past.
The US maintains five consulates on the Chinese mainland — in Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenyang, Chengdu and Wuhan — as well as a consulate general for Hong Kong and Macau.
Earlier, the US State Department had ordered China to close by Friday its consulate in Houston, Texas, over accusations that it engaged for years in massive illegal spying and influence operations in the US.
The two countries have sparred over a range of issues in recent times — China’s move to impose national security law in Hong Kong, its human rights violation in Xinjiang and territorial aggression in the South China Sea — have all drawn fierce criticism from Washington.