Charlotte, NC — Beijing had promised to retaliate over a US order that is close its Houston consulate, and they have delivered. On Friday, China ordered the closure of the U.S. consulate in the western city of Chengdu in retaliation for the Trump administration closing China’s Houston consulate over accusations of espionage.
The Trump administration says Chinese agents within the Texas consulate had been attempting to steal scientific data from facilities in the state, including the Texas A&M medical system.
The Chinese Embassy in Washington said, “The U.S. accusations are groundless fabrications.”
In another Liberty Loft article this past Wednesday, China promised to retaliate over a U.S. order to close its Houston consulate by the end of the week, calling the decision an “unprecedented escalation.”
“China demands the U.S. revoke the wrong decision. If the U.S. went ahead, China would take necessary countermeasures,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said.
Closing of these consulates and accusations of spying come amid increased tensions between the two countries over trade, the coronavirus, and Hong Kong. President Trump’s administration has also put restrictions on visas for many Chinese journalists and has banned Chinese graduate students with ties to America’s service academies.
Before China order the consulate closed, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a speech the New York Times that:
“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.”
After the order to close the Houston consulate, the State Department said the U.S. “will not tolerate the People’s Republic of China to violate our sovereignty and intimidation of our people, just as we have not tolerated the PRC’s unfair trade practices, theft of American jobs, and other egregious behavior. President Trump insists on fairness and reciprocity in U.S.-China relations.”
The United States has an embassy in Beijing and consulates in five other mainland cities — Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shenyang, and Wuhan. It also has a consulate in Hong Kong, a Chinese territory.
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