China on Friday (July 24) asked the US to close down its consulate in Chengdu in retaliation to Washington’s decision to shut the Chinese consulate in Houston.
A statement by the Chinese Foreign Ministry said China has informed the US Embassy here of its decision to withdraw its consent for the establishment and operation of the US Consulate General in Chengdu.
This was in response to the “unilateral” decision by the US to shut the Houston consulate. China’s decision is legitimate and a necessary response to the unreasonable actions of the US, it said.
The US on Wednesday ordered the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston, a move it said was aimed “to protect American intellectual property and private information.” Souring ties with the dragon country, US gave 72 hours to shut its Houston consulate.
Reacting strongly to the US move, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin termed it as an “unprecedented escalation and warned retaliatory measures.
China on Thursday said that “malicious slander” is behind an order by the US government to close its consulate in Houston, Texas, and maintained that its officials have never operated outside ordinary diplomatic norms.
Wang said the order to close the consulate violates international law and basic norms governing international relations, and seriously undermines China-US relations. This is breaking down the bridge of friendship between the Chinese and American people, Wang said.
The Chinese media too reacted strongly and saw the closure of the consulate as an attempt to blame Beijing for American failures ahead of the presidential elections in November.
Besides Chengdu, the US has five consulates mainland China inluding Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Wuhan and Shenyang.
(With inputs from agencies)