DHARAMSALA, 24 July: In a tit-for-tat move, China has ordered the closure of the US consulate in the south-western city of Chengdu.
Beijing has described its decision, a “necessary response” after the US ordered the closure of its consulate in Huston earlier this week, reports the BBC.
China’s foreign ministry has stated in a statement that the closure was a “legitimate and necessary response to the unreasonable actions taken by the United States.”
The ministry has further accused the US of forcing Beijing’s hand. “The current situation between China and the United States is something China does not want to see, and the US bears all responsibility for that.”
With the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston, China now has four consulates in the US along with the embassy in Washington DC.
The report states that the US consulate in Chengdu, s of a strategically important because of its proximity to Tibet.
According to the consulate’s website, it was established in 1985 and currently has more than 200 staff with approximately 150 locally hired Chinese staff.
The Chinese consulate in Huston, Taxes was ordered to close by the end of the week by the US for “stealing” intellectual property.
The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a statement issued after Washington ordered the closure of China’s consulate called out China for “stealing not just American intellectual property but European intellectual property too costing hundreds of thousands of jobs.”
The US-China relationship has been deteriorating with the ongoing trade war between thee two, China originated COVID-19 pandemic as well as China’s Human rights violations and the imposition of the controversial new security law in Hong Kong.