China opposes US politicizing 'consular staff departure' from Shanghai, urges it to stop attacking China's COVID policy
By Global Times Published: Apr 12, 2022 07:05 PM
China is firmly opposed to the US politicizing the personnel departure issue and has lodged solemn representations with the country, said Chinese Foreign Ministry on Tuesday, after the US State Department on Monday ordered non-emergency US government employees to leave the consulate in Shanghai "due to a surge in COVID cases and China's measures to control the virus."
The US should immediately stop slandering and discrediting China's epidemic prevention and control policy, and stop using the epidemic as a pretext for political manipulation, Zhao Lijian, spokesperson of the ministry, said at Tuesday's routine press briefing.
China has made clear its position on US previous "authorized" evacuation of some of its staff and their families from the Consulate General in Shanghai. Be it "authorized" or "ordered" departure, it is the US' own decision, Zhao said.
However, Zhao stressed that China's epidemic prevention and control policy is scientific and effective. "We are fully confident that Shanghai and other places will prevail over the new round of the COVID-19 outbreak," he said.
Many foreign nationals based in Shanghai, including those from the US, are pulling together with the people of Shanghai in solidarity to combat the virus and overcome the current difficulties, Zhao said.
Relevant Chinese departments and local governments have been providing assistance to foreign diplomatic and consular personnel in China as far as possible in accordance with relevant international conventions and policies, according to the spokesperson. The channels of communication between China and the US are also unimpeded, he said.
Monday's order comes after the State Department announced on Friday that non-emergency personnel could voluntarily leave the consulate. The Chinese Foreign Ministry has made a response over the evacuation issue at that time, stressing that China's pandemic prevention and control is "scientific and effective."
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