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Iran Press TV

China censures US 'reckless provocation' after consulate closures

Iran Press TV

Wednesday, 29 July 2020 12:40 AM

China has censured the US for a "reckless provocation of confrontation and division" after Washington's closure of a Chinese consulate culminated in a tit-for-tat measure on behalf of Beijing.

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the comment in a telephone conversation with his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian, on Tuesday and warned that the Sino-US relations could "fall into the abyss of confrontation."

Calling on the US to "engage in rational communication" with Beijing to resolve disputes, Wang also said the international community should resist "any unilateral or hegemonic act" from the administration in Washington.

Washington abruptly informed Beijing last Tuesday to close its consulate in Houston, Texas. The US government accused Chinese employees at the Houston consulate of espionage and said the consulate staff had been "stealing" intellectual property.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry reciprocated on Friday by ordering the closure of the Chengdu consulate by Monday and accused the US of "groundless fabrications" about the actions of China's diplomatic missions.

The Chinese state media said the move by the US government to close China's consulate in Houston was an attempt to blame Beijing for American failures ahead of presidential elections in November.

Relations between the United States and China have hit the lowest level in decades. The two are at loggerheads over a range of issues, including trade, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the South China Sea, and the coronavirus pandemic.

Washington has recently taken a markedly more aggressive posture against Beijing, with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo having called for regime change in "Communist China."

Wang in turn said on Tuesday that the US had become "the biggest perpetrator to destroy the current international order," and called Pompeo's remarks a sign of "the ghost of McCarthyism coming back from the ashes."

The US now has four consulate offices in China, namely in Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenyang, and Wuhan, in addition to an embassy in Beijing. China maintains an embassy in Washington DC and four consulates, namely in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

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