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Iran Press TV

China imposes 'reciprocal' restrictions on all US diplomats

Iran Press TV

Friday, 11 September 2020 1:31 PM

China's Foreign Ministry says Beijing will impose 'reciprocal restrictions' on all American diplomats in mainland China and Hong Kong in response to Washington's earlier restrictive measures amid tense ties between the two countries.

In a statement on Friday, the ministry did not specify the countermeasures but said they would be applied to all US embassy and consulate staff, as well as the consulate-general in Hong Kong.

"To urge the US to repeal its wrong decisions as soon as possible, the Chinese side has recently sent a diplomatic note announcing reciprocal restrictions on US embassy and consulates, the consulate-general in Hong Kong included," the statement read.

The ministry emphasized that Washington's "multiple rounds of restrictions" on Chinese diplomatic personnel had disrupted bilateral relations.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said earlier this month that US-based senior Chinese diplomats will be required to seek US government permission to engage in a number of routine activities.

Speaking at a news conference at the State Department, the top US diplomat added that the "State Department has established a mechanism requiring approval for senior Chinese diplomats in the United States to visit university campuses and to meet with local government officials,"

Chinese cultural events with more than 50 attendees outside the embassy or consular posts will also need approval, he noted.

Nearly 370,000 Chinese nationals study in the United States, offering significant revenue to colleges that are now facing growing pressure from the coronavirus pandemic.

A day after the top American diplomat's announcement, China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Beijing would give "legitimate responses" to the United States if Washington proceeds with the plan to impose new restrictions on Chinese diplomats.

The US and China are at loggerheads over a host of issues, including trade, a new security law introduced in Hong Kong, the origins and handling of the coronavirus pandemic, Taiwan, and the disputed South China Sea.

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