US accuses China of 'escalation' over retaliatory measures on American diplomats
Iran Press TV
Sunday, 13 September 2020 8:58 AM
The United States has accused China of "escalation" over Beijing's restrictions on all American diplomats on its soil in response to a similar move by Washington.
China on Friday announced "reciprocal restrictions" against US diplomatic personnel, in response to Washington's announcement of new restrictions on staff working for Beijing's foreign missions in the United States.
The measures would apply to all US embassy and consulate staff, including the consulate general in Hong Kong and its personnel.
A US State Department spokesperson said on Saturday that China's move was an "escalation," citing the targeting of its representative in Hong Kong and restrictions on Chinese citizens meeting with Americans.
The requirements, the official said, "now include American citizens with no affiliation to the US government," claiming that Washington has "no such requirement" for Chinese citizens.
In July, Washington first ordered the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston in a move that prompted Beijing to shutter the American presence in Chengdu.
The dispute over foreign missions is only one front in an escalating confrontation between Washington and Beijing.
Last month, the US blacklisted Chinese officials it accused of suppressing "freedom and democratic processes" in Hong Kong after Beijing introduced a new security law in the Chinese territory.
China in response issued its own sanctions against several American individuals.
The two top economies of the world are at loggerheads over many other issues, including trade, the origins and handling of the coronavirus pandemic, Taiwan, as well as the disputed South China Sea.
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