China has ordered the United States to close its consul general in Chengdu, southwest Sichuan province, in response to Washington’s closure of its Houston, Texas mission.
The Chinese State Department said it informed the US embassy in the Asian country of its decision on Friday. It has also specified specific requirements for the cessation of all operations and events by the Consulate General, as reported by the Global Times newspaper.
According to the Chinese State Department, the current situation between the two countries is not desirable for the Asian country and has “fully” delegated responsibility to the United States. “We again call on the United States to immediately reverse its erroneous decision and to create the conditions necessary for bilateral relations to return to normal,” he said.
The United States gave China 72 hours to close its Houston consulate. They argued that bilateral relations were “imbalanced” and argued that the measure was to protect “the country’s intellectual property” and “private information”. Beijing considered it a “political provocation” and threatened Washington with “countermeasures”.
China and the United States have spent years escalating tensions, from trade wars to restrictions on journalists and the media, despite having exploded in recent months due to the coronavirus pandemic that Washington directly accuses Beijing of.