BEIJING: China on Friday ordered the closure of the US consulate within the southwestern metropolis of Chengdu in retaliation for America shuttering Beijing´s diplomatic mission in Houston this week.

The transfer was a “legitimate and necessary response to the unreasonable measures by the United States”, the overseas ministry stated in a press release.

“The current situation in China-US relations is not what China desires to see, and the US is responsible for all this,” the assertion added.

Tensions have soared on a number of fronts between the world´s two greatest economies, deteriorating additional after Washington ordered the closure of the Houston consulate on Tuesday inside 72 hours.

America cited Chinese language theft of mental property for the closure, which got here a day after the Justice Division unveiled the indictment of two Chinese language nationals for allegedly hacking lots of of firms and making an attempt to steal coronavirus vaccine analysis.

China had threatened to retaliate towards the consulate closure if the US didn’t withdraw its resolution.

In its assertion on Friday, China´s urged the US once more to backtrack and “create the necessary conditions for bilateral relations to return to normal”.

The US has an embassy in Beijing in addition to 5 consulates in mainland China and one in Hong Kong.

The Chengdu consulate was established in 1985 and has round 200 workers with roughly 150 regionally employed Chinese language workers, in line with its web site.

It has been the positioning of diplomatic drama in previous years.

In 2013, China demanded the US present a proof for a spying programme after information reviews stated a top-secret map leaked by fugitive intelligence analyst Edward Snowden confirmed US surveillance services at embassies and consulates worldwide — with the Chengdu consulate amongst them.

The Chengdu mission was additionally the place senior Chinese language official Wang Lijun fled in 2012 from his highly effective boss Bo Xilai who was then head of the close by metropolis Chongqing.

In current days, Washington and Beijing have been crossing swords over a slew of points starting from commerce to the coronavrius pandemic and China´s insurance policies on Hong Kong, Xinjiang and the South China Sea.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio earlier known as China´s Houston consulate the “central node of the Communist Party´s vast network of spies and influence operations in the United States”.

Michael McCaul, Republican Chief on the Home Overseas Affairs Committee, stated the consulate was the “epicentre” of Chinese language efforts to steal “sensitive information to build up their military”.

The feedback drew ire from Beijing, with overseas ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin labelling Washington´s allegations “malicious slander”.

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