China asks US to close its Consulate in Chengdu

Tit-for-tat move after US ordered closure of Chinese consulate in Houston

Chinese trade rep Trump AFP (File) US President Donald Trump speaks during a trade meeting with China's Vice Premier Liu He in the Oval Office | AFP

China on Friday asked the US to close down its consulate in Chengdu in retaliation to Washington's decision to shut the Chinese Consulate in Houston. A statement by the Chinese Foreign Ministry said China has notified the US Embassy that Beijing has decided to revoke the license for the establishment and operation of the US Consulate General in Chengdu and put forward specific requirements for the Consulate General to stop all business and activities.

The US on Wednesday ordered the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston, a move it said was aimed "to protect American intellectual property and private information." Reacting strongly to the US move, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin termed it as an "unprecedented escalation” and warned retaliatory measures.

This was in response to "unilateral" decision by US to shut the Houston consulate. China's decision is legitimate and necessary response to the unreasonable actions of the US, it said.

China on Thursday said that "malicious slander" is behind an order by the US government to close its consulate in Houston, Texas, and maintained that its officials have never operated outside ordinary diplomatic norms.

Foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said the order to close the consulate “violates international law and basic norms governing international relations,” and “seriously undermines China-US relations.”

“This is breaking down the bridge of friendship between the Chinese and American people,” Wang told reporters at a daily briefing.