US consulate: China orders US consulate closure in tit-for-tat move

World

China – China has ordered the closure of the US consulate in the south western city of Chengdu, in a tit-for-tat escalation between two countries.

China said the move was a “necessary response” to the US which ordered China to close its consulate in Houston earlier this week.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the decision was taken because China was “stealing” intellectual property.

Tensions have been rising between the two nation over issues.

President Trump’s administration has repeatedly clashed with Beijing over trade and the coronavirus pandemic, as well as China’s imposition of a controversial new security law in Hong Kong.

The move by China came hours after Pompeo hardened his tone further in a speech on Thursday at the library of former President Richard Nixon, whose 1972 China visit was heralded a period of improved relations.

“Today, China is increasingly authoritarian at home, and more aggressive in its hostility to freedom everywhere else,” said Pompeo.

“The free world must triumph over this new tyranny.”

China’s foreign ministry said the closure was a “legitimate and necessary response to the unreasonable actions taken by the United States”.

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