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China moving to close US consulate in Chengdu, says Report

News Agencies | Updated on: 23 July 2020, 15:03 IST

In a retaliatory move, China is considering closing the US consulate in the southwestern city of Chengdu, South China Morning Post reported citing a source briefed on the decision.

Tensions flared up after the US asked China to close its Consulate General in Houston in 72 hours. China had vowed to respond to the "political provocation unilaterally launched by US side."

Relations between two countries have worsened over several issues in the recent past.

According to the report in South China Morning Post, the US maintains five consulates on the Chinese mainland - in Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenyang, Chengdu and Wuhan - as well as a consulate general for Hong Kong and Macau.

Earlier, the US State Department ordered China to close by Friday its consulate in Houston, Texas, over accusations that it engaged for years in massive illegal spying and influence operations in the US.

The two countries have sparred over a range of issues in recent times -- China's move to impose national security law in Hong Kong, its human rights violation in Xinjiang and territorial aggression in the South China Sea -- have all drawn fierce criticism from Washington.

US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday (local time) that his administration does not rule out closing additional Chinese diplomatic missions in the United States.

"As far as closing additional embassies, it's always possible. We thought there was a fire in the one we did close, I guess they were burning documents and papers. I wonder what that is all about," Trump said during a daily press briefing at the White House when asked if he planned to close more Chinese diplomatic missions in the country.


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First published: 23 July 2020, 15:03 IST