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China orders closure of US consulate in Chengdu in retaliation for Houston closure

China orders closure of US consulate in Chengdu in retaliation for Houston closure

Trump Administration ordered the Chinese consulate in Houston to be closed in three days

The diplomatic ties between China and the United States have been further strained as Beijing has asked Washington D.C. to close its consulate in southwestern city of Chengdu. The move is a clear response of the US demand that China shuts down its consulate in Houston, Texas.

China called the Houston consulate closure as an “unprecedented” and “outrageous” escalation. The U.S. said the consulate closure was for the protection of “American intellectual property and private information,” without dwelling into any further details. The Chinese ministry of foreign affairs said that the closure of Chengdu consulate is a legitimate response and the U.S. is to be blamed for the current situation.

“The current situation between China and the United States is something China does not want to see, and the responsibility rests entirely with the United States,” the Chinese foreign ministry said.

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo called out to the world to curb China’s communist ways, unless it wanted to risk adopting them itself.

“Today China is increasingly authoritarian at home, and more aggressive in its hostility to freedom everywhere else,” Pompeo said in Yorba Linda, California on Thursday. “If the free world doesn’t change Communist China, Communist China will change us,” he said.

Tensions Running High

Tensions between the U.S. and China have been running high since President Donald Trump took office. He slapped a number of imports from China, including steel and aluminum with high tariffs. The Chinese government responded in kind and added tariffs to a number of American products. A number of rounds of trade talks have taken place between the two sides but without much outcome. Trump administration also slapped restrictions on the Chinese tech giant Huawei.

Some see the current move by the Trump administration as an attempt to rile up the voter base. In recent poles, Trump has been trailing Democratic Candidate Joe Biden by a significant margin in the poles. Donald Trump interestingly maintains stakes in businesses in China.

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