China Terms US Claims On Spy Balloon ‘Hysterical, Absurd’

China Tells US To Shut Its Consulate In Chengdu

China Terms US Claims On Spy Balloon ‘Hysterical, Absurd’

China has ordered the United States to close its consulate in the southwestern city of Chengdu in retaliation after the US ordered the shut down the Chinese Consulate in Houston, reported South China Morning Post.

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.

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 had 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.

In the backdrop of rising US-China tensions, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on Thursday (local time) said that “distrust and verify” will be the new approach by Washington with regard to its dealing with Beijing.

He called on countries to pressurise the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to change its behaviour in more “creative and assertive ways”.

“The only way to truly change communist China is to act on the basis of what its leaders do, not what they say. (Former) President (Ronald) Reagan dealt with the Soviets on the basis of ‘trust but verify.’ When it comes to the CCP, I say, ‘Distrust and verify’,” Pompeo said while speaking on ‘Communist China and the Free World’s Future’ at Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, California. (ANI)

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