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After US shuts Chinese consulate in Houston, China closes US' Chengdu consulate

  • At a meeting in California, Pompeo called for an alliance of democracies against China. Else, "Our children's children may be at the mercy of the Chinese Communist Party."
  • The Chinese spokeswoman retorted: "You are an ant trying to shake a tree."
  • FBI looking for Chinese 'army scientists' in 25 US cities; Three arrested.

BEIJING, July 24: The Chinese Government on Friday asked the US Administration to close down its strategically located Chengdu consulate in retaliation to the US closing Chinese consulate in Houston on charge of China using the facility for spying in the US, raising the tensions between Beijing and Washington to the next level.

Trump-baiters ask if his anti-China tirade and the latest offensive are politically inspired, intended to whip up an excitement in his favour as the presidential election is very near and to check his sliding popular support for botching up the management of the coronavirus pandemic.

In fact, the US-China relations already frayed by a trade war for long had further deteriorated with US President Donald Trump accusing China of being responsible for the coronavirus epidemic that has gripped the whole world killing lakhs of people. Widening the rift further, the US on Wednesday ordered closure of the Houston consulate accusing the Chinese of spying.

Beijing defended its action of shutting down Chengdu consulate as a “legitimate and necessary response to the unjustified act by the United States.” It laid the blame for the worsening of relations at the US door and asked the US to “immediately retract” its directive to close the consulate in Houston.

The Chinese action immediately followed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's speech at a Nixon function (Nixon opened the Chinese door to Americans in 1972) in California on Thursday where he said the Houston consulate was a hub of illegal activities.

Pompeo cautioned against a CCP's (Chinese Communist Party) supremacy of the future. Going hammer and tongs with China, he said, "Our children's children may be at the mercy of the Chinese Communist Party. China is already within our borders. Let us face the challenge." He called for a new alliance of democracies... "to secure our freedom. The world cannot be safe until China is changed."

In a tweet on Friday, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman (director of the Foreign Ministry's Information Department), Hua Chunying, responded: "#Pompeo's speech at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library suggests that he wants to present himself as the John Foster Dulles of the 21st century, launching a new crusade against China in a globalized world. What he is doing is as futile as an ant trying to shake a tree."

Of the five US consulates in China, Chengdu is geographically very vital for American interests. It is most strategically located.

Meanwhils, the US has charged four Chinese nationals with visa fraud. They have been accused of lying about their membership of China's armed forces. Three have been arrested and the fourth is in China's San Francisco consulate. The FBI is looking for Chinese with "undeclared affiliation" to China's military in 25 US cities. There is an allegation that China is sending army scientists to the US.

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