By CAO DESHENG | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2020-07-25 07:45
China informed the United States on Friday to close its consulate general in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, a move that officials in Beijing said they took in response to the US administration's decision to abruptly order the shutdown of China's consulate in Houston, Texas.
The diplomatic move represents a further deterioration in China-US relations as experts warned that Washington is clinging to a Cold War mentality as it attempts to contain China in an all-around way.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Friday that the measure taken by China is a legitimate and necessary response to the unjustified act of the United States. "It conforms with international law, the basic norms of international relations and customary diplomatic practices," the statement said.
"The current situation in China-US relations is not what China desires to see, and the US is responsible for all this. We once again urge the US to immediately reverse its wrong decision and create necessary conditions for bringing the bilateral relationship back on track," the statement added.
State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in a meeting with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas via video link on Friday, said the current difficulties in China-US relations have been created by the US in an attempt to thoroughly disrupt China's development process.
China still hopes to maintain a relationship with the US, in which there is no conflict, no confrontation and both sides respect each other for win-win cooperation, Wang said. In the meantime, China will firmly uphold its national sovereignty and dignity and resolutely safeguard its legitimate rights to development as well as the basic norms of international relations.
On Tuesday, the US administration demanded China close its consulate general in Houston within 72 hours. The Foreign Ministry described the act as "a unilateral provocation" launched by the US toward China.
Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a regular news conference that the some staff members of the US Consulate General in Chengdu have done some things not in conformity with their official identity.
They have interfered with China's domestic affairs and undermined the country's security interests, Wang said, adding that China has demanded the agency cease operations and all activities with specifics that are reciprocal to US measures toward the Chinese Consulate General in Houston.
China's move sends a clear message to the US that it has no intention of hampering its relations with the US, but it will firmly take countermeasures against US provocations, said Shen Yi, a researcher of international politics at Fudan University, in an interview with Global Times.
Wang Wenbin urged the US administration to abandon a Cold War mentality and ideological prejudices, stop negative remarks, words and deeds, and create conditions for bilateral relations to return to the right track.
Ruan Zongze, executive vice-president of the China Institute of International Studies, said the main reason behind the deterioration of China-US ties is that McCarthyism has recurred in the United States.
"The different systems did not block bilateral and multilateral cooperation between the two countries in past decades," he said.
Some US politicians turned a blind eye to the cooperation between the two countries in past decades and maliciously attacked China in an all-around way, Ruan said, adding that they neither speak the truth nor respect history.
Wang Qingyun contributed to this story.