China has ordered the closure of the United States consulate in Chengdu in response to the closure of China consulate in Houston.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said U.S. diplomats in China had been notified Friday morning that Beijing ordered to “stop all business and activities” in the U.S. consulate in Chengdu. The order comes a few days after Trump Administration closed China consulate in Houston. The diplomatic tension comes as the White House accuses the Chinese intelligence of stealing medical research and espionage.

Beijing said the closure of its Houston consulate “seriously violated international law and the basic norms of international relations.”

“The current situation in China-U.S. relations is not what China desires to see, and the U.S. is responsible for all this. We once again urge the U.S. to immediately retract its wrong decision and create necessary conditions for bringing the bilateral relationship back on track,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a press conference.


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“The measure taken by China is a legitimate and necessary response to the unjustified act by the United States,” he added.

Wenbin also commented on Secretary of State Michal Pompeo‘s Thursday speech the Nixon Library in California, calling it “a Cold-War mindset.”

“As President Trump has made very clear, we need a strategy that protects the American economy and indeed our way of life. The free world must triumph over this new tyranny,” Pompeo said of China on Thursday.

Jeff Moon, who was the U.S. consul general in Chengdu from 2003-2006, told CNN Chengdu consulate was especially important to Washington because of the concentration of American businesses in the city. The choice of this consulate was meaning “to continue escalating the conflict rather than to pause or to calm tensions.”

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has also been attacking China for withholding information about coronavirus early on during the start of the epidemic in China. He also has urged for the investigations to look for the origins of the virus. Trump repeatedly referred to the coronavirus as the “China virus” or “China plague” and threatened to hold the country accountable.

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