Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson's Remarks
2020/07/22

The Paper: According to US sources, China's consulate general in Houston has been required by the US to cease all operations and events no later than 4:00pm on July 24 and all personnel are required to depart. Can you confirm this?

Wang Wenbin: On July 21, the US abruptly demanded that China's consulate general in Houston cease all operations and events. It is a political provocation unilaterally launched by the US side, which seriously violates international law, basic norms governing international relations and the bilateral consular agreement between China and the US. China strongly condemns such an outrageous and unjustified move which will sabotage China-US relations. We urge the US to immediately withdraw its erroneous decision, otherwise China will make legitimate and necessary reactions.

For some time, the US government has been shifting the blame to China with stigmatization and unwarranted attacks against China's social system, harassing Chinese diplomatic and consular staff in the US, intimidating and interrogating Chinese students and seizing their personal electronic devices, even detaining them without cause. The unilateral closure of China's consulate general in Houston on short notice is an unprecedented escalation of its recent actions against China.

China is committed to the principle of non-interference in other countries' domestic affairs. Infiltration and interference is never in the genes and tradition of China's foreign policy. Chinese diplomatic missions in the US are dedicated to advancing the two peoples' mutual understanding and friendship. Pursuant to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, China provides convenience for US diplomatic missions and personnel in China. However, the US has imposed restrictions on Chinese diplomatic personnel in the US twice without cause, in last October and this June respectively. It opened without permission Chinese diplomatic pouches multiple times, and seized Chinese items for official use. As the US flagrantly drums up stigmatization and fans hatred against China, our embassy in the US recently has even received bomb and death threats on Chinese diplomatic missions and personnel in the US. And the US embassy constantly publishes on its website articles smearing China. If we compare the two, it is only too evident which is engaged in interference, infiltration and confrontation.

The US claims lack of reciprocity in relations with China. This is just its old ploy that's completely unjustified. As a matter of fact, the US far outnumbers China when it comes to diplomatic missions and staff in each other's country.

We urge the US to immediately revoke this erroneous decision. Should it insist on going down this wrong path, China will react with firm countermeasures.

 

Reuters: A follow-up question regarding the Houston question. Local firefighters say there was a fire at the embassy. Do you have any comment on this activity?

Wang Wenbin: China's consulate general in Houston is operating as normal.

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