This blog is a continuation of another blog which I wrote a few days ago when the US ordered the shutdown of a Chinese Consulate in Houston. If you haven’t read the previous blog, read it here.
The Chinese have retaliated to the shutdown of a Chinese embassy in Houston in the United States of America by ordering a shutdown of an American Consulate at Chengdu in China. The Chinese Communist Party has claimed that it has taken this step in conformity of the International Laws.
Last week, the US ordered the shutdown of a Chinese Consulate in Houston citing allegations of espionage and intellectual property theft by the employees posted there. This escalated the already tense state of affairs between the two superpowers. Since late 2019, there has been a raging trade war between the US and China and the US has continually accused China of corporate espionage by conducting state-sponsored intellectual property thefts, hacking of medical research regarding the development of Covid-19 vaccine, and stealing military secrets.
China also cited similar reasons for the shutdown order of the US Consulate in Chengdu. The CCP also claimed that this has been done in retaliation of the unlawful action taken by the US authorities by ordering the shutdown of the Chinese Consulate in Houston. Chinese external minister Wang Wenbin claimed that the responsibility of this action solely lies on the US side as they have escalated the tension to this level and the Chinese never wanted the state of affairs to take such a turn. He also stated that this conforms to the basic norms of International Law as well as the diplomatic conventions.
On the other hand, the US authorities said that the action taken by the Chinese authorities are against International Law and should take necessary steps in ensuring peaceful bilateral relations. The US flag at the consulate at Chengdu was lowered at 6.18 AM on Monday 27 July 2020 after the local police barricaded the consulate and intensified the security in the area.
The US employees were disappointed over the tit-for-tat move by the Chinese citing that the Consulate officials have always stood with the people of Sichuan, Guizhou, and Tibet for 35 years. The Consulate opened in 1985 and has since been operational in the area.
While the Chinese Consulate in Houston has been accused of burning important documents before the US authorities took control of the building when the shutdown was ordered. Critics and researchers say that this may point towards a big cover-up which the Chinese employees were trying to do there.
The United States is gearing up for the elections this year and both the countries are dramatically increasing the distance between each other which was not possible before because of the advent of globalization. The US may try to put some serious sanctions over China over the charges of espionage, infiltration, and intelligence activities when the new President takes the office after the elections.