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China retaliates over Houston, orders closure of US consulate in Chengdu

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Beijing, July 24: In retaliation for the closure of Houston consulate, China on Friday ordered closure of the US consulate in the southwestern city of Chengdu.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China informed the U.S. Embassy in China of its decision to withdraw its consent for the establishment and operation of the U.S. Consulate General in Chengdu," the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement.

Xi Jinping

The move is a "legitimate and necessary response to the unreasonable measures by the United States", the foreign ministry said in a statement.

"The current situation in China-US relations is not what China desires to see, and the US is responsible for all this," the statement said.

Tensions have been escalating on multiple fronts between the world's two biggest economies, deteriorating further after Washington ordered the closure of the Houston consulate on Tuesday within 72 hours.

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The US does not rule out the possibility of closing more Chinese diplomatic missions in the country, President Donald Trump has said, hours after Washington ordered the closure of Beijing's consulate in Houston to "protect American intellectual property and private information".

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    Both the US and China were locked in a political and strategic conflict in recent months on a host of issues including the origin of the coronavirus, China's decision to implement its national security law in Hong Kong and deepening trade frictions

    Beijing apparently is looking at options to order the closure of the US Consulate in Wuhan or in Hong Kong, where the Chinese officials had accused the US of backing the anti-China protests.

    Apart from the Chinese embassy in Washington, Beijing has an office at the United Nations and consulates in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago.

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