By Zhong Sheng
The US on July 21 launched a unilateral provocation by abruptly demanding that China close its Consulate General in Houston. The US move seriously breached international law, the basic norms of international relations, and the terms of the China-US Consular Convention. It gravely harmed China-US relations.
It’s impolite not to make a return for what one receives. On the morning of July 24, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China informed the US Embassy in China of its decision to withdraw its consent for the establishment and operation of the US Consulate General in Chengdu. The Ministry also made specific requirements on the ceasing of all operations and events by the Consulate General. The measure taken by China is a legitimate and necessary response to the unjustified act by the US. It conforms with international law, the basic norms of international relations, and customary diplomatic practices.
The crazy McCarthyism acted by the U.S. has led the country farther and farther on the wrong path of seeking confrontation. 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. The international community believes that the U.S. practices to worsen its relationship with China will bring serious impacts on world politics and economy.
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. The U.S. accusations on China are totally groundless.
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, the Chinese 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.
The current situation in China-US relations is not what China desires to see, and the US is responsible for all this. Any provocation that runs counter to justice is doomed to come to an ugly end. The US shall immediately retract its wrong decision and create necessary conditions for bringing the bilateral relationship back on track.