China orders United States to shutdown consulate close to Tibet

China has ordered United States to close US consulate in the south-western city of Chengdu, in retaliation after China was asked to shut its Houston embassy.

China’s foreign ministry said the closure was a “legitimate and necessary response to the unreasonable actions taken by the United States”.

“The current situation between China and the United States is something China does not want to see, and the US bears all responsibility for that.”

The US consulate in Chengdu was established in 1985 and currently has more than 200 staff. It is strategically important because of its proximity to the autonomous region of Tibet.

Earlier this week, the United States ordered China to close its consulate in Houston, Texas, by the end of the week.

The move came after unidentified individuals were filmed burning paper in bins in the building’s courtyard.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US decision was taken because China was “stealing” intellectual property and “costing hundreds of thousands of jobs”.

China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman said the reasons given by the US for closing the consulate were “unbelievably ridiculous”.

Tensions have been rising between the US and China over several key issues.

President Donald Trump’s administration has clashed repeatedly with Beijing over trade and the coronavirus pandemic, as well as China’s controversial new security law in Hong Kong.