China today ordered that the United States close its consulate in the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu in retaliation for the recent order to close the Chinese diplomatic office in the city of Houston, Texas.

“This countermeasure taken by China is a legitimate and necessary response to the unjustified measure of the United States to close our consulate in Houston. The relationship between the two countries is not what China would like, but Washington is responsible for it,” the Foreign Ministry announced in a statement today.

The move comes after the U.S. forced China to close its consulate in Houston amid new allegations of espionage, one of the most aggressive actions Washington has taken since it established diplomatic relations with Beijing in 1979.

According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, its response is “in line with international law, the basic rules governing international relations and diplomatic practices” since, in its eyes, the action taken by Washington broke all these rules.

As a result, the Ministry informed the U.S. Embassy on the morning of the 24th of its decision to “revoke the consent for the establishment and operation of the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu – the capital of the southwestern province of Sichuan -” and demanded “the cessation of all its operations and events.

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