Beijing is considering terminating the U.S. Consulate General in Chengdu in southwestern Sichuan province in response to the closure of the Chinese Consulate General in Houston by Washington. This was reported by UDN on Thursday, July 23.
There are five U.S. consulates in Mainland China – in Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenyang, Chengdu and Wuhan. The U.S. consulate in Chengdu, which was opened in 1985, is considered strategically important because it covers the southwest of the country, including the provinces of Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou, Tibetan Autonomous Region, as well as the city of central subordination of Chongqing.
The day before, the source said that China could close the American consulate in Wuhan.
On July 21, the US demanded that the Chinese diplomatic mission in Houston be closed within three days. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused China of stealing American intellectual property on a large scale. The U.S. intelligence services believe that the Consulate General of China was closely connected to Chinese intelligence.
On July 22, U.S. leader Donald Trump hinted that the fire at the Consulate General may have been related to the fact that his employees tried to destroy important documents.
In turn, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin called the incident an “unprecedented escalation” and promised that Beijing would respond to the U.S. accordingly.