BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – China urged the United States on Friday (Sept 25) to immediately stop slandering Chinese diplomatic missions and their personnel in the US, saying it will take necessary countermeasures in accordance with any further actions by the US.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin made the remark after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the New York Post in a recent interview that China’s New York consulate general is being used as a major hub for the nation’s US espionage efforts, and it is likely more diplomats and agents will be arrested.
Mr Pompeo’s remarks followed an earlier media report that an ethnic Tibetan police officer in New York was arrested on charges of allegedly spying for Beijing and he reportedly worked for unnamed handlers from the Chinese consulate general in New York.
The US shut down the Chinese consulate general in Houston in July, and soon after that, China closed the US consulate general in Chengdu, Sichuan province.
Mr Pompeo’s accusation against Chinese diplomatic missions and personnel in the US is groundless and irresponsible, Mr Wang told a regular news briefing.
Chinese diplomatic missions and their personnel in the US have always acted in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations as well as the consular treaties between the two nations, Mr Wang said.
China urged the US to stop tarnishing Chinese diplomatic missions and their personnel in the US, refrain from stirring up trouble and provide convenience for their performance of duties.
Also on Friday, the Chinese consulate general in New York said in a statement that there has never been any espionage activity and the consulate has been promoting mutual understanding, cooperation and friendship between the two countries.
In 2019, trade in goods between China and the 10 states in its consular district accounted for about 15 per cent of that between China and the US, the number of Chinese students studying in its consular district was about 150,000 and the number of tourists from China visiting New York City increased to 1.1 million, according to the statement.
“The US deliberately distorts normal exchanges between the consulate and its consular district with the false accusation, which is obviously groundless,” it said.