ANKARA 

China on Friday asked the US to “withdraw its erroneous decision” ordering the closure of Chinese Consulate in Houston.

Addressing a news conference in Beijing, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said: “China’s Consulate General in Houston is still operating. We urge the US to withdraw its erroneous decision,” daily Global Times reported.

The US asked China two days ago to immediately close its consulate in Houston, Texas — a decision US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said was taken because China was “stealing American and European intellectual property.”

China slammed the US decision, accusing US authorities of “monitoring, harassing and suppressing Chinese overseas students and scholars in the US, imposing presumption of guilt on them.”

However, the US blamed China’s consulate in San Francisco for harboring a known “fugitive”, saying the individual is a covert member of Chinese army.

Beijing said in response that its diplomatic missions will “firmly safeguard” the rights of its citizens.

Earlier on Friday, in a tit-for-tat move, Beijing gave 72 hours to Washington to shut “strategically located” consulate in China’s southwestern city of Chengdu.

“Some personnel from the US Consulate General in Chengdu have engaged in activities inconsistent with their identities,” Wenbin said.

“China has made representations and the US side is fully aware,” he added.

– Pompeo resorting to ‘political lies’

A day after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for creation of a “new alliance of democracies” against China during his public talk at Nixon Library in California, Beijing dubbed his assertions “political lies”.

“Secretary Pompeo maliciously attacked the CPC [Communist Party of China] and China’s socialist system. His remarks ignored the facts, turned black into white, were full of ideological bias and showed a Cold War mentality. All of these are an assortment of China-related political lies,” said Wenbin on Friday.

The top US diplomat had said that without immediate action the CCP will “erode our freedoms” and undermine the rules-based international order.

“Pompeo’s speech was in the Richard Nixon Presidential Library. Nixon himself was the ‘icebreaker’ of China-US relations. The history is just and any attempt to reverse the course of history will not succeed,” Wenbin said.

“China does not intend to change the US in terms of its social system, and the US cannot change China either,” he added.

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