Thursday 17 October 2019 - 13:58

China Slams US Restrictions on Chinese Diplomats as ‘Groundless’

Story Code : 822698
China Slams US Restrictions on Chinese Diplomats as ‘Groundless’
Washington — which called the move “reciprocal” — announced the decision Wednesday in response to the inability of US diplomats to meet with a range of Chinese officials and academics, a senior State Department official said, speaking anonymously.

“What the US has said about China restricting the activities of US diplomats is simply groundless,” said foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, adding that China “consistently supported” US diplomats in the country.

“We urge the US to correct its mistakes, revoke the relevant decision, and provide support and convenience for Chinese diplomats in the US… rather than artificially setting up barriers,” he told reporters at a press briefing in Beijing.

The move comes as Washington and Beijing — the world’s two largest economies — are locked in a bitter trade dispute.

A partial deal is now being put in writing, President Donald Trump said Wednesday, while Beijing said both sides were working towards “an early agreement”.

“Unfortunately in China, US diplomats do not have unfettered access to a range of folks that are important for us to do our job there,” the US official told reporters.

“That includes local and provincial level officials, academic institutions, research institutes,” the official said. “We have to seek permission and such permission is often denied.”

Chinese diplomats will henceforth be required to tell the State Department in advance of any official meetings with US diplomats, local or municipal officials, and before any visits to colleges or research institutions.