Foreign Minister Praises Returning Houston Consulate Staff for Safeguarding National Interest
What’s new: The staff who worked at the Chinese Consulate General in Houston, which the U.S. government ordered closed last month, were welcomed back to China by Foreign Minister Wang Yi at Beijing Capital International Airport on Monday.
In a speech to the staff, Wang praised their calm behavior and said they had safeguarded the country’s interests in an extremely difficult and even dangerous environment, according to reports by the state-run Xinhua News Agency.
Wang said that the Consulate General in Houston showed that anti-China forces in the United States are undermining bilateral relations and deliberately trying to block China's development, Xinhua reported.
The background: On July 21, Washington demanded the closure of the consulate within 72 hours over allegations of spying and stealing intellectual property. On July 24, Beijing ordered the shutdown of the U.S. Consulate General in Chengdu. American staff at the consulate were given 30 days to leave the country, according to U.S. media reports.
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