In tit-for-tat move, US imposes fresh restrictions on Chinese diplomats

WION Web Team
Washington Published: Sep 03, 2020, 07:40 AM(IST)

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

US President Donald Trump has taken a tough stance against China in the run-up to US Presidential Elections 2020 slated to be held in November.

US imposed fresh restrictions on Chinese diplomats in the US in a tit-for-tat move after Beijing put restrictions on American diplomats in China. Now, Chinese diplomats will be required to obtain approval from US State Department before visiting campuses of US Universities or holding cultural events of more than 50 people outside mission grounds.

The State Department said it would also take action to help ensure all Chinese embassy and consular social media accounts were "properly identified."

What's the reason behind restrictions?

Although Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that US was "simply demanding reciprocity", the latest steps also appear to be part of Trump administration's campaign against alleged Chinese influence operations and espionage.

US President Donald Trump has taken a tough stance against China in the run-up to US Presidential Elections 2020 slated to be held in November.

Also Read: India has already banned 100 plus Chinese apps, call on nations to join the Clean Network: US

US State Department has also written to boards of US universities about the threat from Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

"These threats can come in the form of illicit funding for research, intellectual property theft, intimidation of foreign students and opaque talent recruitment efforts," Pompeo said.

The Chinese reaction:

China's Washington embassy called the fresh restrictions "yet another unjustified restriction and barrier on Chinese diplomatic and consular personnel" that "runs counter to the self-proclaimed values of openness and freedom of the U.S. side."

Confucius Institutes work to recruit spies and collaborators: Pompeo

Mike Pompeo came down heavily on Chinese government-run Confucius Confucius Institute cultural centers across US and alleged that they worked to recruit "spies and collaborators"

He said that all Confucius Institutes will be shut down by the year-end.

On Wednesday, the Washington-based Confucius Institute U.S. Center, which was required last month to register as a foreign mission after Pompeo accused it of advancing Beijing`s "malign influence," said it had been mischaracterized by the State Department as a headquarters for Confucius Institutes.

 

"Contrary to what people have heard from the State Department, CI programs in the U.S. are independent of each other, set up and run by the schools that choose to set up Chinese language education, and staffed by people hired and supervised by those schools," it said in a statement.

Pompeo said he planned to discuss China and other regional issues with the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other Indo-Pacific countries in virtual meetings next week.
The State Department said Pompeo would participate in an East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers` meeting and another with his ASEAN counterparts on Sept. 9.

(With inputs from Reuters)
 

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