Sydney [Australia], July 26 (ANI): After years of following aggressive policies to control other countries, China, for the first time, had to become an appeaser to save its face when the United States ordered Beijing to shut down its consulate in Houston.
"It severely damages bilateral relations, a move that undercuts the bond of friendship between Chinese and American people," Sydney Morning Herald quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin as saying.
The US gave a 72-hour limit to China to follow the orders but it used nearly 48 hours in the hope of a diplomatic reversal, which never came. Putting a brave face in front of its nationalists at home, Beijing has now started weighing down options to give a reply to Washington.
Sydney Morning Herald reported that there were options like expelling the US mission in Wuhan or shutting down the US consulate in Chengdu, a strategically significant outpost that covers Tibet and was seen as a like-for-like trade with Houston, or closing down Hong Kong.
After weighing both the pros and cons of all options, China, in the end, opted the middle ground and decided to give "Chengdu the chop".
Despite giving a lukewarm response to the US' actions, China could not put a stop to receiving lashes.
Speaking at Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, California, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said on Thursday, "The only way to truly change communist China is to act on the basis of what its leaders do, not what they say. (Former) President (Ronald) Reagan dealt with the Soviets on the basis of 'trust but verify.' When it comes to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), I say, 'Distrust and verify'."
Earlier, in an interview with ANI, a US State Department spokesperson said, "China has engaged for years in massive illegal spying and influence operations throughout the United States against US government officials and American citizens. These activities have increased markedly in scale and scope over the past few years."
"As detailed by the Secretary of State, FBI Director (Christopher) Wray, and Attorney General (William) Barr in public remarks, Chinese officials have interfered in our domestic politics, stolen US intellectual property, coerced our business leaders, threatened families of Chinese Americans residing in China and more," the spokesperson added.
To counter China, Pompeo has called for a new alliance.
"The UN, NATO, the G7, the G20, our combined economic, diplomatic and military power is surely enough to meet this challenge if directed properly. Maybe it is time for a new grouping of like-minded nations...a new alliance of democracies," he said. (ANI)