On July 24th, a Chinese researcher – Juan Tang was reportedly detained in the Chinese consulate in San Francisco, according to unnamed officials cited by the LA Times.
Officials briefing reporters declined to discuss the alleged arrest, but U.S. authorities had been seeking Juan Tang, a researcher at UC Davis who was charged with lying about her military service in China.
A spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry accused the U.S. of “political persecution” on July 23rd in response to a question about the case, but didn’t mention whether Tang was being sheltered by diplomats.
“We urge the U.S. to stop using any excuse to limit, harass and crack down on Chinese scholars and Chinese students in the U.S.,” spokesman Wang Wenbin told a regular news briefing in Beijing.
At the same time, following the Chinese consulate in Houston, Texas being closed, China responded by closing and, subsequently, raiding the US Consulate in Chengdu.
Security was tight outside the U.S. consulate in the Chinese city of Chengdu as staff prepared to leave, while U.S. officials took over the closed Chinese consulate in Houston https://t.co/cnrA8r3FQJ pic.twitter.com/3T5QyAELBB
— Reuters (@Reuters) July 25, 2020
The Trump administration had given China until the afternoon on July 24th to vacate the Houston consulate. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had charged that the consulate was “a hub of spying and intellectual property theft”.
The US consulate was shuttered on July 25th.
Consular workers had been observed conducting a mass burning of documents ahead of the consulate’s closure.
Small fires appear in Houston's Chinese consulate courtyard after China says US had ordered to close it pic.twitter.com/H5L2jqMz1G
— The Sun (@TheSun) July 23, 2020
It appears that the escalation will not end, but will lead to further pressure from both sides in every possible avenue.
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