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Tension rising as China orders closure of US consulate in Chengdu.

China has ordered the United States to close its consulate in the southwestern city of Chengdu, retaliating against Washington’s move earlier this week to shut down the Chinese consulate in the city of Houston.

China said the move was in response to the US closing its consulate in Houston, and accused staff in Chengdu of meddling in its internal affairs.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US decision was taken because China was “stealing” intellectual property.

Tensions have been rising between the US and China over several key issues.

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The Chinese foreign ministry said on Friday the Chengdu mission’s closure was a “legitimate and necessary response to the unreasonable measures by the United States”. 

“The current situation in China-US relations is not what China desires to see,” it said in a statement, adding that “the U.S is responsible for all this”. 

“We once again urge the United States to immediately retract its wrong decision and create necessary conditions for bringing the bilateral relationship back on track.”

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