Consulate closures an inflection point in China-US relations

Consulate closures an inflection point in China-US relationsIn the more than 40 years since China and the U.S. established formal diplomatic relations, accusations have been traded, tensions have risen and fallen and the two sides have come dangerously close to outright confrontation. Mistrust and rancor surrounding disputes over alleged technology theft, national security, human rights, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the South China Sea are now the main drivers in a relationship that had long sought to compartmentalize such issues to prevent them from impeding trade ties and cooperation in managing issues such as North Korea’s nuclear program and conflicts in the Middle East and Africa. Chinese authorities took control of the former U.S. Consulate in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, on Monday after it was ordered closed in retaliation for a U.S. order to vacate the Chinese Consulate in Houston.

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