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16 Dec, 2019 09:04

’Fix your mistakes’: Beijing fumes at US’ reported expulsion of Chinese diplomats for 1st time in 30 years

’Fix your mistakes’: Beijing fumes at US’ reported expulsion of Chinese diplomats for 1st time in 30 years

Beijing has demanded that Washington stop “distorting the facts” after the US accused two Chinese diplomats of spying on a US military base in Norfolk, Virginia, and expelled them, the first such case in decades.

The two unnamed Chinese diplomats had been told to leave the US earlier in September, but the demarche came to light after the New York Times reported it on Sunday. The officials in question allegedly drove onto the Norfolk base, breached its perimeter, and stopped only after fire trucks blocked their way.

A day after the piece was published, Beijing voiced unease over the whole affair. “This is a serious distortion of facts, the Chinese side has reprimanded the United States by lodging a protest,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a Monday press briefing, as quoted by TASS.

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Washington has yet to confirm the Times’ report and address the Chinese concerns. Now, Beijing wants the US to protect foreign diplomats on its soil and “fix their mistakes,” Geng stated. 

Interestingly, the State Department placed restrictions on Chinese diplomats, obliging them to request permission before meeting local officials or institutions. China retaliated by introducing similar measures for American diplomats on its soil.

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