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Chinese Media and Scholars Shocked by Consulate Closing, Call It ‘Unprecedented’ and ‘Crazy Move’

July 22, 2020 (EIRNS)—The immediate response of the editor in chief of Global Times, Hu Xijin, upon hearing of the order to shut the consulate, was to tweet: “This is a crazy move.” In its news coverage, Global Times reported that

“Xin Qiang, deputy director of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, told the Global Times on Wednesday that the U.S. move, which is unprecedented in the history of China-U.S. relations, indicated a serious escalation in bilateral confrontations and will definitely result in countermeasures from China.... It seems that easing China-U.S. relations is almost impossible during the Trump Administration, Xin said.”

Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University, stated: “We are at a tipping point that is highly dangerous, and we should respond in a reciprocal manner, and also in a very careful way in order to avoid further worsening the confrontation.”

Even before the State Department order had been announced, a July 21 editorial in Global Times had warned that “since the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, the U.S. started to behave recklessly. Some forces have been deliberately creating tensions between China and the U.S. to facilitate Donald Trump’s reelection. As a result, random and arbitrary sanctions against China are increasing.” Referring to the U.S. Commerce Department’s announcement on July 20 of sanctions against another 11 Chinese companies, the editorial added:

“The unbridled acts of the U.S. makes China’s response more complicated. It’s impossible for China not to retaliate, otherwise it will indulge Washington’s bully tactics. But if China takes ‘reciprocal countermeasures,’ the China-U.S. struggle will fall into the battlefield preset by the U.S..” The editorial concluded that “during the period before the November elections [in the U.S.], China must maintain high sobriety in its struggle against the U.S.”

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