Beijing will impose “reciprocal restrictions” on all American diplomats in China in response to earlier curbs on the activities of its embassy staff in the United States, China’s foreign ministry said Friday.

The unspecified countermeasures will apply to all US embassy and consulate staff, as well as the consulate-general in Hong Kong, a ministry statement said.

Zhao Lijian
Zhao Lijian. Photo: China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Office, via Twitter.

To urge the US to repeal its wrong decisions as soon as possible, the Chinese side has recently sent a diplomatic note announcing reciprocal restrictions on US embassy and consulates, the consulate-general in Hong Kong included,” it added.

The announcement comes days after it threatened to respond to a new raft of US restrictions on Chinese diplomats, such as a requirement to seek approval for university visits or meetings with local officials. 

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week that those measures were a response to long-established controls on American diplomats in China, drawing an angry rebuke from Beijing.

China’s foreign ministry said Friday that Washington’s “multiple rounds of restrictions” on its diplomatic personnel had disrupted relations between the two countries. 

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