The Chinese embassy in the U.S. on Thursday strongly condemned Washington’s request to close the Chinese Consulate-General in Houston, Texas, saying the move is a political provocation unilaterally initiated against China by the U.S. side.
Noting that China is committed to the principle of non-interference in other countries’ domestic affairs, the embassy refuted the U.S. side’s groundless accusation and urged the U.S. to immediately withdraw its erroneous decision.
According to the embassy, it is the U.S. that has imposed unjustified restrictions on Chinese diplomatic personnel.
Here is the full statement from the Chinese Embassy in the United States:
On July 21, the U.S. abruptly demanded that the Chinese Consulate-General in Houston cease all operations and events within a time limit. It is a political provocation unilaterally launched by the U.S. side, which seriously violates international law, basic norms governing international relations and the bilateral consular agreement between China and the U.S. China strongly condemns and firmly opposes such an outrageous and unjustified move which sabotages China-U.S. relations.
China is committed to the principle of non-interference in other countries’ domestic affairs. Over the years, Chinese diplomatic missions in the U.S., including the Consulate-General in Houston, have been performing duties in strict accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, and are dedicated to promoting China-U.S. exchanges and cooperation and advancing the two peoples’ mutual understanding and friendship. The U.S. accusations are groundless fabrications, and the excuses it cites are far-fetched and untenable. For the U.S. side, if it is bent on attacking China, it will never be short of excuses.
As for reciprocity, China has been providing facilitation for U.S. diplomatic missions and personnel pursuant to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. In contrast, the U.S. imposed unjustified restrictions on Chinese diplomatic personnel last October and in June, unscrupulously and repeatedly opened China’s diplomatic pouches and seized China’s official goods. Because of the willful and reckless stigmatization and fanning up of hatred by the U.S. side, the Chinese Embassy in the U.S. has received threats to the safety and security of Chinese diplomatic missions and personnel more than once.
At the same time, the U.S. side has more diplomatic and consular missions and personnel in China than China has in the U.S., another area where the principle of reciprocity is not reflected. The move of the U.S. side will only backfire on itself.
We urge the U.S. side to immediately revoke this erroneous decision. Otherwise, China will have to respond with legitimate and necessary actions.
Xi Jinping Reviews Poverty Relief Progress in Hunan as China’s War on Poverty Nears End
Among the 529 residents in a small village in central China’s Hunan Province, 95 in 30 households used to live under the poverty line. The whole village was lifted out of poverty through rural tourism in 2018, and the average annual income of the residents reached 13,840 yuan (about 2,060 U.S. dollars) last year – way above the national poverty line of 2,300 yuan (about 340 U.S. dollars).
Shazhou Village, located in a mountainous area in Rucheng County, Chenzhou City, was the first stop of Xi’s inspection tour in Hunan.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, visited the village on Wednesday and learned about poverty relief industries and progress in consolidating poverty eradication at a modern agricultural tourism demonstration base.
Chinese President Xi Jinping learns about poverty relief industries and progress in consolidating poverty eradication at a modern agricultural tourism demonstration base in Shazhou Village, Rucheng County, central China’s Hunan Province, September 16, 2020. /Xinhua
Targeted poverty alleviation
China has adopted a targeted approach in in its poverty alleviation campaign, which means taking tailored relief measures to fit different local conditions.
The story of Shazhou is a prime example of that approach. The village boasts the beautiful scenery of the Luoxiao Mountains and the unique Yao ethnic culture – nearly two thirds of the residents belong to the Yao ethnic group. Tourism has played a significant role in Shazhou’s battle against poverty.
The village has promoted rural tourism and high-quality fruit planting, and arranged training programs to help villagers obtain such job skills as for restaurant cooks and rural tourism industry employees. More than 350 local jobs have been created through the efforts.
With all its residents lifted out of poverty, Shazhou has also been known for such national-level honor as the “village of beauty and leisure,” “role model for ethnic unity and progress,” “key village for promoting rural tourism” and “traditional Chinese village.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping talks with residents of Shazhou Village, Rucheng County, central China’s Hunan Province, September 16, 2020. /Xinhua
New starting point
Since the 18th CPC National Congress in late 2012, China has achieved remarkable results in poverty reduction. More than 93 million rural people shook off poverty between 2013 and 2019.
But 5.51 million people needed to get rid of poverty by the end of 2019. And such a formidable task was coincided by accident with the coronavirus outbreak.
Speaking at a symposium on poverty alleviation in March, Xi described the goal of ending absolute poverty by 2020 as a “solemn pledge” made by the CPC Central Committee to the Chinese people, urging authorities at all levels to deliver on that promise.
As China intensifies efforts in the final stage of the tough battle, Xi tours around the country to inspect economic and social development, with poverty alleviation high on the agenda. Prior to the Hunan trip, he had taken inspection tours this year of capital city Beijing and provinces of Yunnan, Hubei, Zhejiang, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Jilin and Anhui, and Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.
In addition to increasing poor people’s incomes, China is also striving to improve the quality of poverty relief. Xi has repeatedly called for efforts to ensure rural poor people do not have to worry about food and clothing and have access to compulsory education, basic medical services and safe housing.
Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks with villagers in the village of Shazhou, Rucheng County, central China’s Hunan Province, September 16, 2020. /Xinhua
Meanwhile, he is looking into the future beyond the end of poverty. “Being lifted out of poverty is not an end in itself but the starting point of a new life and a new pursuit,” he said on several occasions this year, calling for consolidating achievements in poverty alleviation and advancing the rural vitalization strategy.
Put forward at the 19th CPC National Congress in 2017, the strategy aims to build rural areas with thriving businesses, pleasant living environments, social etiquette and civility, effective governance and prosperity.
Shazhou is among many previously poor villages in China that have embarked on the journey for a better future.
From ‘saplings’ to ‘towering trees’
On Wednesday, Xi also visited a revolution-themed exhibition hall, a village service center, a clinic, a primary school and the homes of villagers in Shazhou.
The exhibition chronicles the story of an impoverished villager named Xu Jiexiu, who offered shelter to three female Red Army soldiers during the Long March in the 1930s. Upon the soldiers’ departure, they cut their only quilt in halves, leaving one part with Xu to show their care.
Xi said the CPC owes its achievements to the people’s support, vowing to further improve the people’s wellbeing.
While inspecting the village service center, he stressed the effectiveness of primary-level public services. The center should provide targeted services for local residents according their needs, he told workers there.
At the primary school, the president encouraged students to make progress every day and grow from “saplings” into “towering trees” of the Chinese nation.
Coronavirus Largest Health Crisis
The novel coronavirus pandemic is the largest global health crisis of the past decades, and China was the first country to be hit by COVID-19.
When the lives of 1.4 billion people were put under threat by the virus, China locked down Wuhan, once the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
But how did the virus spread throughout the city? And what led to the unprecedented lockdown? CGTN launches “The Frontline: China’s Fight Against COVID-19”, a 90-minute-long two-part documentary.
In part one, the initial outbreak and the following two months are explored, and how a city of 11 million came to a standstill.
Xi Jinping: China, EU Should Be Committed To Multilateralism, Dialogue
China and the European Union (EU) should be committed to peaceful coexistence, openness and cooperation, multilateralism and dialogue, and consultation, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Monday, calling on the two sides to firmly promote the healthy and stable development of their comprehensive strategic partnership.
Xi made the remarks while co-hosting a China-Germany-EU leaders’ meeting on Monday evening in Beijing via video link with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose country currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency, European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
The world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century, and the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the process, Xi said, adding that humanity is standing at a new crossroads.
This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of China-EU diplomatic ties, and this was the second video meeting between Chinese and EU leaders in less than three months. It also comes after recent visits by senior Chinese diplomats to EU member states such as Italy, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain and Greece.
During the meeting, the leaders announced the official signing of the China-EU Geographical Indications (GI) Agreement.
GI is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. The agreement is expected to prevent counterfeiting of GI and enable consumers on both sides to eat and use authentic high-quality products.
The two sides also vowed to accelerate the negotiation of the China-EU investment agreement and reaffirmed the goal of concluding the negotiation by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, Xi and the European leaders decided to establish a China-EU high-level dialogue on environment and climate, and one in the digital field, in order to build a green partnership and a digital cooperative partnership.
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