22:47 GMT07 August 2020
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    US-China tensions escalated on Wednesday as Washington demanded that China close its Passport and Visa Office at the China Consulate General in Houston, Texas, with Beijing calling the development a "political provocation" and threatening retaliation.

    Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying on Wednesday lashed out at the US government for the bomb and death threats which have been made against the Chinese embassy in Washington.

    In a Twitter post made hours after Washingtom moved to shut down China's consulate in Houston, Texas, she said that the US government has been fanning smears and hatred against the Chinese.

     

    ​The report about Chinese embassy receiving bomb threats from an unknown caller initially emerged in the Paper media outlet on Wednesday.

    According to the news portal, the diplomatic mission’s visa office received phone calls from an unknown man on Monday. The caller reportedly spoke in English and hung up after the embassy staff answered the phone.

    "Chinese Embassy Visa Office?" the caller asked, as cited by the media outlet. After hearing a positive response, the man continued, "do you know what’s in your lobby?"

    He then simulated the sound of an explosion and hung up, the portal added.

    According to the source, the embassy also received a threatening letter on 21 March. Chinese diplomatic institutions and personnel have received an increased number of threats and insults recently, after which the Chinese Embassy and Consulates General in the United States have beefed up security measures.

    US sanctions against China's tech giant, Huawei, for allegedly working with the Chinese government have sparked a new diplomatic confrontation between the two countries. Huawei has rejected the claims as unjustified and politically motivated and said they contradict competitive practices. Washington has demanded that Beijing close its diplomatic mission in Houston. The media subsequently reported that China was considering closing the US consulate in Wuhan in response.

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    bomb, threat, US, China
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