Chengdu consulate closure chance for US to observe Chinese public opinion
Published: Jul 25, 2020 11:59 AM

US Consulate General in Chengdu. Photo:VCG

After China ordered the closure of the US consulate in Chengdu, Chinese social media erupted in cheers and applause. The US Chengdu consulate shot to fame in an instant. Some local residents even went to the consulate to join in some fun. Some media outlets broadcast live from the scene, which brought the place further into the limelight. 

On social media, there were plenty of sarcastic discussions, including the suggestion the consulate be replaced  with a public toilet or perhaps one of  Chengdu's famed hotpot restaurants. Some people even set off braids of firecrackers, videos of which were widely posted on social media. People who set off the fireworks later received administrative warnings.

All this is a true reflection of the Chinese public's attitude toward the US. I strongly suggest the US pay attention to these sentiments and understand the public's true feelings about current China-US tensions. 

In recent days, the US has again recklessly attacked the Communist Party of China (CPC) and tried to separate the CPC from the Chinese people, wrongly thinking such tactics would might actually work. It's hoped that the Chinese public's response to the closure of the US consulate in Chengdu, will help the US reflect on its recent course of actions, and get off this wrong path.

Meanwhile, as China closes the US consulate in Chengdu as a countermeasure to the US closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston, the Chinese public's right to express their feelings should be respected, and US diplomats should be assured that they can leave with dignity in line with  the principle of reciprocal treatment.

The closure of US consulate is a retaliatory move that adheres to diplomatic rules. The message that China sent to the US and the world is strong enough. As the government has the strength to launch countermeasures against this round of US provocations, the public needs not get involved too much. 

No matter what the US diplomats in the US consulate in Chengdu have done, their diplomatic identity should be respected according to the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. We should prevent the US and the US-centric Western opinion from finding fault and hyping the closure of US Chengdu consulate. 

In the latest conflict of consulate closures, the US is obviously the provocateur, which China is forced to counter. It is the Chinese side that deserves sympathy. However, some forces in the US and the West have many ways of turning white into black, and we cannot give them any chance to label the closure of the Chengdu consulate as the "suffering" of US diplomats.

Let the sensation over the closure of US consulate in Chengdu quiet down. There's no need for the public's grievances and anger to explode at this juncture. China-US competition will last for a long time. We should prepare our endurance and wait for our victory.

The author is editor-in-chief of the Global Times. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn

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