US must act first to reopen consulates in Chengdu, Houston: Chinese ambassador
Published: Sep 23, 2021 12:11 PM
Qin Gang Photo: website of China's embassy in the US

Qin Gang Photo: website of China's embassy in the US


The US needs to act first when it comes to the question of reopening the US Consulate General in Chengdu and the Chinese Consulate General in Houston, because the issue was unilaterally started by the US, Qin Gang, the Chinese Ambassador to the US, said on Wednesday.

Qin made the remarks when he was asked if China and the US have started discussion about the reopening of the US Consulate General in Chengdu and the Chinese Consulate General in Houston at an online conversation jointly held by the Carter Center and the George H.W. Bush Foundation for US-China Relations.

In July last year, the US suddenly and unilaterally demanded China shut down the Consulate General in Houston. This was against the China-US Consular Convention, international law and basic norms governing international relations. It seriously damaged China-US relations, Qin recalled.

Facing the abrupt closure of the Consulate General in Houston, the Chinese side had no choice but to reciprocate and close the US Consulate General in Chengdu, Qin said.

This is something unilaterally started by the US side, and the US side must act first to resolve it, Qin said.

Visa applications which used to be processed by the Chinese Consulate General in Houston have been transferred to the Embassy, so there has been a sharp increase in workload, which makes the processing time longer, but the staff at the Embassy will do their best to speed it up, Qin noted

Qin also talked about democracy and political systems and said, "China and the US have a different history, culture and political system. But just as President Carter said, both the American and Chinese people desire peace and prosperity, and leaders in Washington and Beijing share one common goal: to create peaceful and stable conditions for their people to pursue happiness."

"We never say that our system is the best, because we know only the suited is the best. Whether it is good or not should not be judged by what we say, but what we do," Qin said.

China and the US should not and cannot change each other. Instead, they should break ideological barriers, discard zero-sum mentality, respect other countries, and accommodate each other without losing their own uniqueness, so as to get along with each other in peace, Qin said.

Global Times.