China protests with US over officials' expulsion



China on Monday denied the allegations that two of its diplomats tried to enter a sensitive US military facility, and has lodged stern representations with Washington over the expulsion of the embassy officials accused of espionage.

Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang at a regular briefing in Beijing described the expulsions a 'mistake' following the alleged incident in September at a sensitive installation in the Norfolk, Virginia, Efe news reported.

"The US accusations against Chinese personnel are false and therefore we lodged stern representations with the United States. We strongly urge the US to correct its mistake, cancel the relevant decision and protect Chinese personnel's proper rights according to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations," Shuang said.

The US government expelled the two Chinese diplomats after they improperly drove onto the military facility in Virginia, EFE/Dow Jones said on Sunday.

According to the report one of the Chinese diplomats is believed to be an intelligence agent who was working under diplomatic protection.

The two personnel drove nearly a kilometre and a half into the military facility in September but were detained by the military, according to a source.

The State Department in October imposed new restrictions on Chinese diplomats in the US, requiring that they notify the department before any meetings they have with state and local officials, or with educational and research institutions.

With this measure, the US State Department sought to level the field between the conditions involving the work of US diplomats in China and that of the Chinese in their country, to pressurize Beijing into allowing more freedom to the US officials in their territory.

In response, China imposed restrictions on US diplomats in the Asian country.

Since early 2018, when the US began a trade war with China, the relations between the biggest economies have rapidly deteriorated.

The dispute between Washington and Beijing is not limited to trade but has also evolved into a technological conflict while its effects have been felt globally.IANS