China finally retaliated against the Trump administration order of October 2019 limiting the movement of Chinese diplomats within the United States by imposing similar restrictions on American diplomats in China.
In an announcement Friday, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the new restrictions also affect U.S. diplomats working in Hong Kong. The movement restrictions apply to senior diplomats and all other personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and consulates throughout China.
The U.S. embassy in Beijing had no immediate comment on China's retaliatory move. A spokesman for China's foreign ministry said the restrictions might be lifted if the Trump administration were to revoke the measures it imposed on Oct. 8, 2019.
"Once again we urge the U.S. side to immediately correct its mistakes and lift the unreasonable restrictions imposed on the Chinese Embassy and consulates and their staff," said the spokesperson. "China will make reciprocal responses to U.S. actions."
He also said China supported "normal exchanges and cooperation between all sectors of the two countries."
On August 9, the Trump administration imposed new movement restrictions on Chinese diplomats atop those it imposed in October 2019. The Trump administration's new travel restrictions were announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo .
He said senior Chinese diplomats will now be required to seek federal government permission to engage in a number of routine activities outside Chinese diplomatic missions. He pointed out the "State Department has established a mechanism requiring approval for senior Chinese diplomats in the United States to visit university campuses and to meet with local government officials."
The restrictions also affect Chinese cultural events involving groups larger than 50 people hosted by the Chinese embassy and consular posts outside their diplomatic missions.
Pompeo said the Trump administration was forced to take these moves to punish China for similar restrictions it imposes on American diplomats in China. Pompeo referred to the punitive administration moves as "reciprocity." He said that should the "PRC eliminate the restrictions imposed on U.S. diplomats, we stand ready to reciprocate."
On Oct. 8, 2019, the Trump administration imposed visa restrictions on Chinese officials "believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, the detention and abuse of Uighurs, Kazakhs, or other members of Muslim minority groups" in the territory in northwest China," said Pompeo.
the day before, the Trump administration blacklisted Chinese government security entities and companies allegedly involved in surveillance and detention of minority groups. This move also restricted U.S. companies from doing business with those on this blacklist.