US expands limitations on Chinese diplomats

© Agence France-Presse

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the new restrictions are in 'direct response' to Chinese controls on US diplomats

Washington (AFP) - The US State Department announced tighter limits on the movements of Chinese diplomats in the country Wednesday, saying it was in retaliation to Beijing's controls on American officials based in China.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said China had limited US diplomats' movement and ability to meet with Chinese people for years with rules "far beyond diplomatic norms."

"In the United States, by contrast, PRC diplomats have enjoyed open access to American society, while ignoring sustained US entreaties to improve the balance," he said.

With the announcement the State Department will require senior Chinese diplomats to seek approval to visit US universities and to meet with local government officials.

The department will also have to approve any cultural event hosted by the Chinese embassy outside embassy properties that more than 50 people attend.

In addition, Pompeo said, any Chinese embassy social media accounts will have to be identified as accounts of the Chinese government.

The new requirements of People's Republic of China diplomats "are a direct response to the excessive restraints already placed on our diplomats by the PRC," Pompeo said in a statement.

"Should the PRC eliminate the restrictions imposed on US diplomats, we stand ready to reciprocate."