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China foreign minister slams US 'reckless provocation' after consulate closures

Relations have deteriorated in recent weeks in an intensifying standoff between Washington and Beijing
Relations have deteriorated in recent weeks in an intensifying standoff between Washington and Beijing Noel Celis AFP
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Beijing (AFP)

China's foreign minister on Tuesday slammed the US for "reckless provocation of confrontation" after both sides ordered tit-for-tat closures of each other's consulates, but called for "rational communication" between the two powers.

Wang Yi warned in a call with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian that China-US relations could "fall into the abyss of confrontation", according to a transcript published by the Chinese foreign ministry.

He also called for the international community to resist "any unilateral or hegemonic act", it said.

Relations have deteriorated in recent weeks in an intensifying standoff between Washington and Beijing, with the US mission in Chengdu ordered to shut on Monday in retaliation for the forced closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston, Texas.

"The US reckless provocation of confrontation and division is so out of touch with the reality that the interests of China and the United States are deeply integrated," Wang said.

But the two sides should "engage in rational communication" and "never allow a few anti-China elements to overturn decades of successful exchanges and cooperation", he added.

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