Reacting to the report of US secretly expelling two Chinese embassy officials after they drove onto a sensitive military base in Virginia, China on Monday termed the “US accusations” as “completely inconsistent with truth.”
“The US accusation on our officials is completely inconsistent with the truth. We made stern representations and protests to the US side. We urge the US to correct its mistake, withdraw this decision and protect Chinese diplomats’ legitimate rights and interests according to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said during a press conference on December 16.
The remarks by the Shuang, as put up by Chinese Foreign Ministry on its website, came into a question over The New York Times report that said that US government expelled two Chinese embassy officials after they drove onto a sensitive military base in Virginia.
“We’d like to remind the US that it is a reciprocal process for countries to grant work-related convenience and guarantee to foreign diplomats following the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.
The United States secretly expelled two Chinese embassy officials earlier this year after they drove onto a sensitive military base in Virginia, New York Times had reported on Sunday, citing people with the knowledge of the episode.
Six people with the knowledge of the expulsion have told the newspaper that American officials believe that at least one of the two Chinese officials was an intelligence officer operating under diplomatic cover.
The incident had occurred in September at a base near Norfolk, Virginia.
The newspaper pointed out that the expulsions appear to be the first time in 30 years that the US has expelled Chinese diplomats on suspicion of espionage.