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Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

China on Friday enacted fresh restrictions on U.S. diplomats working in mainland China and Hong Kong as tensions between the two countries continue to rise, AP reports.

The state of play: A statement from the Chinese foreign ministry framed the move as a direct rebuke of similar restrictions America put on Chinese diplomats last year. The statement noted that the rules pertain to senior diplomats and other personnel at the U.S. embassy in Beijing as well as consulates in China, per the Guardian.

  • Though China shared few details on its latest restrictions, U.S. rules enacted in 2019 require Chinese diplomats in the U.S. to report travel and meetings to American authorities.
  • The U.S. guidance now requires that Chinese diplomats also obtain permission for such travel or meetings.

What they're saying: "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," an unnamed foreign ministry spokesperson wrote.

  • The statement noted that the unspecified restrictions may be lifted if the U.S. reverses its own.
  • The spokesperson did say that China supported “normal exchanges and cooperation between all sectors of the two countries.”

Go deeper

Dec 15, 2020 - World

Hong Kong's worst case scenario is happening

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The national security law imposed by Beijing on Hong Kong is playing out in line with the worst-case scenario its critics feared.

Driving the news: A slew of arrests under the draconian law culminated last week with charges against pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai.

Dec 15, 2020 - World

ICC rejects call to investigate China over Uighur genocide claims, for now

A facility believed to be a "re-education camp," where mostly Muslim ethnic minorities are detained, in Artux in China's Xinjiang region, in 2019. Photo: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Monday declined to open an investigation into allegations of genocide against Uighur Muslims in China, but it left the file open.

Why it matters: This means that more evidence can be submitted on claims of genocide by Chinese authorities against Uighur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, northwest China, and the ICC could still open an investigation.

1 min ago - Health

Meta removes over 600 accounts linked to COVID disinformation effort by China

Facebook's corporate headquarters campus in Menlo Park, California. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Meta announced Wednesday it has removed over 600 Facebook and Instagram accounts linked to a Chinese influence operation that claimed the U.S. was pressuring the World Health Organization (WHO) to blame COVID on China.

Why it matters: Though Meta said the network was unsuccessful, it marks yet another COVID disinformation campaign instigated by China in an effort to discredit the U.S.