The tit-for-tat between Beijing and America took another turn Friday after China said it was imposing restrictions on American diplomats in response to Washington doing the same.

China’s Foreign Ministry said it had sent a note announcing “reciprocal restrictions” on the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and American consulates across the country. The changes will apply to all senior diplomats and personnel at the U.S missions, though China did not elaborate on what the new rules would actually be.

Last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo unveiled a set of restrictions on Chinese diplomats operating inside the U.S., a move he said was payback for similar situations facing American diplomats in China.

Pompeo blamed Beijing for employing a system of “opaque approval processes designed to prevent American diplomats from conducting regular business, attending events, securing meetings and connecting with the Chinese people.”

The back and forth comes at a time when tensions and diplomatic goodwill between the two countries have been stretched thin over coronavirus, military maneuvers in the South China Sea and the presidential election.


Since signing a phase one trade deal with China in January, the two countries have been busy slapping sanctions on one another.

The U.S. shuttered a Chinese consulate in Texas earlier this year while China has moved to expel U.S. journalists from the country.

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