US to close over visa agreement
The US will close its agreement with China over the visa transaction adviser, the State Department said on Tuesday, in a sign that Washington is looking to make a last-ditch effort to keep the agreement alive after Beijing’s election victory in June.
A State Department spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, told reporters in Washington that the agency was finalizing a final version of a bilateral agreement with Beijing to prevent future crises.
“We are finalizing the final version, and we expect it to be announced shortly,” Psaki said.
“The final draft will be issued to the president at the end of the week.”
A spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in Washington, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the embassy had not yet received the final draft and that the US side had no comment.
The agreement with the US is part of the Obama administration’s broader push to diversify US relations with China, which Washington views as a rising regional power with ambitions to play a greater role in global affairs.
Beijing views the US as an obstacle to its rise.
The US has already been forced to shut down its embassy in Beijing and other US diplomatic facilities, including in Taiwan.
The move comes as the Trump administration is expected to announce a slew of new measures to bolster US-China ties and combat what US President Donald Trump has called a “strategic crisis”.
The move follows months of tensions between the US and Beijing over human rights and the issue of North Korea, and comes after the Trump White House announced last month that it was revoking the designation of Taiwan as a Chinese territory.
The State Department’s decision on Tuesday was the latest in a series of diplomatic maneuvers aimed at reassuring Beijing that Washington’s interests would be protected.