Regional News • Europe • Germany
Germany confirms death of diplomat in Beirut explosion

The German minister for foreign affairs Heiko Maas has announced that a member of the German embassy in Beirut has died from the consequences of the explosion in the Lebanese capital city.

He stated that "our worst fears have been confirmed. A member of our embassy in Beirut has been killed in her home as a result of the explosion" and added that his "thanks go to all those who, like our late colleague, take great personal risks every day all over the world in the service of our country".

Regional News • Americas • United States
FBI arrests Chinese researcher for visa fraud
Chinese consulate in San Francisco
Chinese consulate in San Francisco Credit: InSapphoWeTrust (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The FBI arrested a Chinese researcher who took refuge in the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco. The researcher, Juan Tang, will appear in court on Monday after allegedly made fraudulent statements on her visa application by concealing that she served in the Chinese military.

If convicted, Tang faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

Regional News • Asia • China
China orders closure of U.S. consulate in Chengdu
The building of U.S. Consulate General Chengdu
The building of U.S. Consulate General Chengdu Credit: U.S. Consulate General Chengdu (Public Domain)

The Chinese Government on Friday ordered the closure of the United States consulate in the southwestern city of Chengdu. The announcement was made just hours before Washington's deadline for the Chinese government to end its diplomatic mission in Houston, Texas.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement: "On 21 July, the US launched a unilateral provocation by abruptly demanding that China close its Consulate General in Houston. The US move seriously breached international law, the basic norms of international relations, and the terms of the China-US Consular Convention. It gravely harmed China-US relations. The measure taken by China is a legitimate and necessary response to the unjustified act by the US. It conforms with international law, the basic norms of international relations, and customary diplomatic practices."

Regional News • Americas • United States
Chinese consulate in Houston ordered to close by US government

According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, China has been ordered to "cease all operations and events" at its consulate in Houston, Texas. The police in Houston has reported smoke from the consulate courtyard as Chinese officials allegedly have burned documents.

Morgan Ortagus, a spokeswoman for the US State Department, has stated that the closure of the consulate has been ordered "to protect American intellectual property and Americans' private information".

Regional News • Americas • Brazil
Brazilian minister starts diplomatic row with China over Coronavirus

After a tweet -- now retracted -- by Brazil’s Education Minister Abraham Weintraub that appeared to mock Chinese accents while insinuating the Asian giant stood to benefit from the coronavirus pandemic, China's embassy in Brasilia demanded a public correction by the Brazilian Government.

This dispute comes just weeks after President Jair Bolsonaro sought to pacify a similar dispute sparked by his son, Eduardo Bolsonaro.

China is the biggest destination for Brazilian exports, accounting for 29% of its global total during the first quarter of 2020.