US diplomats must inform the ministry five working days in advance of any relevant meetings. The US Embassy has been notified of the new rule, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Friday.

The spokeswoman described the decision as “reciprocal,” citing a US dictate from October demanding that Chinese diplomats notify the State Department before meeting with federal and local officials. Washington claimed at the time that the measure was in response to the inability of US diplomats to meet with Chinese officials and academics.

“We once again urge the US side to correct its mistakes and revoke the relevant rules,” Hua told reporters at a press briefing.

Beijing and Washington have been locking horns over a range of sensitive political issues, from the ongoing Hong Kong protests to territorial claims in the South China Sea.

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