Flags of China (left) and the US. File photoA Singaporean man has pleaded responsible within the US to working as an agent of China, the newest incident in a rising stand-off between Washington and Beijing.Jun Wei Yeo was charged with utilizing his political consultancy in America as a entrance to gather info for Chinese language intelligence, US officers say.Individually, the US stated a Chinese language researcher accused of hiding her ties to China’s navy was detained.China earlier ordered the closure of the US consulate in Chengdu.The transfer to close down the diplomatic mission within the south-western metropolis was in response to the US closing China’s consulate in Houston.US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated the choice was taken as a result of China was “stealing” mental property.Chinese language Overseas Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin responded by saying that the US transfer was based mostly on “a hodgepodge of anti-Chinese language lies”.A US official guards the previous Chinese language consulate in Houston after doorways have been pressured open on Friday afternoonAfter a 72-hour deadline for Chinese language diplomats to depart the Houston consulate expired on Friday at 16:00 (21:00 GMT) reporters noticed males who seemed to be US officers power open a door to enter the premises. Uniformed employees from the US State Division’s Bureau of Diplomatic Safety took up place to protect the doorway.Tensions have been rising between the 2 nuclear powers over a number of key points.President Donald Trump’s administration has clashed repeatedly with Beijing over commerce and the coronavirus pandemic, in addition to China’s imposition of a controversial new safety legislation in Hong Kong.What is understood in regards to the Singaporean nationwide?Jun Wei Yeo, also referred to as Dickson Yeo, on Friday pleaded responsible in a federal courtroom to working as an unlawful agent of the Chinese language authorities in 2015-19, the US Division of Justice stated in a press release.He was earlier charged with utilizing his political consultancy within the nation as a entrance to gather precious, personal info for Chinese language intelligence.Story continuesIn his responsible plea, he admitted to scouting for Individuals with high-level safety clearance and getting them to write down stories for pretend shoppers. In accordance with courtroom paperwork he was recruited by Chinese language intelligence in 2015 after giving a presentation in Beijing.On the time he was a PhD scholar at a prestigious Singaporean college.In accordance with the responsible plea, Mr Yeo used an expert networking web site – assumed to be LinkedIn – to contact potential targets more likely to have entry to delicate info.Mr Yeo was arrested as he flew in to the US in 2019.And what in regards to the arrested Chinese language researcher?The researcher was named by US officers as Juan Tang, aged 37.She was amongst 4 Chinese language nationals charged earlier this week with visa fraud for allegedly mendacity about serving in China’s Individuals’s Liberation Military.Juan Tang was the final of the 4 to be detained in California, after the US had accused the Chinese language consulate in San Francisco of harbouring her.It was not instantly clear how she was arrested.FBI brokers have discovered photos of Juan Tang wearing navy uniform and reviewed articles in China figuring out her navy affiliation, the Related Press stories.It’s quoting the College of California Davis as saying that she left her job as a visiting researcher within the Division of Radiation Oncology in June.Why is there rigidity between China and the US?US President Donald Trump and his Chinese language counterpart Xi JinpingThere are a lot of components in play. US officers have blamed China for the worldwide unfold of Covid-19. Extra particularly, President Donald Trump has alleged, with out presenting proof, that the virus originated from a Chinese language laboratory in Wuhan.And, in unsubstantiated remarks, a Chinese language international ministry spokesman stated in March that the US navy might need introduced the virus to Wuhan.The US and China have additionally been locked in a tariff warfare since 2018.Mr Trump has lengthy accused China of unfair buying and selling practices and mental property theft, however in Beijing there’s a notion that the US is making an attempt to curb its rise as a world financial energy.The US has additionally imposed sanctions on Chinese language politicians who it says are liable for human rights violations in opposition to Muslim minorities in Xinjiang. China is accused of mass detentions, non secular persecution and compelled sterilisation of Uighurs and others.Beijing denies the allegations and has accused the US of “gross interference” in its home affairs.What about Hong Kong?China’s imposition of a sweeping safety legislation there’s additionally a supply of rigidity in relations with the US and the UK, which administered the territory till 1997.In response, the US final week revoked Hong Kong’s particular buying and selling standing, which allowed it to keep away from tariffs imposed on Chinese language items by the US.The US and UK see the safety legislation as a menace to the freedoms Hong Kong has loved beneath a 1984 settlement between China and the UK – earlier than sovereignty reverted to Beijing.The UK has angered China by outlining a path to UK citizenship for almost three million Hong Kong residents.China responded by threatening to cease recognising a kind of British passport – BNO – held by a lot of these residing in Hong Kong.