WASHINGTON, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Chinese diplomats in the United States must now give advance notice of any meetings with state, local and municipal officials, as well as at educational and research institutions, senior State Department officials said on Wednesday.
The officials told reporters the move was an effort to "add reciprocity" to the way U.S. diplomats are treated in China.
It has been in the works for some time, they said, and not directly linked to any other part of the U.S.-China relationship, which has been strained by a trade war under President Donald Trump.
"This action is a response to what the PRC (Peoples Republic of China) government does to limit the interaction our diplomats can have in China with Chinese stakeholders," a State Department official said.
American diplomats in China must not only notify the government there of meetings it plans to hold with Chinese people and officials, they must get permission first, the official said.
"What we're trying to accomplish here is ... get closer to a reciprocal situation, hopefully with the desired end effect of having the Chinese government provide greater access to our diplomats in China," the official said.
The onus will be on the Chinese to notify the State Department of their meetings, the officials said.
They would not discuss the consequences for any Chinese official who does not comply with the new requirement, which went into effect on Wednesday. (Reporting by Doina Chiacu and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Sandra Maler and Cynthia Osterman)