U.S. calls on China to shut down consulate in Houston

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During a daily press briefing, ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Beijing was bluntly informed of the move on Tuesday. He did not give the reasons. US authorities have given China three days to close its mission, he said.
“The unilateral closure of the Chinese Consulate General in Houston in a short period of time is an unprecedented escalation in recent US actions against China,” Wenbin added. “We urge the United States to immediately reverse this flawed decision. If they were to insist on this wrong path, China would respond with strong retaliatory measures. ”

The ministry spokesperson also specified that this was a political provocation launched unilaterally by the American side, “which seriously violates international law”.

Wang Wenbin assured that the consulate was functioning normally, without wanting to comment on information from the Texan press according to which documents would have been burned Tuesday evening in the compound of the building.

“It is like a fire in a container in the courtyard of the consulate. It doesn’t look like an uncirculated fire, but we weren’t allowed in, ”the Houston Fire Chief told KTRK.

Protect American Intellectual Property

For her part, Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said the Consulate of the Consular Republic of China in Houston, United States, has been closed “in order to protect American intellectual property and American private information.” .

“The Vienna Convention says that state diplomats must respect the laws and rules of the host country and have a duty not to interfere in the internal affairs of that state,” Morgan Ortagus said on the sidelines of a visit by the leader. of American diplomacy Mike Pompeo in Copenhagen.

“The United States will not tolerate Chinas violations of our sovereignty and intimidation of our people, just as we have not tolerated unfair business practices, the theft of American jobs and other egregious behavior. President Trump insists on justice and reciprocity in Sino-US relations, ”the spokeswoman said in a statement released to the press.

Escalating tensions

From the coronavirus epidemic to the situation in Hong Kong or the treatment of the Uyghur minority in Xinjiang, including Beijing’s claims in the China Sea or even recurring trade tensions, the points of friction between Washington and Beijing are continuing. to accumulate for months.

Visiting London on Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for the creation of a global coalition to counter “the threat” he says from China.

The US Department of Justice on Tuesday released an indictment targeting two Chinese nationals accused of cyber espionage between 2014 and 2020.

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