US orders China To Close Houston Consulate in 72 Hours. The United States government has suddenly ordered China to “stop all activities and occasions” at its department in Houston, Texas.The move is an acceleration of political tension between the world’s two biggest economies.
Chinese Foreign Ministry has called it an “unprecedented escalation” The Chinese Foreign Ministry also condemned the decision and urged the United States to withdraw it.
Department representative Morgan Ortagus statement
US State Department representative Morgan Ortagus said the consulate was coordinated to close “in order to protect American intellectual property and Americans’ private information” but did not immediately provide additional details of what provoked the conclusion.
A representative for the State Department said in a different statement that China “has engaged for years in massive illegal spying and influence operations” and that those “activities have increased markedly in scale and scope over the past few years.
the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement the order to close the consulate was a “political provocation unilaterally launched by the US side, which seriously violates international law, basic norms governing international relations and the bilateral consular agreement between China and the US.”
The unilateral closure of China’s consulate general in Houston within a short period of time is an unprecedented escalation of its recent actions against China,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a daily news briefing, The Associated Press reported.
Washington has given China three days to close the consulate in the fourth largest U.S. city, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.
US Secretary of Stat, Mike Pompeo said US officials had set “our clear expectations for how the Chinese Communist Party is going to behave.””And when they don’t, we’re going to take actions that protect the American people, protect our security, our national security, and also protect our economy and jobs,” he said.
Ortagus’s statement on Wednesday said, “The United States will not tolerate the PRC’s (People Republic of China) violations of our sovereignty and intimidation of our people, just as we have not tolerated the PRC’s unfair trade practices, theft of American jobs, and other egregious behavior. President Trump insists on fairness and reciprocity in US-China relations,” Ortagus said in the statement.
but late Tuesday evening, police in Houston said they reacted to reports of smoke in the patio outside the office, situated on Montrose Boulevard, in the city’s Midtown territory. Neighborhood media shared video of what seemed, by all accounts, to be authorities inside the compound consuming reports
Houston colleague fire boss Ruy Lozano affirmed that the office reacted to a fire in a yard at 3400 Montrose Boulevard at the Chinese Consulate at 8:20 p.m. neighborhood time on Tuesday. Teams that showed up revealed no noticeable blazes or smoke, Lozano said..
How Did China React ?
China’s Communist Party, Hu Xijin, said “The US has made some preparations for withdrawal from Consulate General in Wuhan. Washington must hope that China will retaliate by closing this consulate, which is a small price for the US. I think China’s target will be more likely unexpected, causing the US to feel real pain.”
Beijing had been given 72 hours to close the consulate. “This is a crazy move,” he added.