The United States government has forced the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston, citing interference in American internal affairs. The development is perhaps payback for the massive Chinese hacking attempt described by The White House to steal American research into the Chinese coronavirus vaccine.
“The United States will not tolerate the PRC’s 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,” declared State Department Spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus.
Local police and fire were called to the consulate after a fire was noticed inside the premises. Most likely Chinese diplomats are burning classified material during the three days the facility has to close operations.
For its part, China raged over the decision and demanded the U.S. reconsider.
“China urges the US to immediately rescind its erroneous decision, otherwise China will undertake legitimate and necessary responses.”
“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, Associated Press reported.
Reuters is reporting China may close the American consulate in Wuhan as a retaliatory move.