The United States has abruptly ordered China to close its consulate in Houston within 72 hours. Within hours of the order, smoke could be seen from the consulate’s courtyard, where it appears Chinese Consulate workers were burning documents. A spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry called the closing of the consulate illegal under international order.
Wang Wenbin: “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.”
The State Department said the move to close the Chinese Consulate was needed to “protect American intellectual property.” On Tuesday, the Justice Department indicted two Chinese residents, accusing them of stealing trade secrets from U.S. firms, including research into a coronavirus vaccine.