US orders China's Houston consulate to close

US orders China's Houston consulate to close

US orders China's Houston consulate to close

Previous Trump administration measures against Chinese officials, students and researchers have included travel bans, registration requirements and other steps meant to reduce the country's footprint in the United States. It also has a consulate-general for Hong Kong and Macao based in Hong Kong.

She said Mr. Trump "insists on fairness and reciprocity in U.S".

China strongly condemned the action. "The markets better get used to it because there is more of that to come and even without Trump in the White House".

On July 21, the United States side abruptly asked the Chinese side to close its Consulate General in Houston.

An Associated Press reporter was unable to leave a phone message with the consulate Thursday morning.

Cai Wei, the Chinese consul general, told KTRK-TV in Houston the order to shut down was "quite wrong" and "very damaging" to U.S.

On Monday, the Chinese embassy received repeated phone calls, in which the caller imitated the sound of an explosion after asking "do you know what's in your lobby", Chinese news outlet The Paper reported.

The U.S. State Department said on Wednesday the Chinese mission in Houston was being closed "to protect American intellectual property and Americans' private information".

Senator Angus King, a ME independent who meets with Democrats, told CNN's John Berman on the "New Day" on Wednesday that he was unaware of any "recent intelligence on particular Chinese activities, nor regarding our elections, or the entire confrontation between our two countries: theft of intellectual property "that may have prompted the decision".

Those factors led to Trump's action, he told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

But a source had told Reuters that China is considering shutting the USA consulate in Wuhan, where the United States withdrew staff during the coronavirus outbreak.

Prosecutors say Tang was working in the United States on a J-1 visa but was charged for a violation.

"The CCP's recent targeting of USA coronavirus vaccine research underscores the threat of this consulate's malign activity in Houston, a biomedical research and technology hub itself".

Congress member Michael McCaul, a Republican leader on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Chinese consulate in Houston is the epicentre of the Chinese Communist Party's ongoing research theft in the US, particularly for stealing sensitive information to build up their military.

Supporters of foreign students had also argued that US universities play a crucial role in "soft power" diplomacy, nurturing what often become lifelong ties to the country.

Local police said it was caused by people burning classified documents in the consulate's courtyard, according to local TV station FOX26. It is a grave violation of the worldwide law. However, the destruction of confidential documents at a facility that has been ordered or otherwise forced to close on short notice, including USA missions, is not unusual.

Flashback: In 2017, black smoke was seen coming from the chimney of the Russian consulate in San Francisco one day after the Trump administration ordered its closure.

On Wednesday, Beijing promised to retaliate to the Houston closure, with state media pointing to the potential shuttering of one of the US' numerous diplomatic missions within China.

The FBI believes that a Chinese researcher, accused of visa fraud for hiding her affiliation with the Chinese military, has been holed up in the Chinese consulate in San Francisco for a month, according to court filings. The U.S. also has consulates in China in Chengdu, Shenyang, Guangzhou and Shanghai.

The Global Times, an English-language tabloid run by the Communist Party's People's Daily newspaper, also accused U.S. President Donald Trump of playing politics. China now has consulates in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City, but only Houston's has been shut down as of Wednesday. Nearly every day brings a fresh US action against what Trump has called the rising Asian superpower's exploitation of America.

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