USA orders China to shut Houston consulate

Thursday, 23 Jul, 2020

But the war has become much more serious with Trump's efforts to blame the Chinese government for the coronavirus that emerged from Wuhan at the end of past year and retaliatory actions over journalists in the two countries.

The two suspects worked with China's Ministry of State Security in some cases, the indictment alleged.

Fire trucks are seen outside the Chinese consulate, where local media reported trash cans filled with documents are being burned in the courtyard, in Houston, Texas, U.S. July 21, 2020, in this still image taken from video obtained from social media.

"Smoke was observed in an outside courtyard area". Under worldwide convention, the consulate is considered Chinese territory. He suggested that the consulate may have served such a function.

"We have seen a step change in USA government actions toward China over the past couple of weeks", McArver said.

The abrupt demand to shut down the consulate is an "unprecedented escalation" of hostilities, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin told reporters.

Nucleic acid tests must be completed within five days of embarkation, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said on its website.

China's diplomatic presence in the USA has always been committed to improving mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples, Wang reiterated, and once again urged the United States to recall its wrong decision. "Otherwise, China will definitely make a proper and necessary response".

Chinese state-owned English-language newspaper The Global Times tweeted a poll, asking readers to guess which USA consulate in China is most likely to be shuttered in response to the Houston closure. "This is a insane move", he added. The administration is now zeroing in on Chinese scholars and students in the United States academia, suggesting they are part of a vast spy network trying to steal USA intellectual property. Firefighters ultimately stayed off the property and later footage showed officials putting out the fires, per KPRC, which reports the building is to be cleared out by 4pm Friday. "The U.S. has done its cost-benefit calculations".

The action swiftly follows a U.S. Department of Justice indictment of two Chinese hackers accused of stealing trade secrets from hundreds of global targets and, more recently, probing for vulnerabilities in U.S. companies involved in the development of COVID-19 treatments and vaccines.

"The United States will not tolerate (China's) violations of our sovereignty and intimidation of our people, just as we have not tolerated (its) unfair trade practices, theft of American jobs, and other egregious behavior", said the statement, which was attributed to State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus.

FILE - U.S. President Donald Trump meets with China's President Xi Jinping at the start of their bilateral meeting at the G-20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, June 29, 2019.

Earlier this week, the USA government imposed sanctions on 11 Chinese companies - in addition to four Chinese officials already under sanctions - for involvement in human rights abuses against the Muslim-minority Uighurs in China's northwestern Xinjiang region.

The State Department said the move was necessary to protect US intellectual property and private information.