BEIJING — The U.S. has arranged China to close its consulate in Houston in what a Chinese officer called an outrageous and unjustified movement that could sabotage relationships between both nations.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin condemned the actions, which come in a time of increasing tensions between the world’s two biggest markets. He cautioned company countermeasures when the U.S. doesn’t reverse its conclusion.
“The unilateral closing of China’s consulate general in Houston within a brief period is an unprecedented escalation of its current activities from China,” Wang said in a daily news briefing.
The U.S. stated in a brief announcement that the consulate was ordered shut”to protect American intellectual property along with American’s private details.” It didn’t supply any specifics.
“The United States won’t tolerate the PRC’s violations of our sovereignty and intimidation of our individuals, as we haven’t uttered the PRC’s unfair trade practices, theft of American jobs, as well as other egregious behavior,” the statement by State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus explained.
Media reports in Houston stated that police had reacted to reports of a flame in the consulate. Witnesses said that individuals were burning files from what seemed to be garbage cans, the Houston Chronicle reported, citing authorities.
Authorities were advised that citizens were granted till 4 p.m. Friday to leave the house, the Chronicle said.
Houston authorities said in a tweet which officials reacted to”a lawsuit the firefighter” call in the Chinese Consulate construction at 3417 Montrose Blvd. The tweet stated that smoke was detected in an outside courtyard area, in which officers weren’t permitted to go into the building.