US Orders Closure of Houston Chinese Consulate
On July 21, the United States “abruptly” demanded that the Chinese Consulate-General in Houston cease all operations and events, the Chinese embassy in the U.S. has confirmed.
“China strongly condemns and firmly opposes such an outrageous and unjustified move which sabotages China-U.S. relations,” the Chinese embassy said in a government statement on Thursday.
“We urge the U.S. side to immediately revoke this erroneous decision. Otherwise, China will have to respond with legitimate and necessary actions,” the embassy added in the statement.
Commenting on the consulate closure, U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette labeled it a “bold move”.
“China continues to exploit the open and collaborative research environment in the U.S., robbing hard-working scientists of their intellectual property and innovative discoveries,” Brouillette said in a statement posted on Twitter.
“It’s theft, plain and simple. This behavior will not be tolerated by the United States nor the department of energy,” he added.
It’s theft, plain and simple. This behavior will not be tolerated by the United States nor the Department of @ENERGY.— Dan Brouillette (@SecBrouillette) July 22, 2020
On July 22, Houston police revealed that its officers responded to a firefighter call to the China Consulate General in Houston. The police said smoke was observed in an outside courtyard area and added that officers were not granted access to enter the building.
About 8:25 pm on Tuesday, our officers responded to a meet the firefighter call to the China Consulate General in Houston building at 3417 Montrose Blvd.— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) July 22, 2020
Smoke was observed in an outside courtyard area. Officers were not granted access to enter the building. 1/2
Last week, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated during a trip to West Des Moines that the U.S. “won’t stay still while communist china tries to crush the world’s freedoms”.
In January this year, the U.S. and China signed a phase one trade agreement, with U.S. President Donald Trump labelling the event as a “very important and remarkable occasion”. Prior to the agreement, a U.S.-China trade war was having negative effects on the oil market.
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