United States orders closure of China's consulate in Houston

China was reportedly given 72 hours to close its consulate in Houston

United States orders closure of China's consulate in Houston

Secretary of State Michael Pompeo blames China for stealing USA intellectual property and says the Trump administration is "going to take actions that protect the American people" when needed.

US President Donald Trump said that other consulate closures were "always possible".

"The story is not over yet, but the establishment of a shared fiscal mechanism is a breakthrough for European Union sovereign creditworthiness", one of S&P's top sovereign analysts, Frank Gill, said. "I guess they were burning documents or burning papers and I wonder what that's all about".

Overnight in Houston, firefighters went to the consulate after smoke was seen.

Houston media reports said authorities responded to reports of a fire at the Chinese Consulate.

China urges the United States to immediately revoke this wrong decision. -China relations, the potential economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and uncertainty over the USA presidential election.

As of this writing, however, no USA official had raised specific cases of espionage allegedly based out of the Houston consulate or offered any further explanation of the decision. "Should it insist on going down this wrong path, China will react with firm countermeasures", he said.

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Beijing condemned the order and threatened retaliation.

But if China closed the American mission in Wuhan as retaliation, Carafano said that the blow to the USA would be much smaller.

Wang Wenbin slammed the order to close the consulate as a "political provocation" and "a serious violation of worldwide law". Pompeo spoke Wednesday at press conference in Denmark.

Besides its embassy in Beijing, the U.S. has five consulates in mainland China, according to its website.

"It is these factors that led the President to direct a series of actions in response, including yesterday's notification to the PRC that we have withdrawn our consent for the PRC to operate its consulate in Houston, Texas", he said.

"It is very hard for me to discover what China could do uniquely from its consulate in Houston that it could not do equally from its consulates in Boston, Los Angeles or NY, from the embassy in DC or through unofficial coverage", he said.

"We took a practical step to prevent them from doing that", Stilwell told the Times. The US State Department did not reply to a request for comment. He also said that USA diplomats in China engage in infiltration activities.

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HFD explained in a statement that fire crews were denied access to the building, and that the global agreement between the United States and China requires consent from the consulate's staff to enter the property.

U.S. -China ties have worsened sharply this year over issues ranging from the coronavirus and telecoms-gear maker Huawei to China's territorial claims in the South China Sea and clampdown on Hong Kong.

According to USA court filings, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is also alleging that a Chinese researcher accused of visa fraud and concealing ties to the military is now holed up in China's consulate in San Francisco.

"The Trump Administration appears to view this latest action as political ammunition in the presidential campaign".

"China strongly condemns this", Wang said.

There were indications consulate staff were preparing to leave.

The move against the consulate in the Texas city became known Tuesday, hours after the U.S. Department of Justice announced a new indictment of two Chinese nationals over alleged cyberespionage against defense contractors, coronavirus researchers and other targets.

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Asian shares wavered on Thursday as investors weighed hopes for more stimulus to support pandemic-stricken economies against a dramatic rise in tensions between the United States and China.

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