Beijing / Houston: China and America are moving towards a major diplomatic confrontation. The US on Wednesday ordered the closure of China’s consulate in Houston and said the move was aimed at “protecting the intellectual property and personal information of Americans”. Reacting to the US move, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Winben described it as an unexpected increase in tension and warned of retaliatory measures.
He said, “China demands that America withdraw its wrong decision. If America goes ahead, China will take necessary counter-measures.” Wang also said that the Chinese embassy and consulate in the US have recently received threats to bomb and kill.
Earlier, the US State Department said in a brief statement, “We have directed the closure of the Consulate General of Houston of the PRC (People’s Republic of China) for the purpose of protecting the intellectual property and personal information of Americans.”
State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said that the United States will not tolerate China violating our sovereignty and threatening our people. Just as China’s unfair trade practices, stealing Americans’ jobs and other aggressive behavior were not tolerated.
Ortgas outlined the Vienna Treaty, under which nations are obliged not to interfere in the internal affairs of the host country. Houston’s Consulate in Texas is one of the five consulates in the United States and it is not yet clear why it was targeted.
The US Department of Justice claimed that hackers are working with the Chinese government to target companies developing Corona virus vaccines and that millions of dollars of intellectual property and trade secrets have been stolen from around the world. This step has been taken after this.
Politics and diplomatic confrontation are going on between the US and China on many issues including the origin of the corona virus. There is also a tussle between the two countries over the implementation of the National Security Act and trade in China’s Hong Kong.
China is looking at an option to close the US Consulate in Wuhan or Hong Kong. Chinese officials in Hong Kong have accused the US of supporting anti-China protests.
Earlier, China’s foreign ministry said that on July 21, the United States has demanded that China stop all work and programs at its Consulate General in Houston.
He said, “This is a political provocation unilaterally initiated by the US that grossly violates international law, the basic laws governing international relations, and the bilateral diplomatic agreement between China and the US. China is abusive and inappropriate.” “This will hurt the relations of the two countries.”
“We urge the US to withdraw its flawed decision; otherwise, China will respond legally and necessarily,” the statement said.
Fire in China’s Consulate General in Houston
Meanwhile, there is news of a fire at the Consulate General of China in Houston. Local police said that documents were being burnt in the premises. The Houston Police Department said firefighters and police officers swung into action after receiving news of documents being burnt around 8 pm on Tuesday in the Consulate General’s premises.
The fire incident occurred at a time when there are reports from Beijing that the US has asked China to close its consulate in Houston, Texas. In the video being shared by some people from around the consulate, flames can be seen emanating from several garbage boxes and coaches. People can also be seen throwing things in the burning garbage.
Under the international agreement, the Consulate General of 3417, Montrose Boulevard, is considered a jurisdiction of China.
A Houston police source told local media that the Consulate General and a campus on Alameda Road are being evacuated by 4pm on Friday, where many consulate employees live.