Trump administration orders China to close Houston consulate

The Chinese foreign ministry reportedly called the move 'an outrageous and unjustified move that will sabotage relations between the two countries'

Updated: July 22, 2020 - 10:50am

The Trump administration said Wednesday that it has ordered China to close its consulate in Houston “to protect American intellectual property,” the most recent episode in a growing divide between the two governments over such concerns as trade, the coronavirus, human rights and security. 

The administration has yet to publicly say specifically why it ordered the Texas consulate to be closed.

However, it provided a brief statement, attributed to State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus, that says, “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.” 

Firefighters responded to reports of papers being burned on the consulate grounds Tuesday night but were barred entry, according to Houston news media reports.

The consulate was informed Tuesday of the decision, according to the Associated Press.  

The Chinese foreign ministry reportedly called the move “an outrageous and unjustified move that will sabotage relations between the two countries.”

The ministry is also warning about countermeasures, the wire service also reports. The U.S. has an embassy in China and reportedly five consulates on the mainland. 

 

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