China labeled the sudden closing of its consulate general in Houston, Texas – a “financial threat” by the United States, and threatened strong countermeasures should Washington not reverse its move.
Wang Wenbin, spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry, told a press conference in Beijing that the change directed Tuesday local time seriously breaches foreign laws and principles regulating international affairs.
China firmly opposes such an unjustified and unacceptable move, which would undermine China-US ties. We urge the US to withdraw its mistaken decision immediately, otherwise China will give legitimate and necessary reactions.
He accused the US government of stigmatizing China and conducting unjustified assaults on the country’s socioeconomic infrastructure, bullying Chinese officials, threatening and interrogating Chinese students and even confiscating their computers.
He further alleged that the US has repeatedly violated diplomatic norms by imposing constraints on Chinese diplomats and opening diplomatic pockets. Chinese diplomatic workers have regularly issued warnings of death and assassination.
China also has five other US embassies-consulates in Tokyo, Los Angeles , New York and San Francisco, as well as the Washington DC embassy. Also, US diplomatic staff in China have long been involved in practices of penetration and intervention. If they equate the two, it’s just too clear what’s involved in intervention, penetration and conflict.
The United States has diplomatic missions in six Chinese cities on the mainland — Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenyang, Wuhan, and its Beijing ambassy.
The Chinese consulate was directed to close down so as to better secure academics and US intelligence. The announcement from the foreign ministry came only an hour after Hu Xijin, editor of the nationalist Global Times newspaper, tweeted the project was granted 72 hours to shut down, calling it a “mad leap.”
Hours earlier at around 8 pm local time, police and paramedics marched to the Houston Consulate following news that papers were being burnt outside in open containers. Local news stations KPRC and KHOU reported flames in several open barrels, and black smoke emerged from them. Outside the consulate, fire trucks and police cars were seen parking, with firefighters unable to access the city.
The newspaper Houston Chronicle said no injuries have been reported. Beijing and Washington have been engaged on several fronts in an intensely aggressive tit to tat conflict, including finance, diplomacy, and coronavirus.
Tensions have been ratcheting up in recent days amid growing harsh statements from senior officials in the United States. On a visit to London, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo encouraged the whole nation to speak up to China, which he accused of engaging the World Health Organisation in a cover-up and co-opting by hiding early knowledge of the preventable coronavirus pandemic that killed more than 610,000 people worldwide.