The U.S. State Department confirmed on Wednesday it had ordered China to close its consulate in Houston, Texas, prompting Beijing to insist on firm countermeasures unless Washington immediately reverses its decision.
The move comes as political tensions between the world’s two largest economies continue to escalate.
U.S. State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said the directive to close China’s Consulate General Houston had been made to protect American intellectual property and the private information of its citizens.
The Vienna Convention states diplomats must “respect the laws and regulations of the receiving State” and “have a duty not to interfere in the internal affairs of that State,” Ortagus continued.
JUST IN: State Department says it ordered China to close its Houston consulate "to protect American intellectual property and Americans’ private information" https://t.co/hrORzD2zOG
— Bloomberg (@business) July 22, 2020
U.S. State Department orders China to close consulate in Houston as Beijing vows retaliation https://t.co/xdVcf2gWdj
— CNBC (@CNBC) July 22, 2020