Madeline Sponsler, FISM News
China ordered the United States on Friday to close its consulate in the city of Chengdu, responding to a U.S. demand for China to close its Houston consulate, as relations between the world’s two largest economies deteriorate.
The order to close the Chengdu consulate in southwestern China’s Sichuan province continued Beijing’s recent practice of like-for-like responses to Washington’s actions.
Beijing had threatened retaliation after the Trump administration this week gave it 72 hours to vacate its consulate in Houston.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday the consulate had been “a hub of spying and intellectual property theft.”
Senior U.S. officials said on Friday espionage activity by China’s diplomatic missions was occurring all over the United States, but its Houston consulate was one of the worst offenders and its activity went well over the line of what was acceptable.
A senior State Department official also linked espionage activity at China’s Houston consulate to China’s pursuit of research into a vaccine for the new coronavirus.
At the Houston consulate on Friday, about 100 Chinese activists gathered, shouting slogans denouncing China’s ruling Communist Party. Some held American flags.
Sourced from Reuters